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Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik / Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan

Not Rated.
Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik / Huisbrouwerij De Halve MaanBrouwerij Straffe Hendrik / Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan
BA SCORE
89
very good

74 Ratings
Ratings: 74
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 14.65%
Active Beers: 9
Beer Ratings: 1,525
Beer Avg: 3.89
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

Walplein 26
Brugge, 8000
Belgium
phone: +32 50 33 26 97

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 74 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sholland119
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

sholland119, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of morebeergood
2.93/5  rDev -26%

Took the 2:00 pm tour of the brewery on 3/26/07 with my wife. That was a lot of fun. Lasts about one hour. Our tour guide was very informative, and you get to walk all around the brewery, go on the roof of the building to get a great view of the city, then get a beer afterwards to end the tour. The tour part of De Halve Mann was fun and well worth it.
We went into the dinner area so I could have some lunch after the tour. Kinda looked like an average brewpub in the US, nothing special but not bad. Waited for an eternity for the waitress to take my order. I got the beer and cheese soup. Tasted like chicken noodle with four cubes of cheese plopped in the bottom. Not good. Too bad, because other people's food around me looked decent. Oh well.
Come for the tour, for sure, but skip the food.

morebeergood, Mar 29, 2007
Photo of dirtylou
3.86/5  rDev -2.5%

"Fun way to blow some time off. Sweet old brewery to say the least. The tour is a well oiled machine." Hard to disagree with any of that.

It was an interesting journey, trying to find this place while at the same time having no clue where it was other than directionally. We finally spotted another city map, went to read it, and noticed we were straight in front of the brewery. Nice.

Not an overly popular line of beers, but probably the easiest brewery to visit in the entire country. The tour was good, and in english. The views from the top of the brewery are solid and it was fun to watch people try to navigate all the stairs within. The tour includes just a full pour of the Brugse Zot, which was better than advertised. We also devoured some bitterballen and cheese out in the lovely terrace. I could have stayed for another, but there were bigger and better spots on the itinerary.

I'm glad we did it - it wasn't in my itinerary, but we just needed to kill a few hours

dirtylou, Aug 31, 2013
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.31/5  rDev -16.4%

After visiting the convent down the street we had a thirst for beer and happened upon De Halve Maan. The entrance off Walplein across from a small group of establishments was unassuming but pretty easy to find due to the line of people from a tour group waiting to go inside. Once you walk inside you see a courtyard filled with tour groups, mostly retirement aged and tables. Inside a few tables had patrons but most sat empty.

We settled in to some outside seating and after moments of not having anyone come to take our order went to inquire about having a draft. The lady informed us she would come over shortly and she did. They had two beers, TWO, the bruin and the blonde and neither was overwhelmingly good so we opted not to take the tour. The service was OK, but nothing outstanding. At one point the entire group of retirement aged individuals stood up in unison as if they were going to sing the Halleluah Chorus and went in for the tour. A bit spooky, and yet utterly fascinating.

I cannot say I would every return to De Halve Maan. A nice courtyard and good place to hit the WC and have some non-offensive beers for a fairly good price.

Oh, if at De Halve Maan in the late summer/early fall, sit near the cellar on the right hand side of the courtyard. Each time the tour exits the cool musty air helps to mediate the temperature

Visited on September 14, 2006.

GCBrewingCo, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%

I was going to wait until my next visit to this establishment before I reviewed it, but as it has now closed (at least in its old form), I thought I had better do so from memory.

Lovelly courtyard appears as you walk through the gates, the far diagonal corner has a small flight of steps which lead to the actual bar and large seating area.

My glass of Streffe Hendrik was tart and wonderful, I also enjoyed the little brewery trip that I took while there.

I am truely sorry to hear it has closed, I will revisit the site on my next trip to Brugge, to see what has replaced it.

Update from June 2009: Open and very, very busy on the Saturday afternoon we tried to use the place. The courtyard was awash with tourists and the queue for the 15.00 brewery tour was about 50 strong. We couldn't even get into the main bar inside, just too full. My party of 12 didn't stay, we had turned up the wrong day!

