De Heeren van Liedekercke
Taps: 4 / Bottles: 400
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 24 | Reviews: 23 | Show All Ratings:
4.83/5 rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
The Holy Grail, White Whale, you gotta do this of all the beer restaurants in the world.
Certainly a bit of the beaten path, a good hike from the nearest train stations with very sporadic bus service stopping about three blocks away. The atmosphere is superb. A converted house, old wood floors and siding throughout. The bar area is pretty small, two communal tables, but I was fortunate to have some lively conversation with the people I sat with, an 'outlaw' biker who kindly shared a bottle of Giraldin Black Label Gueze as an appertif. There is a 'special' room in the basement which can be rented for special occasions.
The quality of the beer and the food is absolutely stunning. The affalable host, world-class beer expert Joost, has amassed an amazing array of vintages of beers, including a seriously crazy vertical of Orvals, for whom he serves as an Ambassador, a very high honor. While there are some outstanding beers on tap (Rodenbach Foederbier !) you owe it to yourself to dig through the encylopedia-like beer book to pull out something special. The food is on parallel with the beer offerings. Joost, brother, Tom, mans the kitchen, and to say watching him work from the chef's table was like poetry in motion in an understatement. With the help of a solitary sous chef, he made sure every diner's experience was memorable. While the Brasserie menu features tasty sandwiches for lunch, a range of pasta dishes and traditional Belgian food fare, Tom has *two* special menus, a monthly menu, November features wild game, a six course prix fix affair featuring pheasant pie, duck, hare, homemade ice cream, each paired with a beer by Joost (included in the meal!), and a 'suggestions' menu, with most dishes made with beer.
The service was quite good. Joost kind wife managed the front end, with a young, energetic and attentive staff keeping everyone happy. Note that if you are in a hurry to eat, this probably isn't the right place to come. Instead you should plan on spending the entire evening working through the beer and food menus and enjoying your company. For those bent on the whole experience, there is a small guesthouse behind the restaurant, and the prices are quite reasonable. I availed myself of this lodging, a necessity since we stayed up until about 230am sampling some American beers I had brought for this special occasion. Prices were about standard for Belgium, the beer prices were democratic.
For any Beer Advocate traveling to Belgium, I can't recommend this place highly enough. When the history of Beer Restaurants is written, this will be the standard that all other places need to be judged against. World Class.
11-25-2013 09:01:15 | More by jdense
4.94/5 rDev +7.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
I believe Epic is the word.
Epic was the journey to get here. After a few minor mishaps on the train we arrived in Denderleeuw. We were travelling from Ghent, but got on a direct train to Brussels accidentally so had to circle back.
Chances are you're reading these reviews and debating whether its worth the effort and sacrifice to track this place down from your Brussels or Ghent hotel. The answer is yes. Don't try and talk yourself out of it.
I had directions from the train station in Denderleeuw to De Heeren, at least I thought I did. What I actually had was directions from somewhere else closer to the center of Denderleeuw. We wandered around for about an hour and then somehow finally stumbled accidentally onto the proper course and were able to follow my directions. It doesn't have to be that hard, but I think the degree of difficulty only added to the experience.
The beer lists are silly. HUGE props for having an up-to-date printed vintage cellar list which includes the quantity on hand. We drank a lot of beer between the 3 of us and there was never that dreaded moment where the bartender (Joost, in our case) states they are out of stock. They dont get enough credit for that - its extremely appreciated.
So there are 2 lists, a normal menu of "standard" Belgian offerings that they presumably will always have in stock and then the aforementioned printed menu with a dizzying array of vintages of all your favorite lambics and also dusty bottles of everything from Chimay to Rochefort to Still Nacht and beyond. Pretty unbelievable.
Over the course of our stay we split the fantastic Herengueuze (600 bottle blend, 50% Cantillon and 50% 3F, brewed in 2008, bottled in 2011 and released in 2013) and I consumed my first 3F Golden Blend, followed by a delightful 2008 Still Nacht and a Hannssens Cassis. There were 1000 alternative routes I could have taken with the same success. Pretty unparalleled.
