Ratings: 63 | Reviews: 60 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by belgianjunkie:
4.6/5 rDev +6.5%
quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
De Bier Tempel is THE place in downtown Brussels for beer paraphernalia. Only one block away from Grote Markt (Grand Place) on Marche-aux-Herbes, but unfortunately for the pricing it's on one of the more touristy streets, so prices are higher than usual for some of their selection. The trick is to be selective in your purchases, buying only the paraphernalia and beers you can't find in local markets, bars, or night shops to get the most for your buck.
It's the ideal place for a beer paraphernalia collector like myself to get those harder-to-find goblets, beer mats, etc. Want some Leffe Brune and a goblet? Go to a local GB (Belgian supermarket) to get a six-pack and goblet for a fraction of what Bier Tempel sells them for. BUT... you want the Trappist Westvleteren gift box with goblet, or a Delirium beer towel, or a Lindeman's Renee Cuvee mirror-style display plate (all three of which I bought there on my last trip)? THIS is the place to go. I'm guessing they have more than one hundred different beer mats and goblets/glasses/mugs that you can't find collected all in one place elsewhere. Magnum bottles, t-shirts, posters, magnets, etc. Tough-to-find beers like Faro, Cantillion Lou Pepe, Caves, Das, all Trappists including every Westvleteren variation (which are notoriously hard to get in Belgium alone, nevermind worldwide), and so many other fine but rarely-seen beers that your eyes boggle trying to take it all in. I'm having trouble just picking others to name under the weight of everything they carry, so suffice it to say that if it's Belgian and you want it, there's a 90% chance it's there. But again, you do have to pay for this centralized (and touristy) convenience.
It might surprise you, after reading about their massive selection, to hear it's a small place- basically a wide hallway with a circular path at the end around display stands. But they pack every inch of the place with stuff they're selling. It's the kind of place that a 30-something who was a hyper kid gets a bit nervous walking into. Just don't make any sudden moves and if possible, don't carry any backpacks or large bags through the place to be safe. It's further cramped by all the people coming in and out. I've never been in there alone- there've been from two to maybe fifteen other customers in there every time I visited, and more are English-speaking tourists (like me) than not.
This is a major contribution to the five points I gave to their service: they speak almost every major language. If you don't speak Flemish or French, you don't have to sweat it. And they're not at all shy about sizing you up as an American (as Belgians are good at doing) and greeting you with an I-know-English-so-don't-worry "Hello". Obviously they're also fluent in Flemish and French, and I've also heard at least one of them speak Spanish and Italian when necessary. They're forthcoming if you're looking for help with the goblets (most of which are behind the counter), and happy to offer suggestions to novices looking for beer suggestions, but not pushy.
Continuing with service, they've carefully wrapped every single goblet/glass I've ever purchased there in bubble-wrap to ensure no breakage. I've packed them (very securely) in my luggage as Bier Tempel had wrapped them for the long trip back to the states and none have broken so far. They also "wrap" individual beer bottles in a flexible styrofoam-like mesh if you have more than one in the same bag for protection as well.
I gave them four points for quality mainly because the first Rene Cuvee display plate I selected was pretty scratched up and I had to search for another. I've also had them put back more than one goblet they handed me for minor chips or scratched paint. But this is par for the course in a store that sells so many glass items. And other items, like some of their magnets or t-shirts that you can get in most tourist shops in Brussels aren't high quality to begin with.
All in all, the Bier Tempel is a little pricey, but the best one-stop-shop I know of in downtown Brussels for all of the beer-stuffs you need and plenty of others you DIDN'T know you needed 'til you saw them. If you're in Belgium for weeks, shop around first and hit Bier Tempel at the end for your couldn't-find-it-elsewhere cleanup purchases. If you're only in Belgium for a day or four, go there for a quick and convenient splurge. Bonus: They're the only business I know of that give out a beer mat as their business card. Pick one up for free while making your purchase (though I won't actually put a beer bottle on mine)...
08-12-2005 14:32:16 | More by belgianjunkie
More User Reviews:
4.35/5 rDev +0.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | $$
Was there the first week of July 2013, and they had a wonderful selection. Stopped by at least three times during the week. Service depended on who was working that day.
I stayed at the Amigo hotel so it was an easy walk. Among all the beers I bought to sample or bring home I was able to buy 8 of each westvleteren - blond, 8, 12. Brought half of it all home to the states. They were out of the westies by the third of July.
08-05-2013 01:33:29 | More by seyton
4.41/5 rDev +2.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | $$
It's in the touristy part of Brussels, so expect everything that comes with that (or at least part of it).
Not a huge store, but they have a wide variety of and glassware. They were well stocked on all three of the Westies when I went there (priced at 12, 9, and 8 eruro) and had relatively good prices on a other Belgian beer (Chimay Grande Reserve 75 cl for 7.50 euro). All the glassware you'd expect.
