Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Brasserie Cantillon

Place Score:
Brasserie CantillonBrasserie Cantillon

Type: Brewery, Bar

Rue Gheude 56
Brussels, 1070

+32 25 21 49 28 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

View: Beers | Place Ratings | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 249
Photo of moose1980
4.93/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

I mean, I guess I gave a 4.75 on selection because take-away bottles for sale vary day-to-day without really much way of knowing prior, and if you build a complete overseas vacation around this type of visit - as I assume at least some people might - then you may be disappointed in bringing back 'souvenirs.' However, this is more than made up by the drink-in list and the fact that you are able to find Cantillon at certain bottleshops throughout the region. Plus, what other brewery is considered a 'living museum'? Great, friendly service and if you are lucking enough to be there on a brewing day, the aroma throughout the brewery is worth the price of admission alone. And definitely do the tour.

 702 characters

Photo of AdamTebbs
4.45/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 3

Really fun self guided tour, staff was very friendly and was very generous with the tasting pours. Didn't have a lot to choose from to take home but this is a very worthwhile visit if you are in Brussels.

 204 characters

Photo of Spoda1983
5/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Stepping into Cantillon is like stepping back into history. The clean, freshly painted doors offer no hint to what lies inside, both for sight ans smell. Upon entering you are greeting with old worn concrete floors and things looks a bit dusty (and it is meant to be this way). Not like the modern sterile, well lit breweries we are used to. The smell is Cantillon. If you have ever opened a bottle you will recognize it immediately. the barnyard funk, musty, fruity, smells mixed with steeping malts. For a few Euro, you can get a guided tour through the brewery where you will see very old belt driven copper brewing equipment spanning 3 floors as well as the coolship room and a room of barrels aging beer and at the end you get 2 samples in the tasting room. Typically the on-site drinking list is quite good but it is the people who own and work at Cantillon that make the special difference. It is not that they don't take pride in their product (They do!!!), it is their attitude about it. They are extremely approachable and nice people. I have been lucky enough to have them share some young brews from the barrel or special brews or small batch brews with me. Go, spend some time there, soak up the unique ambiance, chat with the employees, you will not be sorry.

 1,273 characters

Photo of esktime
5/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

We got there March 7th, after the Public brewing session the past Saturday and they had every thing except Fou Fonne & LPK for public sale. Jean and his family were amazing and very friendly during our frequent visits

 217 characters

Photo of Jow
4.71/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

To be honest it is not the most fancy place to be. They did not invest in decorations, just brown chairs in a brown environment.

Buuut the beers are awesome!!! You can taste all the cantillons, super!

 201 characters

Photo of amano_h
5/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

All of the reviews before mine have probably enumerated everything and anything you need to know about Cantillon in florid detail, so here's a short list of DOs and DON'Ts while at Brasserie Cantillon.

1. Take the tour. The unique beers at Brasserie Cantillon can only be replicated in the unique terroir/environment within the confines of the brewery. The tour itself will reveal all the magic behind spontaneous fermentation and you will leave the place feeling like a beer scientist if you paid attention during the "introduction" given at the brewery shop by the door, and if you actually took the time to read through the booklet that they provide you as part of the tour.

2. Try as much beers in-house as possible. People from certain online communities have the tendency to just drop into the brewery shop, buy the bottles, and pop smoke. All the beers served at Cantillon are served at the perfect cellar temperature in the manner it's meant to be enjoyed. I'm sure you're excited about the prospect of trading for rare beers, but don't miss out on the opportunity to try some beers you won't find anywhere else on the planet.

3. Say hello to Jean when you see him. Jean's always busy keeping the family tradition afloat, but he's one of the most approachable brewers I've ever met who loves to talk about beer and appreciates any feedback people are willing to offer him about his family tradition. I'm not saying you should walk over while he's busy bottling or brewing during the public brewing sessions, but if you see him walking about the brewery, do take the time to say hello, introduce yourself and give him some of your thoughts about the brewery and his beers. Trust me, you won't regret it.

1. Be one of those guys that do beer trades while at the Brewery. Seriously, this might be "okay" back in the States, but this is considered quite disrespectful, and almost borderline offensive in Belgium. God save your soul if you lack so much common sense that you actually open some other brewery's beer while at Cantillon. You're a big part of the reason why beer geeks get a bad rep.

