Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

Vleminckveld 32
Antwerpen, 2000

+32 3 232 45 38 | map

Notes: Known for their vast selection of cellared beers.
View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 106 | Ratings: 139 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of emerge077
emerge077 from Illinois

4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Protip: At the front door, ring the doorbell *once*, and tell Dirk you are there to "taste beer". Don't ask to "drink beer", or expect chatty conversation. Bring cash and order at the bar. It's really not as complicated as it sounds. This is basically the home of two elderly people, so take that into consideration.

This is a magical place, truly unlike any other on the planet. Surreal and potentially maddening to some, it’s best to approach in a relaxed frame of mind and just roll with it. Only on the second day we visited, on a rainy weekday, did the peaceful quiet atmosphere lend itself to a beer epiphany. This was truly the best place in the world to contemplate a really special beer. The atmosphere is on the eccentric side, and many of the beers are really old. If that doesn’t appeal, approach with an open mind or seek elsewhere. Relax and enjoy is the mantra.

A hall of wonders awaits inside the doors, past faded beer signs, teddy bears, ancient plants, dim reading room lighting, bookshelves piled with books, games, and stacks of "things". A very pleasant garden patio in back when there’s no chain smoking going on. You will meet locals and international beer travelers alike, first night we met people from Italy, Taiwan, UK, & US. I even met a guy that used to live just a few blocks away from me, oddly enough.

So many beers, so many vintages. Hard to keep them all straight, but trust the experts, as they innovated vintage beer cellaring **back in the 1970's**. Draft Oud Beersel lambics (rhubarb, oude lambiek) are a great place to start. Beyond that, there's no way to detail the sheer volume what's available here. Certainly an endless supply of vintage trappists and strong ales, plus good representation of lambic.

There *is* food available, a page of assorted snacks is buried in the beer bible, including dry sausages, cheese plates, nuts, etc.

Leen is truly an angel, cheerful and patient, also an expert in the art of beer stewardship. Dirk may be a little cranky, but i’d imagine it’s halfway a put-on to avoid chatting with insufferable beer nerds everyday. I brought them a can of Revolution Straight Jacket, which seemed to be very well received.

Mysterious wonders such as this must be experienced firsthand. I’d encourage a visit sooner than later, as next year they are further limiting their opening hours. Long live the Kulminator.

2020: Hours changed permanently to Monday - Friday, 11am - 7pm.

May 12, 2019
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

4.79/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Kulminator is so odd! Tiny and full of stuff. Dust and books and knickknacks and plants. A couple of tables for seating, barely any room at the bar. The mighty beer cellar on view behind glass and an old couple tending bar.

This is not your typical Friday-night boozing stop, but more like being invited to somebody’s living room to drink super rare beer at pretty reasonable prices. Classical music playing. She tends bar, he sits at a table.

I counted 13 drafts, including Mikkeller Black Fist, Rodenbach 2013, Buffalo Grand Cru and Bush Noel. The beer bible is too vast and deep to be analyzed here. You just have to go. But I can tell you that my curiosity was piqued by a Beer Geek Breakfast 2007 and Black Hole 2007, plus many other Mikkellers. I only wish I had more time to explore this place.

Jan 22, 2017
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9 from New Hampshire

4.67/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Well, I finally made it here! Visited during a day-trip to Antwerp, from Maastricht, on 27SEP16, meeting up with a fellow BA whose real name is Leon....

Located a bit away from the lovely downtown Market area, this place looks like a typical pub on the outside. Has a dark wood facade with some lamps and signage, though hanging above is a large sign in the ugliest green and yellow color combo imaginable with the name "Kulminator"! Enter and you'll find yourself in a cross between a small closet and a tiny attic space! It has lots of dark wood, warm incandescent lighting, lots of placards and beer signs, and dried hops hanging everywhere, all under a fine layer of dust! Haha... We sat at a small, round table just inside to the right, and just beyond us was the inimitable Dirk, sitting in his "office" doing some reading. He ambled slowly about now and then, but all the heavy lifting (and talking!) was done by his lovely wife, Leen... To the left was a small, angled bar, and beyond in the rear more small tables, eventually leading to a bright, glass-canopied, brick-lined alley-way/garden with yet more small tables. I tell you, this is one cool fucking place! The biers? Damn!! If you can't find something odd, rare and unique here, just give up! I had a few Struisse offerings, a 2005 Pannepot, and a 2009 and 2010 Cuveé Delphine.... Mmmmm!! I hear this place gets packed, and I can see why! We arrived right at opening time, so we pretty much had the run of the place. I understand it will soon shut down while Dirk has surgery. I wish him, and Leen, well and hope to be back next year...


4.67/5 rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$


Nov 19, 2016
Photo of schinebd
schinebd from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Upon entering, you find yourself in smallish bar area, overrun by old beer bottles and a hodgepodge of other beer artifacts (coasters, glasses, magazines, etc.). Walking past the bar area, the place opens up with some more tables, and further back is a covered beer garden area with even more seating. The room behind the bar area has games. I went on a Thursday around 8 PM (happened to be Belgian independence day) and stayed until midnight closing, and it was never crowded or loud.