HEY. This is also a restaurant. In fact, it's the best restaurant I ate at on my entire trip. I opted for the leg of lamb which was so incredibly tender and flavorful. Each component of the dish was prepared separately in a different beer. Really memorable.
Leg of lamb slowly cooked for 12 hours with rosemary and Kapittel dubbel
Baby carrots steamed with Piraat – Charlotte-potatoes in Affligem Patersvat
Joost was a great host - he thanked us for our patronage and ambition in finding the place. One of the definite highlights of the trip, which places it high on the list of highlights of my illustrious beer drinking career.
08-31-2013 18:18:41 | More by dirtylou
4.61/5 rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
To answer everyone's burning question, "can I buy Roze, Blauw, Crianza, Millenium, etc to go or to drink there?" Nope. They closed their cellar for just those beers and are no longer offering those beers to go or to drink there. Major bummer but then again, they upped the price to 120 euros before shutting the cellar so I saved a lot of money. Personally it doesn't matter. Here's why:
-insane vintage list of beers
-amazing tap list
-great house beers
A great restaurant with a great cellar but all you whale hunters might want to skip it because you can't get those hyped beers anymore. However if you want to try beers that haven't been available for decades and try 5 star class food, make the trip out to de heeren. The Heeren gueuze is available to go if you buy two 20th anniversaries with it for a total of 200 euros... I passed. Just go and relax and don't worry about "whalez" and you'll have a fantastic time!
07-24-2013 01:24:15 | More by Mages64
4.73/5 rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Arriving on a chilly winter's evening, entering was like coming into a farmhouse kitchen to warm up. OK, it's a (small) town center, not the most evocative location, but offers a cheery interior of light woods, country-kitchen heart wreaths, and bands of hop flowers. And that was with with the big stone fireplace unlit. Clientele included tourists and Flemings out for a nice meal or just popping in for a few at the bar area. Four languages in close vicinity of my corner table. On seating, confronted immediately with a page-long seasonal (Christmas) beer list, a table placard thingy of a few drafts, and a 12-page list of vintage offerings, annotated to show the available stock. Already a career's worth of tasting, before the main list arrives along with the food menu. The five dishes for our party were all hits of hearty seasonal fare, built on slow cooking, complex sauces, but simple presentations. They included a carbonnade rich and glossy rather than greasy; a sort of tartiflette with Orval cheese (sorry, too much novelty on the drink menu to pair with its associated brew) going way beyond any Alpine refuge's ambition; and a generous cut of pork with mustard-Chimay sauce. Beer, of course, was at the center of all, making it fun to play with the pairing of food and beverage. Opened proceedings with an unusual De Troch lambic on tap -- only ever found it at the brewery, and it's a pity that they never let it out, because it's a very quaffable, soft lambic with banana and citric flavors, way better than the regrettable fruit-drink stuff they make for the grocery stories. Later tried both of the house brews -- solid, not transcendent, with a blonde ale and a somewhat thin and malty dark-amber ale. Also had a Smisje off the Christmas list, another nice find considering I don't often see it in Brussels, less than a half hour away. Service was multilingual, personable, helpful and offered specific recommendations and explanations (despite being a bit understaffed). Expectations surpassed, I have a new favorite beer-specialist resto in Belgium.
02-17-2013 18:28:12 | More by ManforallSaisons
4.88/5 rDev +6.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
I spent 2 weeks in Europe and I did not find anywhere that I want to return to more than DHVL. Absolutely outstanding in every way.
Simply put: I believe this is the bar we've all been searching for. Relatively quiet and homey, where all the locals congregate after work to have a glass or two (or four for the group next to us), but which also awes us with the beer selection. I spied numerous people come in and give each other a familial greeting before they pretty much pointed at the servers with their standard order. I couldn't help but long to be a regular at this place just because of the camaraderie. (Liedekerke seemed to be a very quiet town where most people take the train in to Brussels for work.)