2. Go nuts and order three-four bottles by yourself when it's obvious that you can't finish them. Pretty self-explanatory both for financial and utilitarian reasons (think of the poor beer geeks that would give you their left nut to drink the beer you just wasted!) There also seems to be this odd notion going around that you'll always be able to find someone to share your beer with while at Cantillon -- this does not quite apply if you go in the morning around when the brewery is open; I went to Cantillon five times during the seven days I've been in Belgium and I only did a "beer share" with a fellow enthusiast on the last day I was there.

3. Neglect some of the tried and true offerings in lieu of tasting whales. Yeah Fou'Foune is pretty amazing and most people would give their first born for some LPG/LPF/LPK, but some of Cantillon's more standard offerings taste amazingly different fresh out of the brewery. The most surprising instance of this was Rose de Gambrinus which was so much more tart and fruitier than I remembered out of the bottle -- for some odd reason the regular Geuze also made my mouth pucker a lot more than I remembered with past instances.

For those of you on the fence about visiting Cantillon -- it's a trip you probably won't forget, and the brewery is literally a 12 minute walk from Gare du Midi. If you're not in the Grand Place area it probably means you probably don't have anything else better to do, so why not pop in for a quick look at what 100+ years of brewing tradition looks like?

 3,648 characters

Photo of Nachojon
5/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

For beer lovers, this is it. It is the epicenter. Once you go Cantillon, as a drinker, as a visitor, you never go back. Great selection that you won't find ANYWHERE ELSE, EVER!!!

 178 characters

Photo of KaeF
4.72/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Nice brewery to visit. You can get a self-guided tour and see all the equipment and barrels for yourself. The people are very friendly and Jean comes by now and then to talk to people, really friendly guy. The beers that are for on-site consumption are amazing and the overall vibe is just awesome. A lot of different nationalities with the same passion is a formula for a good day of tasting and telling stories.

 413 characters

Photo of Stakebone
5/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Does not get any more old school than this. But what seem at first glance to be crude techniques conjure the best of what can be produced with barley juice. I read that warming temperatures are impacting production and viability of this absolute gem. I'm glad I made it there and that we Americans are following natural fermentation techniques really well these days, but not having this truly unique place would be a huge loss.

 431 characters

Photo of MatthewWalters
4.63/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

First of all, the area in which Cantillon is situated is not horrible, but not great either. I felt uncomfortable walking around the area at night, alone, but during the day I was aware, but not wary. On the interior, it's a working brewery with a small bar and a fair sitting area. I went on the Public Brewing Session day and it was awesome. Tons of visitors from all around the world and I feel that they hosted the demand well. They had a ton of staff helping out. The tour was awesome, and our guide (I forget his name, young and short) was incredibly willing to take questions and make sure everyone heard what he was saying, even with loud equipment running around us. The selection is obviously hit or miss, and I would recommend that anyone curious check out the thread titled 'For Sale at Cantillon'. Overall, I'd love to go back, but am happy to check it off the list as I don't see myself going back to Brussels anytime soon.

 937 characters

Photo of Domingo
4.51/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

One of those places every beer geek should try to visit at least once in their lifetime.
Even if you don’t care for the lambic style of beer, it’s worth the visit just to see the process and to get a feel for how they make it happen.
Anyway, Cantillon is located in a warehouse nestled in the Anderlecht area of Brussels. It isn’t the fanciest neighborhood in town, but it’s an easy 15-minute walk from the Grand Place area.
When you walk in, you’ll notice a bar and tasting room as well as an area selling souvenirs and bottles. Usually when you enter, someone will ask you if you would like a tour. It’s 7 Euros and is a mostly self-guided tour, although it’s about as hands-on as it gets. They allow you to freely roam nearly the entire building as long as you don’t disturb anything. The tour includes 3 pours of lambic beers you’d struggle to find anywhere else. One of which is an unblended cask lambic. You can choose from 5-6 options for the next two. It’s a hell of a deal and they encourage everyone to do it.
In addition to the tour pours, you can also order pours or even bottles of roughly a dozen different beers. Prices vary a little, but all of them are a complete steal compared to what these beers sell for elsewhere.
Have questions? The Van Roy family are readily available and run the entire tasting room/tour operation in addition to brewing and bottling.
Want bottles to bring home? They typically sell a half dozen different bottles to go and have discounted 3-packs of their flagship kriek/fromboise/gueuze bottles. They’ll even package them for shipping if you need.

There are very few places that live up to my (fairly lofty) expectations, and Cantillon is most definitely one of them.