BlackHaddock, Dec 27, 2006
Photo of Bierman9
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%

Stopped by here for lunch on 28SEP11 after some morning site-seeing. Had walked by the place earlier in the day and didn't even notice it. Swung back later and - Bingo!

On the small square where it's located, it is part of an unimposing, multistory brick building. I likely missed it since it is found through an arched tunnel, located in the rear of this building. Through the tunnel will be found a lovely, quiet courtyard. There were probably about 25 small tables there, most of which sat 4 people. The brewery itself, and the main restaurant, were found further to the rear-left, up a short flight of stairs. The remaining surroundings are whitewashed brick walls covered in ivy and other flora. Inside the main building is a large series of rooms for dining and drinking. It's a cavernous place, with the ceiling 2 stories up, very well-lit, and decorated with hops, old beer bottles, lots of copper, and bier posters and pics. There were a couple dozen tables in this main room, plus a smaller room to the rear which, with it's fancy white table-cloths, looked to be reserved for special functions. A large, semi-circular bar sat at the immediate left as you entered the tavern. I opted to park at a small courtyard table for some grub and grog. They had a small mini-bar outside pouring their blonde and dubble from a tap, plus bottles of a tripel and quad were available. I had a dubbel, then a quad, and they were both very satisfying. Service outside was a bit touch and go, as there were only 3 or so out there serving the 25+ tables. I lunched on a ham, cheese and bier soup, which was delicious! This was a very relaxing, enjoyable lunch, indeed. Definitely worth another visit someday. Zum Wohl!!

4.05 rDev +11.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

227

Bierman9, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.05/5  rDev -23%

Visited: 8-23-10

Finding De Halve Maan was a great part of the fun. For this, I set my bearings, put away my map, and followed the smell of malt. Through red brick alleyways upon stone cobbled pavement we traversed as all the while that wonderful aroma grew more pungent. At long last we came upon a rather funny scene.

Before us stood a wide courtyard behind which rose an attractive brick brewery more akin to a late 19th century American or British brewery than to those I have typically witnessed in Belgium. Its entry way and windows, however, were ornately dressed to the point of approaching Disney Land. I began to worry that we had stumbled into a tourist trap.

In the far corner of the courtyard, near the entryway, a narrow bar topped with the familiar Bruges Zot tap handles rested upon the cobbles. On the left and the right were well set tables covered in neat white table clothes. The sun shown over our heads for the first time since our arrival in Belgium, a country whose climate bests Seattle's as the world's most miserable.

Then something odd started happening, the waiters and waitresses started scurrying about, rapidly moving tables to create a lane down the center of the courtyard. Out of nowhere a small blue tractor hauling a cart drove right down the aisle, nearly hitting several dining guests and stopped below a large window. The window swung open. A shoot slid down. Heaps of hot, moist spent malt began pouring into the cart on their way to a local dairy farmer no doubt. The smell was enticing to say the least and it was time for a beer. More importantly, however, we confirmed that we had not tripped into a tourist trap at all. This was real live working brewery, and if that meant that the customer's lunch had to be disturbed for few moments to continue the work of the brewery, so be it.

We drank the Bruges Zot, the Bok, and the Dubel. I recall drinking a wit as well but I did not takes notes on it so perhaps I'm wrong. Our lunch was quite good. I enjoyed a healthy heaping of Vlaamse Stovery with fries and salad. It wasn't the best I had in Belgium but it was adequate. My companions ate a bouillabaisse of sorts and a wonderful salad. The food was above average and a value by Bruges standards. The beers were as they always are from this brewery - clean, pleasing, appropriate to their styles, but not exceptional.

The one problem we encountered was service. The servers were stressed and rude and that was only on the rare occasion that they were present. We waited and waited to order our beers, waited for twenty minutes or more to get them, waited again to order, waited for what seemed like forever to get our lunch and to order another round, etc... They were busy and it would have been forgivable had the staff been apologetic but instead they pointed their noses in the air and acted as if the long delays were somehow of our own making.