I stayed away from her because it looked incredibly touristy, especially being as close to the Grand Platz as it is. However, it was actually cheaper than or equivalent to the local beer (au-Nom-de-la-Bière) store I visited with my friend who lives in Belgium . The guy at the counter was polite and gave me a few extra bottles protectors when I asked, but he was mainly too busy with all the tourists gawking at all the "foreign beer" to be of much help. Can't fault him, though, and if you know what you're looking for you will find it.
If you're in Brussels and you read reviews on beeradvocate like you clearly are, you owe it to yourself to go. You'll feel a little dirty, perhaps, but in the end it's worth it. Shop around, though. You can find all the Rocheforts and a number of other good beers for less at a local grocery store like Delhaize a couple blocks away.
The more I think about my visit here, the more I'm associating it with a high-priced call girl. You get what you want, it's fantastic, but at the end of the day, you feel a little icky.
06-06-2013 18:29:38 | More by Dreizhen
4.35/5 rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | $$
Another conveniently located beer store in Brussels, the Bier Tempel is arguably one of the best ones in downtown. Through its windown from the street you can see beer bottles, gift packs, fun glassware, and beer signs, setting the tone for the store. Needless to say, there'sa lot of beer bottles in the store, mostly of Belgian origin. The shelves are organized by style of beer and corresponding pricetags to given to each variety of beer sold. With the exception of one fridge which houses cold beers, the inventory sits at room temperature. Lots of glassware is for sale too. At checkout, my bottles were wrapped seperately for my journey home, which shows that De Bier Tempel understands the harsh travel that bottles must go through before reaching home a continent away. Definately worth checkout out if you're looking to buy bottles.
05-24-2013 19:03:24 | More by DoubleJ
4.23/5 rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | $$
I've been to Brussels several times on business and have visited this shop every time because of its convenient location near the Grand Place and other tourist destinations. The shop has expanded since my last visit and now seems to have grown to include twice the floor space. Despite this, it was fairly crowded when I visited on a Monday afternoon. The aisles are pretty narrow if more than one person is browsing in a given area, but that was done to squeeze in a bigger beer selection, so I can't complain too much. The shop is well lit, modern and clean.
The selection is pretty good. I'd estimate it has several hundred types, but most are fairly common in Belgium. It's not the place for truly rare or special edition beers. Still, with a little browsing a Belgian beer lover like me can easily find a few things to make them happy. I have seen Westvleteren 8 and 12 in stock, but they go fast. I once passed over the 12 because I had a lot of walking to do that day. When I came back to buy it, it was sold out--buy it if you see it! Their selection of beer glassware is truly impressive and they also have a few gift packs, gift baskets, etc.
The prices are average for Brussels, which is to say a little on the expensive side, but not if you consider the location and cost-of-living for the center of a major European city like that. When you consider how rare it is outside of Belgium to find a bottle selection like this, you won't mind the prices.
The staff is pretty helpful, especially after they realize you are not an average beer-clueless American tourist. They wrap the bottles and glassware very well for carrying or traveling. They can be a little overwhelmed by the numbers of customers at some times.
Overall, I'm happy with this shop. The location is great. The beer selection is very good even for Belgium and the prices are average. The staff is good and overall the experience is very good.
01-27-2013 22:33:21 | More by Radome
2.39/5 rDev -44.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 1.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | $$$$
The real tourist grabs. Nothing more, nothing less. So yes, there is the choice, be it beer (Belgium only if I do not talk nonsense) or goodies but beyond that, wow, as overly expensive. The last time I go, I found a set of 4 with glass Orval ad hoc proposed more than 30 euros. So you can find it in a simple Delhaize and Carrefour for less than 10 euros. It's just outrageous marketing.
Okay, when you're a Japanese tourist or even a Yankee redneck on vacation in Belgium and want a souvenir of Brussels, with Marcolini chocolates or Newhaus, why not after all. But if you're some kind of geek, so forget this scam on legs and proceed to a random store, you will have a choice may not be as great but still a result and especially you will have decent prices.
In addition, in many cases, the beers lying around in this shop are rarely updated and often they get that beer with outdated expiration dates are still sold. After all, stupid tourists will not see it. In short, all that to say that the Bier Tempel is clearly a catch-jerk for foreign tourists. In short, you will not see a belgian fan of beers to put his feets.
10-04-2011 10:45:43 | More by ThaCreep
3.86/5 rDev -10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Went there yesterday for my third time. Picked up all three westies (8,9 and 11 euros each), a Cantillion, a 3 brouwerig fonteinen Oude Geuze, as well as a Saison 1900. They have several hundred beers, but after my third time being there, the selection hasn't really changed and they're lacking many things I'm looking for. They do have tons of beers from breweries I've never heard of. Prices are pretty good, especially for the location, but for the common trappists, a grocery store would be about half these prices. Lots of gimmicky large bottles with ridiculous prices as sold everywhere in Belgium. Glassware, gift packs, Delirium Tremens stuffed pink elephants... They also have these foam protectors for the bottles that you sometimes see on apples for all the beers you buy. Staff is generally friendly.
08-23-2011 18:34:47 | More by sfprint
De Biertempel in Brussels, Belgium
95 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.