 1,734 characters

Photo of KATCanada
4.52/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Oh look another glowing Cantillon review. Took the train in from London for the night. If you are into this you can grab the tube, stay right near Gare du Midi - my hotel was 5 min from train and then 5 min walk to Cantillon and 10 minutes to Moerder Lambic so an awesome setup.
Anyway if you love craftsmanship you will love this place. Just seeing the "way it was is amazing". Seeing the cooling tank and learning it is all copper that is rivited - no welds! Fantastic.
Do the tour.
I had heard '15 Fou might be released the day before I got there so was a bit disappointed when it was not available - except unlabled for consumption in house, which to be honest was probably even better. In addition to Fou they had several heavies - Vig, LPF, Zwanze 12 plus a couple of others. I was shocked at all the North Americans in there - English was dominant language but I joined a couple and we were joined by another dude and then 2 more - what I am saying is you will have plenty of sharing partners so you will get to try a bunch of great stuff without getting carried out. Nice mix of hardcore beer geeks and general tourgroups - these are usually in and out fast.
Staff are happy to answer questions and of course know a lot more than you do.
Basics were in stock for takeaway as well as Iris, St. Gilloise, Rose De adn reg Lambic and Gueuze but from my understanding the LP's and rare stuff is generally not available for take away except during specific release times.
Thanks to Mrs. Jean (I think) and the crowd for a fun time.

 1,533 characters

Photo of jonesry09
4.45/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I was super stoked just to get a chance to go to Cantillon. I visited there while on a beer tour that I found online. The tour was awesome. We toured the Cantillon brewery/museum which was really cool to see. They have everything out in the open and hide nothing.

The selection wasn't great but that had more to do with the time of the year (end of August) than anything. It was pretty crowded in there and I could tell the guys at the bar were a little annoyed but still mostly helpful.

I will be going back very soon!

 526 characters

Photo of JeffTheJuice
5/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Visited 25 Aug 2015: Never did I think I would be able to visit this living beer museum. Thankfully I have the most amazing girlfriend (now fiancee!) who planned a surprise trip to Belgium for the two of us. As a beer geek, this was number one on my beer bucket list and it did not disappoint. for 7 euros you get to walk around the brewery by yourself, guided by an informative booklet that you get to keep. At the end of the tour you get to drink Cantillon lambic! The on-site beers available were unreal and the gift shop was great. 16 Euros for 3 750s?!?! I could not believe it.

A must do for any hardcore beer geek!

 625 characters

Photo of innominat
4.4/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

This feels like being in a museum but in a good way. Iv done the tour twice and I highly recommend it. I have visited many more times to just sit in tasting area and drink the sometimes rare beers on offer. Including a Zwanze 2008 amongst others. Highly recommended. I would make this my number 1 visit on a trip to Brussels.

 325 characters

Photo of Biggiekrock627
3.98/5  rDev -14.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

Part Brewery / Part Museum of Geuze. If you are a fan of lambic or sour beers than this is your place to go while in brussels. It was fascinating to see how Lambic is made, have the opportunity to taste a couple basic options. On the day I was there they were out of nearly half the options for single pours. If you want to try a variety plan for multiple days or bring a group as the bulk comes in 750ml bottles.

 413 characters

Photo of d3brewing
4.79/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

The mecca for spontaneous fermentation and sours lives up to the hype. The tour was incredible and it was really interesting that they give you a 5 minute talk and then let you run around the bruery by yourself with a booklet for a self guided tour. You would never be allowed to do this in the US. Onsite sampling was great but the to go bottles were a little dissapointing. We got to try an 18 month lambic and it was really interesting to compare that to the geueze. They had a soft cheeze for sale that was aged in geueze and it was delicious, if it's available while your there you have to buy it.

 602 characters

Photo of tduecen
5/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

14 Euro a bottle... sign me up...
Pay 7 Euro and you do your own tour and it comes with 2 samples you can have. After that you can buy certain Cantillon products by the bottle or the glass. Did a Zwanze vertical while I was visiting and it was worth it.

 253 characters

Photo of Gemmell
5/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Beer history. I didn't appreciate sours or wild ales until I came here. Staff is incredibly friendly, the beer is great, and the place itself is historic. I would recommend to anyone going to Brussels not to leave without visiting Cantillon.

 241 characters

Photo of sjccmd
4.86/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

There is a lot of hype about Cantillon. I do enjoy pretty much everything I've had from them, but there are other lambic producers/blenders that I feel don't get as much attention that deserve more. That being said, this is a place where you can come in alone and leave with good friends from all over the world. It's hard to say many other places are like this.