The beer list is simply uncanny. We're talking bottles from the 1970's, rare stouts and lambics, and it appeared that everything on the menu was actually available. Prices were reasonable, though you can find an expensive listing if you want to. I had a Buffalo Grand Cru (on tap) Black Damnation II, Oerbier Special Reserva from 2002, and a St. Louis Gueze from 1999.

The place is run by a charming old couple, who are friendly to both locals and out of towners like myself. I ordered the 1999 Gueze later in the night and was asked to make another selection because the beer was in the cellar, which was closed, however a few minutes later was told they decided to go the cellar and get it for me any way.

The eccentric bar area, the garden out back, the dictionary-thick beer list, the old couple, the decor, I loved my experience here, even if I only get to go once in my lifetime.

Jul 25, 2016
Photo of amano_h
amano_h from Oregon

4.86/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I was very hesitant about visiting Kulminator as its fame and reputation far precedes it, having won accolades such as "the best place in the world to have a beer" and also known to have one of the most extensive collections of aged Belgian beers in the world. During the planning stages of my trip, a lot of the feedback I got regarding this place was that I should brace for some unparalleled (lack of) service, humongous wait times in between orders, and last minute changes to opening hours.

If you haven't guessed it already, I was lucky enough not to experience any of the negative feedback enumerated above, and instead had such a great time that I somehow got back to my room in Brussels without a train ticket and don't quite remember how I managed such a feat.

I got to Kulminator about 15 minutes after they opened at 4:15pm and the establishment was already half-full. Despite reviews saying that this place is super cramped and cozy, the interior is actually pretty spacious with seating available at the bar, behind it, and even across from it where two tables are partitioned off kind of like a small lounge; I opted to sit in the lounge area as I was planning to be comfortable for quite some time. Leen served me for the entire evening and she was very kind and patient with all of my orders. Despite some of my orders being slightly obscure--like the oldest vintage they had of Oerbier Special Reserva, for example--all my orders got out to me under five minutes, even at 9pm when the bar was completely packed, thereby debunking the "slow and bad service" portion of my expectations.

Whereas different groups of people did join me at my table for most of the night, most of them were locals popping in for a drink or two and all minded their own businesses unlike what people say about strange encounters here, but that suited me just fine for my purposes; I wanted to try some Belgian gems that aren't available anywhere on the planet, and I'm glad to say I was able to achieve said feat.

I don't think I have to describe the atmosphere as it's been done in such vivid detail in so many of the other reviews (grandparents' house, etc.) but be sure to grab a bite to eat prior to visiting this place and not make the mistake of thinking drunk you will be sober enough to find something to eat after leaving this amazing Cafe; food options are limited if not non-existent, and Leen is busy enough as is keeping everyone happy.

And yes, Dirk will stare you down if you do anything out of the ordinary like take pictures of the establishment, but he means well... I think.

Feb 24, 2016
Photo of NizzleEGizzle
NizzleEGizzle from New York

4.69/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

This place is a beer monastery. It's dusty and outdated décor only adds to its charm. It's a quiet atmosphere, almost reverent, with proprietors who are knowledgeable fonts of beer lore, if not always forthcoming with help. And the beer list is probably the best in the world. At least in terms of rare, aged, stuff. Worth traveling to.

Jan 12, 2016
Photo of jtladner
jtladner from District of Columbia

3.94/5  rDev -14.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

This is an interesting bar that is worth a visit if you are in the area. It's a very small place and when I was there one large table was covered completely in random stacks of books and papers. It's run by an older couple. From what I could tell the woman takes the orders and serves the beer while the man disgruntledly fetches bottles from the cellar. We couldn't actually understand what he was saying to the woman, but he never seemed very happy when she asked him to grab a beer. And from what I've heard, he has a bad knee and so some days he completely refuses to go down in the cellar.

The bottle list is definitely pretty impressive, but it really depends on what you are looking for. They have a ton of vintages for a lot of belgian beers, but not much when it comes to lambics. And I didn't see any Westy on the list when I was there either.

Like I said, worth checking out if you are in the area, but not worth the trip to Antwerp just for this.

Sep 06, 2015
Photo of Ryanthebear
Ryanthebear from Massachusetts

4.76/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

The general vibe of this place might best be described as a small-ish hole in the wall beer hoarder's den that happens to have the most mind-blowing selection of Belgian beer you will ever lay eyes on. Among the beer paraphernalia, random stacks of books, dried plants, and scattered tables, the elderly couple who own the place serve up beer selections you probably didn't know you could ever experience. I found the atmosphere charming, so I gave it a great score for vibe. The selection is a two-inch-thick tome of fresh and cellared beer. The only downside is that there are, as far as I can tell, only two people working there. So, if it is crowded, you might wait awhile for a beer.

I enjoyed a side-by-side comparison of a 2005 Chimay and 2015 Chimay. I couldn't help but grin as the dusty 2005 bottle was nonchalantly brought out to me as if it wasn't the second or third craziest thing I had ever seen. It was definitely an interesting experience and well worth the 10 euros spent on the two beers combined. I would have loved to have been able to see the beer cellar there. It must be an incredible place.