Overall: What would have been an above average meal at a great price and some decent beers in a absolutely top notch setting was turned sour by absolutely dismal service. Don't go unless you have a lot of time on your hands or are able to go when it is slow.

DaPeculierDane, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of FightingEntropy
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%

We didn't spend a lot of time in Bruges, but did everything that we wanted after seeing the movie In Bruges, including climbing the tower and taking a canal tour. Easily could have spent another day there to take advantage of the museums more, but still a fun, touristy visit.

As they were rolling up the streets (we accidentally hit a holiday, but I didn't understand what), we headed to attempt an unplanned brewery tour at De Halve Maan. Unfortunately, when we arrived, the tours were long done and we had less than an hour to sample their beers. Not too disappointed missing the tour since my guess is that the on-the-hour tours would tell us beer is made of four ingredients.

Bruges Zot Blonde and Dubbel beers were very good, but the Straffe Hendrick beers, Tripel and Quad, were a clear notch above. Very Dutch/Flemish style of beers that have a strong balance with an assertive yeast influence, especially the Quad which tasted like Hertog Jan that we brought back from Amsterdam on our first trip there in 2003. Talking to the bartender and complimenting the beer while running out of time before bar close at 6 pm, I asked if I could buy more than one beer. With a slightly astonished look, he said yes. I explained that in the US that a beer in hand had to be more than half finished before buying another. Again, astonished look. I bought our Straffe Hendrick beers to close the bar, turning in our empty glasses to the waitress as we were the last ones to stroll out of the patio.

A relaxing stop at the end of a touristy day. The historic nature of the brewery alone might be worth another stop in the future, especially since the beer is a good enough to warrant it.

Pictures at http://pintsizedrevelations.blogspot.com/2013/02/de-halve-maan-bruges-belgium.html.

FightingEntropy, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of JohnW
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%

Worth a visit when in Bruge, but they only serve their own beers. The food in the restuarant is good value, and plenty of space to sit down. Cannot comment on the Museum tour, as we did not have the time. Group parties seem to be the norm, though they are arranged at frequent intervals.

If you just want a good value mid-day meal, and a beer it works fine, but this is not a place for serious beer drinking!

Worth a visit, even if you only have one of their own beers, which I enjoyed, and good value food and plenty of space to sit down at mid-day. Only open till 6pm.

JohnW, Apr 08, 2004
Photo of dwagner003
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

dwagner003, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of drewbage
3.49/5  rDev -11.9%

Visited in March 2006.

Got completely, totally, unredeemably lost wandering around Brugge. I dont know why, but there you go. Ran into this place though and decided to give it a whirl.

The interior of the bar cafe is clean and proficient. Ran into a very nice English family there and we chatted while waiting for our tour to begin.

The bar folk seemed befuddled by my request for a beer before the tour started, but they got over it in a hurry. As mentioned previously you have a choice of a Blonde and a Bruin, both clean and non-offensive.

The tour itself is shockingly well worth the money and the climb through the old brewery spaces. If you don't worry about falling and cracking your head at least once you're not doing it right! For the brewer and historian in me this was well worth the stop!

drewbage, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of jgasparine
2.95/5  rDev -25.5%

Went here for a tour (which was great). We were served a Zot Blonde at the end of the tour, which was nice. We enjoyed the beer enough that we wanted to stay for lunch.

Atmosphere-
Outside in the courtyard, the atmosphere is fantastic- you feel like you're back in the old-world. But inside the atmosphere is quite sterile. Not much character in there. So it seems most appropriate to give it an above-average rating on Atmosphere overall.

Quality-
The beer is decent. And the place was generally kept clean... but the tables weren't. They were littered with crumbs from other patrons. Never got to observe the quality of other facets of their operation; so a slightly above-average rating is fitting, I suppose.

Service-
We asked the bartender about lunch, and she suggested that we take any open table and that a server would be right over. We found a table and waited for 25 minutes, and nobody ever came over to help us. So we got up and left. Absolutely awful service.