And then there's the beer lists. I came in with a game plan because I didn't realize how absolutely expansive and reasonably priced the bottle list was. It took me 20 minute before I could order. And I was happily blown away when I found out that I could purchase a Rodenbach Alexander which has been my #1 want for a long time. (Ended up being 28.50 Euro, an admittedly pricey amount, but which I thought was completely fair for a 1998 vintage of a beer never to brewed again.)
But even the tap list is unique and worthy. My wife and I tried both the house beers (Heerenbier and Sodalitas), and I was torn between the lambics sent to them from Cantillon, Girardin, Boon, etc. How awesome is it that they constantly have special kegs of straight lambic?
And then there's the food. I cannot say enough about it. We did not have a better meal in Europe, and I have not had anything to match in the United States. The Coq-a-la-bier was divine. Bacon and beer will make any menu amazing, but the chef took his ingredients above and beyond. The kicker is that a large portion was around 14 Euro. Reasonable, really. It was also excellent to have the recommended beer pairing listed on the (newly-printed) English menu.
Our server was helpful and patient, and I found that we received more prompt service when we waved down our servers with our order. (The locals did it as such, so why shouldn't we?) I spent a few minutes talking to Joost, but with how busy they were, I didn't want to take up too much of his time.
This is a pretty gushy review, but for good reason. We spent 5 hours here, spent far too much money, but had an experience to last a lifetime. Worth every penny and the standard by which I will judge all other bars/pubs/restaurants.
10-20-2011 16:25:17 | More by writerLJBerg
4.1/5 rDev -10.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
De Heeren has one of the more epic cellar lists i've seen. A good selection of aged trappists and wild ales. The service is a bit slower than typical in Belgium. And once you order you may not be likely to get your beer soon. But everyone there was quite nice and the selection can't be beat. The food is more high end but there are less expensive options that are still quite good. Beers off of the vintage list are served at cellar temperature.
They played some amazingly cheesy/bad restaurant music (the titanic theme song comes to mind).
As a side note, after our first visit my friend and I started asking for our geuze in the brewer/blender's wine glass rather than the typical geuze glass, which they readily accommodated. I know the regular one is historical, but it is illogical and if I am going to drop $50-100 on one bottle of beer i want it in the glass that best allows me to taste/smell it. Places like 3 fonteinen have already made this glass switch with their vintage geuzes/the Armand 4 series. This might be a good idea if you are going to order something like the J&J beers or Millennium geuze (they are already doing it with Crianza).
06-27-2011 07:48:41 | More by DaveJanssen
4.58/5 rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
While in Brussels for a few days, my wife and I took the train out to visit De Heeren Van Liederkercke which exceeded our expectations.
The atmosphere was amazing, we sat in the beer garden out back. It was mostly locals (and outside was very family friendly, with a playground for children) but there were also some (other) American tourists there and potentially others. It did help that we had a perfect spring evening in which to enjoy the experience.
The beer list was excellent, we enjoyed a tasting of Orvals with various amounts of aging which was nice. The menu was very extensive and many of the beers were available from the cellar as well as the fridge. Trappist breweries were fully represented.
The highlight of our experience was the service. Everybody was proficient in English and made us feel right at home in their family establishment. Our server, wife of the chef, was highly hospitable and during our meal we were offered an amazing paella compliments of the chef, and several of our beers were accompanied with complimentary cheese. I enjoyed the Stoofvlees which came with an awesome apple side made with fruit grown on site. The food was solid and a great value. We enjoyed beer ice cream to end the meal.
As other reviewers have stated, the whole experience did proceed at a very leisurely pace, though the service was excellent. If you are planning on taking the train out (we walked from Iddergem station, about 10-15 minutes away on foot) be sure to be conservative as to which train you might take back.
Overall, our evening at De Heeren Van Liederkercke turned out to be a highlight of our trip to Belgium and I highly recommend checking it out if in the area.