The service is generally nice though I feel like they can sometimes be a little short with people who seem like they're only interested in the rarest of the rare. Can't blame them. Jean Van Roy is perfectly willing to chat with people if he isn't too busy.

When I was there, the selection for on-premise drinking was incredible, but for take-away was quite minimal. Wasn't too disappointed though.

 762 characters

Photo of SFCraft
5/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

A mecca of lambic, gueuze, spontaneous fermentation and all things sour. Brasserie Cantillon hands down has been one of the best, if not THE best brewery I've had the pleasure of visiting.

The brewery itself is located in Anderlecht, a some 20 minutes walk from the main Brussels tourist plaza The Grand Place. Upon entering the dimly lit brewery, you are immediately greeted with an incredible aroma of vinegar and funk... just enough to not only make your nosehairs tingle but also have you grinning from ear to ear.

We were first asked if we would like to order at the bar and sit or take the tour. It is 7€ per person for a self guided tour which starts off with a nice personal introduction about the lineage, lambic & brewing process. You are also given 2 pours at the very end for you to soak everything in.

Photos and all kinds of memorabilia line the shelves and walls, providing a great atmosphere with plenty of seats and tables to accommodate groups. I had the pleasure of meeting a handful of great people visiting from all over the world as well as Jean himself who was manning the bar, pouring and providing explanations of each beer they had.

The service was great, the selection that day was AMAZING! It was just too bad that the bottles for takeaway at the time were very limited.

All in all, Brasserie Cantillon is a must visit for any beer lover.

 1,373 characters

Photo of snaotheus
4.59/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5


This will go down as the best brewery / bar experience in my life to date. We bumped into two other American couples (one baby altogether), a pair of dudes from Michigan, and one extra guy from Chicago area, and we bought and shared eleven different Cantillon beers.

Cantillon was my #1 stop for this trip. The tour is interesting, it's a surprisingly small location. I like the self-guided but textually narrated tour. Very nice. I wish they had been brewing when we visited.

Obviously there is no food. But, they're Cantillon. The selection of Cantillon beers can't be beat. And their beer is great.

Service is good enough. Servers are also tellers are also tour prompters are also interpreters are also whatever other roles need to be filled.

This place is niche. The people who go there did not bumble in, and they are not there to get hammered. They're there because they love beer. This makes for a fabulous vibe. This was a great stop for me, and I will recommend it to anyone (that I think can handle sour beers).

 1,037 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4.39/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

So this is it...the heart of lambic-dom on earth. Even I--not a total Cantillon fanboy like many people--was highly impressed here. I sort of just sat down, soaked it all in, and thought, "this is why I'm here." There are two service stations, one for buying drinks (bottles for consumption on site, or pitcher pours), and one for merch and whatever take-home bottles are available. To the side is a medium-sized seating area, with a few booths and barrel tables. When I visited, it was pretty laid-back, maybe 20 people came in and out in the 2-3 hours I was there, and a few larger tour groups. Great to see that as popular as Cantillon is worldwide at this point, their home base is still relatively casual and quiet.

The service is basically just hoping someone is at the counter when you need them. Selection...I'd have to go with "awesome," considering what was available. This changes quite often I'm sure, but when I was there, it was tremendous.

I didn't do the actual tour, but from the seating area, you can see the bottling process, and with a quick jaunt to the restroom, and you'll see the thousands upon thousands of aging bottles stacked up stoically in the halls.

Overall a great experience, and well worth multiple visits.

 1,243 characters

Photo of captaincoffee
4.36/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

How do you rate a place like Cantillon? If this is your kind of beer, then this is the place to go...period.
Service? They seem to have too many people nowadays to really want to talk to you any more.
Vibe? Pretty cool until a bus of tourists shows up.
Quality? Do you have to ask? It's freaking awesome.
Selection? Nothing but the standard stuff when I was there. Everything else was gone.
Truly a can't miss stop if you are in Brussels.

 449 characters

Photo of LittleDon
4.93/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

A must for anyone who cares about beer, regardless of whether you like the style or not. The smells alone are worth the 7€ self guided tour fee. I was astonished at how inexpensive the bottles to go were. Friendly and passionate staff. My only disappointment was that I wasn't there on a Tuesday or Thursday, when they're brewing.

 332 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Brasserie Cantillon in Brussels, Belgium
100 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.