Selection-
A good selection of their house beers could be found on the menu. Nothing more. Not bad, although we never got past the first beer given with the tour.

jgasparine, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of wl0307
2.55/5  rDev -35.6%

Been there twice during my three-month stay in Belgium last year. The first time I was there the immediate guided tour was full so I decided to taste the beers before spending more money on this brewery, as the tour was quite costly. I tried both regular beers they had on draught and both proved reasonably flavoursome, but were served way too cold (for me). And the service was slow as well, but it was slowed down mainly due to a large group of German tourists who joyfully occupied the whole place. Grabbed several bottles of their own beers (750ml), only to find out that in a small supermarket on the outskirt of town the same beers were sold just two-thirds the price at the brewery!! Outrageous...

On my second visit (on my friend's request as he just arrived in Belgium, otherwise I would refuse to go back), my friend and I only managed to find seats outside, but it was nice as Brugge was bathed in rare sunshine the whole afternoon. After almost seven minutes no waiter approached and I had to ask the ignorant and idling barman at the outside, temporary bar for a drink. He served me two glasses of their Spring beer on tap (Brugs Lentebier) there and I had to carry the drinks back to the table on my own, whereas later on I saw him serving other customers at their tables. The beer itself was my cup of tea but the service pissed me off for the rest of the day. I for one would never go back again, and would not recommend this place to any beer enthusiasts. For, one can obtain their beers at a lower price outside the brewery (is it not news??), and the place itself is overly tourist-orientated, apart from their lousy service as I witnessed.

wl0307, May 25, 2005
Photo of Dukeofearl
3/5  rDev -24.2%

I've gone through this place twice now in 2 years (2 different travel partners), and the first time I went, I was really impressed (I didn't know much about beer). The tour here is a nice tour, but very simple and designed for casual tourists, not beer enthusiasts. What was amazing was watching the tour guide spout off the same spiel first in French, then in Dutch, then in English, while keeping a group of 30 people moving up and around and down about 150 steps... 2 thumbs up! There's lots of old equipment and empty bottles and such to make museum buffs enjoy themselves, plus a decent view of the city from the rooftop.

They don't brew here any more (one tour guide says they use it for occasional, special brews, the equipment looks unused).

Same with their two beers- a blond and a brune. Basic Belgian brews that are thirst quenching and beat the tar out of American macrobrews, but are quite plain when compared to Belgian siblings. When you buy the tour, you get one glass of blond (not a Tripel, as suggested by another reviewer) included in the price, a second beer for a couple of Euros and you have tried their complete line of beers.

Worth stopping by just to say you have done it, but don't expect anything special.

Dukeofearl, Oct 11, 2004
Photo of JackNip
4/5  rDev +1%

JackNip, Oct 24, 2014
Photo of Reagan1984
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%

This review is for both the tour and tasting room. The way I see it is that if you are reading any reviews on this site and you are in Brugge? you'll visit this location. The tour is fun despite being geared towards non-beer geeks. Cool to see this old brewery in action. In the US they would never let you climb around these stairs and working boilers. I stood 2 feet from them emptying a boiler. Nice view of the city from the roof of the brewery. Tasting room is nice yet a bit more modern in decor. The price of the tour gets you a glass of Zot. It's good; Not sure why this is on the list of top 125 places to have a beer, but if in Brugge.. of course go here

Reagan1984, Apr 19, 2012
Photo of millelacsmark
4/5  rDev +1%

millelacsmark, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of adamette
4.63/5  rDev +16.9%

My wife, father and law and his wife all went to this place on our last day in Brugge (our only full day that is). Review from notes and my memory which will not likely fade for this place. We went on June 10th, 2009.

Atmosphere: Great with hundreds of (apparently) empty bottles of beer with an emphasis on Belgian and Europeans but I did spot a few American beer bottles (Rolling Rock was one), a long wooden bar and seating with tables for about 150. The setting could not be better, within the brewery for Brugse Zot and (currently) two other beers. Very nice old style copper taps.

Quality: Great in that all beer was served in the appropriate glassware, the same glass being provided for Brugse Zot and Brugse Zot Brune and a seperate glass provided for the tripel, Staffe Hendrik. Very nice place mats and covered silverware were also provided with the "De Halve Maan" logo on them.