06-05-2011 22:28:08 | More by bceagles39
4.3/5 rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Outstanding beer-restaurant and pub. Great beerlist of over 300 Belgian beers and lots of great aged beer, Trappists and Gueuzes. The interior is warm and cosy, and the restaurant is brasserie like. The food is from a very high level and the diches are inovating and always with a wink to beer. Joost and his brother are running the place and the staff is very friendly and professional. If your looking for a great beery place with a gastronomical touch "de Heeren van Liedekercke" is the right address.
05-03-2011 12:02:07 | More by beerpirates
4.78/5 rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Stopped by for lunch with The Big Dooper last weekend. We'd heard about this place as being a beer "Mecca," so it was high on our list.
This is pretty much exactly how I want a beer bar to be. It was "cosy and homely," for lack of a better expression. There were families quietly enjoying their lunch, as well as a few patrons around the bar. Doops and I sat at the barrels near the front window, and a couple guys sat down just before we left and made small talk. Needed a touch of well chosen brewery swag perhaps, but it was well decorated and very relaxing. Even had a playground out back for the kiddies.
Jessie was there serving us that afternoon. A very friendly woman who really enjoys her craft. She had lots to tell us about her retaurant and her beer list, and even smelt my cellared Rochefort 10 before she served it. A nice touch.
The beer list is fantastic. There are a few things on tap that rotate regularly and lots of Belgian bottles on the list. There are the well known gueuze that were brewed specifically for the restaurant, as well as an extensive cellar list. Perhaps the best I've seen outside of De Kulminator in Antwerpen. We also appreciated that De Heeren only offered cellared beers they'd cellared themselves. You never know where the beer has been when you buy it from a third party.
De Heeren serves the best sandwich in Belgium. This creation has won an award on several occasions I think, so Doopie and I were quick to order. It was a really interesting idea. A longer piece of bread was split into three compartments: tuna and pesto, ham and cheese, and salmon and mayonaise. Jessie instructed us to eat it from right to left, so we'd go through the three stages of culinary delight in the right order. I can't say whether or not it's the best sandwich in Belgium, but it was certainly delicious and very original. I may have to make up a copy of my own.
Price is right here, for both the food and beers, and the atmosphere and service is first class. Definitely worth a stop if you're in Belgium, and I hope to get back again sometime for a second round. Maybe I'll get my game on and dominate that playground in the back next time too.
03-09-2011 16:38:02 | More by Jeffo
4.78/5 rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
One of those legendary places. Stopped in for lunch together with Jeffo March 5 2011.
Located on a very normal street. Was able to park right in front of the door. We were welcomed right away by Jessie who offered us a menu, beer list and vintage beer list in English.
Recently de Heeren was all over the news in Belgium becuase they serve the best sandwich in Belgium. Guess what we had?
Before the sanwich we were offered a rather fancy appetizer. The sandwich it self was awesome. Had to eat it from left to right. I found on my sandwich Tuna with pesto and olives, next to that Smoked hame with melted Camenbert and next to that Salmon with a mayonaise of goose liver. Don't know if it was the best sandwich in Belgium because I haven't had them all but this was pretty good.
Since I was driving I couldn't drink. Jeffo picked a 10 year old Rochefort 10. Served with the dust on the bottle and poured by Jessie who was kind enough to smell if the beer before bringing it to the table. She was clearly passionate about the beers they serve and took pride in the quality of their products and beers.
Oh yeah, they also sell th J&J blauw, Crianze Helena and Roos to take away. There is a bottle limit and a good price tag on these bottles.
Overall a great place to stop. Food was excellent and the beer selection is amazing. Staff is friendly and seem to enjoy running this great restaurant. Wherever you are in Belgium this place well worth the detour. If you are into sour beers this is your Mecca.
03-06-2011 07:52:18 | More by doopiedoopiedoo
De Heeren van Liedekercke in Denderleeuw, Belgium
98 out of 100 based on 24 ratings.