De Fiere Margriet Bier Cafe
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Taps: 4 / Bottles: 250
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 1 | Reviews: 1 | Display Reviews Only:
3.93/5 rDev 0%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $
For what seemed like the longest time, beer aficionados in the student city of Leuven camped out in ‘t Vliegend Varken (“The Flying Pig”), a bar that held the record for the biggest beer list in Leuven for years with its 100 bottles.
This record was broken in July 2010, when De Fiere Margriet (“Proud Mary”) opened its doors on St. Margaret’s Square in the shadow of St. Peter’s church, with a selection of 200 bottles, which has since expanded to 250. The bar was named after St. Margaret of Leuven, also known as Proud Mary, said to have lived in the 13th century. A fair young maiden working at a traveler’s inn in Leuven, she was tasked by the innkeeper to go and buy a pot of wine in the nearby village of Wilsele, as the inn was under-stocked due to a sudden flood of unexpected patrons. On her way back, a band of thugs attempted to rape her, but she fought like a lioness. Eventually overpowering her, the bandits gave her the choice between losing her virginity or her life. She picked the latter, as she was stabbed to death and thrown in the Dijle river. Her body was found by fishermen, still clutching the handle of the wine pot. She was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church for her chastity, and is now the patron saint of waiting staff. A statue was inaugurated at the end of the street where the traveler’s inn once was, and it was only suitable that a bar would be opened in her honor.
After the original enforcement of the Belgian nationwide smoking ban in hotels, bars and restaurants as of July 1st, 2011, the bar has revamped its interior from a very authentic look and feel (which some nay-sayers might have considered horribly dated), involving a lot of woodwork and wallpaper, to a somewhat more contemporary and sterile look. The place seems packed to the brim, with at least 60 seats over a small surface. This can get quite uncomfortable when it’s full-up, which is actually most of the time. Being situated a decent walk away from any of the nearest student hangouts, De Fiere Margriet seems to be one of precious few places in Leuven that also caters to a non-student audience. As they pride themselves with a selection of somewhat rare and special bottles that can be considered as simply vast for Leuven standards, it’s usually considered too expensive for the average student budget. However, taking into account the prices of other similar bars throughout the country, it definitely holds up as being very reasonable, maybe even cheap. The beer selection varies from the bare basics (Stella on tap, as virtually any bar in Leuven does) to some Struise (formerly Black Albert, now only the easier available ones) and the Hof ten Dormael beer, brewed using extract of Belgian chicon. As is typical for Belgium, there is no food to be found here except for cold meatballs (“bouletten”) served with a spicy mayonnaise-like sauce, which are actually quite filling and a good deal for €1.5 a piece.
All in all, a good place for beer lovers that don’t want to stretch their budget. With good service, cheap prices and a great restaurant (Domus) nearby, De Fiere Margriet is the nigh-on perfect place to spend a night, or at least start it.
12-01-2011 23:06:36 | More by Dennoman
De Fiere Margriet Bier Cafe in Leuven, Belgium
- out of 100 based on 1 ratings.