Service: Very good with a willing bartender, kind waitress.

Selection: I was aware of only the three beers available but frankly I did not even seek out any other beers. Selection was as good as it needs to be.

Food: Just fine. People in my party had a beer cheese soup (A bit thin by our standards) and possibly a salad (but my memory is not great for the food there....I was focused on the beer!)

Value: My only recollection is that the value was just fine.

adamette, Jun 30, 2009
Photo of Jackofallbrews
4.04/5  rDev +2%

This is an old historic brewery that has been updated in the 2000's and re branded to some extent. They have a great patio area nestled in a small courtyard between the brewery buildings and serve a limited food menu and their own beers out there. Taking advantage of the weather we sat outside and struck up a conversation with some neighboring tourists from Canada. I really enjoyed their Brugse Zot Belgian blonde ale that was bright and fresh and somewhat hoppy. My wife had the tasty Dubbel and I liked that as well. They have a full service restaurant inside the main building and also offer brewery tours in several languages through out the day. We went on the tour last visit and it is well worth the time--you get to walk across the old copper coolship to see a remarkable view of the city from the rooftop! This brewery is under rated as Belgian breweries go, but I think they have a good set of beers and a great vibe.

Jackofallbrews, May 22, 2014
Photo of atrocity
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

atrocity, Jul 21, 2014
Photo of objectivemonkey
3.31/5  rDev -16.4%

I was in Belgium a couple years ago, before I was a BA. So imagine my joy when I was looking through my trip journal when I came across a page I wrote when I was sitting at the brewery drinking! It was early August, in the midst of tourist season, and while the tours were busy, my tour didn't seem all that rushed. I was there alone on this trip, which was kind of fun, so I got to (er, trying to) talking with the tour guide. A very knowledgable older lady, spoke in monotone the whole time, while making wonderfully dry jokes along the way, very Ben Stein-like. I rememebr she took great delight in noting that hops are a cousin of marijuana. Anyway, the tour was great for a tourist, as I was, and I was a bit beer saavy then, going through a Belgian phase, so I asked a lot of questions about the process, but didn't get too much out of her. Anyway, the brewery was beautiful in that historic sense, and ending at a very attractive bar, we were served the blond, which I was pleased with. Had another beer, but didn't make a not of it, and that was it for the beers, which was disappointing. The beers were good though, and the courtyard was a great place to sit down in the shade and sip away, but the service was not so great. Granted, there were some awfully large groups going through, but still. Anyway, Straffe Hendrik is a must see if you're in town for a few days. Only takes a few minutes, and its a nice, easy tour.

objectivemonkey, Apr 07, 2006
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.79/5  rDev -4.3%

A brewery right in the middle of Brugge and you would miss it if you were not looking for it. A really nice courtyard leading up to what looking like an old loading dock. Once up the stair the brewery is on the right and to the left a restaurant. You can tell it was converted to be a restaurant. Nice big windows with tons of natural light and a wall of old bottles on the wall, where I spotted and Hop Devil bottle and a Rolling Rock. I did not eat here, more just for the atmosphere and drinking a couple beers. The service was a bit slow, but it was during lunch and the servers were a bit busy. Neat and pretty cool nonetheless.

OWSLEY069, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%

This brewery is located near the cathedral in the middle of Brugge and can be seen when taking the boat tour around the canal. A tour of the brewery is available and is quite interesting and includes a tasting of one of their beer at the end. There is a large patio, which can be very enjoyable during the hot summer days. The only serve the beer that they brew (Straffe Hendrix Pale, Brown and the seasonal spring beer) in proper glassware. The waiter was very knowledgeable and courteous. The food is excellent and very cheap for Brugge. Overall, a good place to stop for lunch when visiting Brugge.

Phyl21ca, Jun 29, 2004
Photo of NJB145
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

NJB145, Nov 15, 2014
Photo of the_encinitan
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

the_encinitan, Jul 04, 2014
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Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik / Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan in Brugge, Belgium
89 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.