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Au Bon Vieux Temps

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BA SCORE
89
very good

28 Ratings
Ratings: 28
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar ]

Impasse Saint-Nicolas 4
Brussels, 1000
Belgium
phone: +32 2 217 26 26

view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
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(Place added by: TheLongBeachBum)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%

Right next door to one of Brussels hidden gems, the ‘A L'Imaige Nostre Dame’, is yet another – the ‘Au Bon Vieux Temps’. Very much like its neighbor, but with a slightly smaller beer list, nevertheless, it is still worth popping in here for a beer.

The alleyway is called ‘Impasse St.Nicholas’, and this too is also accessed from Rue Marché aux Herbes. A short 3 min. walk from the Grand Place, but just a 30 second stumble from, L'Imaige Nostre Dame.

Another genuine Old Brussels Café, dating from the 17th Century I believe. Once in the alleyway, windows covered in old-style ornate steel grids make you feel a little uneasy, but they are there to protect the ancient windows, rather than prevent Burglars. The entrance, itself an archway made from brick & stone, is to the right of a larger main stone archway. On a night-time, this area is lit by some fairy-lights which give it a rather Xmasy feel.

Once inside, it is dingy to say the least, and strong deep medieval wooden odors invade your nostrils. This Café has an incredible dark timber interior that has many exquisite wooden carvings. It is quite compact and only accommodates a few small groups before it gets full.

The beer range is around 30, and it has many solid Belgium classics worth trying. It is another one of those places that is worth visiting to absorb the real Bruxellois Café, as it used to be. A genuine interior makes up for the rather pedestrian beer list – but nonetheless, you will find a handful of Belgium Classic Ales that are worthy of at least an hour, or two, in here.

Whilst I would be the first to admit that you could miss this one out if you were really pushed for time, on a tight schedule and/or craving ‘rare’ beers; but it would be a desperate shame if you missed this Café. It would especially be a shame if you are already visiting the nearby and excellent La Bécasse for it’s Lambic Doux, and then the L'Imaige Nostre Dame, which is literally next door, for the unique Bourgogne des Flandres. If you do, then you should allow yourself the reward of re-acquainting yourself with one, or two, of the Belgium Classic Ales that you have no doubt had before, but in a high quality, genuine 17th Century Brussels Café atmosphere.

Last Visit: 30th Nov. 2003

TheLongBeachBum, Jun 22, 2003
Photo of cmrillo
4/5  rDev +1.8%

cmrillo, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of AdamNowek
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

AdamNowek, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of dwagner003
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

dwagner003, Jul 14, 2014
Photo of FRANKtheMACHINE
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%

Just got back from brussels last night. While this wasn't my favorite place (check port noir on a night with music) we did get some cool local info from a pensioner who is a friend of a friend. The stained glass to the right of the bar is huge and depicts Saint Michael slaying satan who is in the image of a dragon. On his left is a female saint - Saint Gudula. Apparently the locals insisted she be sainted back in the day. Church by same name is also nearby. As others have mentioned Westvleteren is available for 12euro. Other choices may be better but if you've never tried it you can at this bar. Happy hunting.

FRANKtheMACHINE, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of Sparky44
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Sparky44, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of jandadeboer
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

jandadeboer, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of RCane1
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%

This is a MUST. It's down an alley and looks like nothing from outside. The brick over the door says "1689" and the experience probably hasn't changed much since then. Inside is a very cool tavern with maybe a dozen or so tables. A great relaxing stop to enjoy a pint. Somehow, this place has a connection to Saint Sixtus Abbey and can keep Westvleteren on their menu! For those that don't know, the Westy monks don't produce for profit and only sell their excess - so it's a rare find! The visitors were a mixed bunch, as everywhere in Brussels, but all quietly enjoying a chat and a brew. I did the same with a Westvleteren 12. The friendly bartender poured it from a plain brown bottle (that's how it comes) and matter of factly flipped me the cap so I could see the Abbey logo. It's now a prized possession, as is the memory of this great bar.

RCane1, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of uturn
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

uturn, Jan 09, 2014
Photo of BeerTampa
2.11/5  rDev -46.3%

This place hasn't been reviewed in a while.

Judging from the prior reviews, this place has gone downhill.

This is right off the Grand Place but was billed as a non-tourist zone. We went late in the evening, probably 23:00.

It was pretty much all tourists. There was a young Belgian dude there that was getting the email address of a visibly intoxicated young American.

Beer menu consisted of a few Trappist beers. In big letters and in English: we have Westvleteren, the best beer in the WORLD. 10 euro.

I ordered it. The 60 year old Bar Mom opened it on the other side of the bar, dumped it into a glass, and served it to me. Didn't see the cap. Could have been another Trappist beer with the labeled removed from the bottle. Who knows. It was good, but judging from their advertising and the touristy nature of the bar, I question if it was really a Westy.

BeerTampa, Jun 06, 2013
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Au Bon Vieux Temps in Brussels, Belgium
89 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.