Aug 21, 2015
WOLFGANG from South Carolina

4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

February 21, 2008
Minimal draught selection. Traded Dyrk a local American beer for vintage draught beer. Very impressive cellar selection. Best beer tried was a 2001 vintage bottle of Westvleteren XII (Perfection).

Apr 18, 2015
Photo of WynnO
WynnO from Florida

5/5  rDev +8.5%

Very small place. Two dozen seats maybe. Difficult to find a spot. Service is slow. Off the beaten path from downtown Antwerp.

Having said that, it's one of the most awesome places I have visited, and I'll wager it's as good as any place on the planet. This is an old world adventure, and I advise setting aside two hours to soak it in---three would be better. Relax, browse the menu of unbelievable selections (several hundred), and consider the privilege of existence---drinking a 5, 10, or 15 year old beverage in one of the ancient cities of Europe.

I so hope to return to this place someday.

Sep 30, 2014
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy from Florida

4.39/5  rDev -4.8%

Stopped in my first night in Antwerp and this was not what I was expecting. I was thinking this would be like Falling Rock in Denver. Think the exact opposite of that. Tiny little place with shit piled everywhere, even on what would otherwise be seating for customers. Empty bottles all over the place, some semi-outside seating, a bit dirty. Charming I guess you would say. Cats running around all over. Beer list is huge, with a window into the cooler/cellar which was fun. Had a 2005 Stille Nacht Special Reserva so can’t complain. Service was fine with an older lady taking care of us. Prices were decent for smaller bottles, but jacked up for big ones. Overall seems like a must stop for any beer geek in Antwerp.

Sep 02, 2014
Photo of BradMacMullin
BradMacMullin from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Was here a few years back, but absolutely so unique. Not impressive on the outside and a bit out of the way in Antwerp, but when you get in they hit you with a beer listing that is hard to comprehend. I ordered some cellar bottles that were hard to find....I had very old Trappist Ale. So unique....if you love beer you absolutely have to go here

Jun 05, 2014
Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
doopiedoopiedoo from Netherlands

4.2/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

This is not an average beer bar, this is an experience.
Cluttered, dodgy and dirty. I liked it a lot.

Didn't try the vintage beers but stuck with some aweome beers (like Mikkeller Black) they had on tap.

Service is different. Not bad or anything but different as others have explained here as well.

When in Antwerp you just got to go here just because it is what it is.

Apr 14, 2014
Photo of GJ40
GJ40 from North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -20.2%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

I went here with high expectations but I was pretty disappointed. I started with the bottle list but didn't find anything I had to have that I felt was worth the money. I then moved to the tap list and didn't really recognize anything. So I picked two for a friend and I to split. They were pretty bad. I don't know if it was the beer themselves or their age, condition, etc. I wasn't impressed with the atmosphere but the service was very good. I just don't get what so many people see in this place.

Jan 22, 2014
Photo of spoony
spoony from Colorado

4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

A-The Kulminator is located near central Antwerp on a lesser traveled street not far from one of the city's smaller squares. The place is a bit like something out of Harry Potter; it is cramped feeling with boxes and books stacked up here and there, plants spilling over everywhere, and a slightly off-kilter feel to the whole thing. The front room is small, and while there is a back patio, it looks small, as well. The vibe seems to work, however...at least it did when we visited on a cool Wednesday afternoon soon after opening. I don't know if I would be too pleased on a hot and crowded day in July.

Q-The bottle list here is simply incredible. I'll repeat what others have already said: the bottle list has to been seen and sampled to be believed. I suppose you might disappointed if you were looking for American craft, but the list of high-quality Belgians is unreal.

Ser-Dirk (Derk?) and his wife were working when we stopped in. While both were friendly and (obviously) knowledgeable, Dirk forgot to get my Aardmonik from the cellar after I had ordered, so I sat there for ten minutes enjoying the strangeness of my surroundings and longing for my beer.

Sel-The bottle list pretty much speaks for itself. It is at least a dozen pages long. Unreal.

V-Prices were in line with other spots in Antwerpen. I didn't do an exhaustive search, but many of the vintage brews on the list that I spot-checked also seemed well-priced given the age and rarity.

O-This place is well worth the visit, and not just for the bottle list, but for the whole experience. There are not many authentic-feeling places like this on earth and since I understand that Dirk may be retiring soon, you better make your visit quickly if you want to experience the Kulminator in full glory.

May 30, 2013
Photo of FightingEntropy
FightingEntropy from Minnesota

4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

After a day with a medieval castle and a canal tour in Ghent, we headed to Antwerp to spend the night and drink at the Kulminator, a world class bar with free roam cats--perfect. Or, so we thought. Easy walk from our hotel in the historic heart of Antwerp, which was terribly confusing to drive. I would take a train next time. Entering the bar, it may be the highest density of beer I've ever seen. Taking a seat in the back patio, it was hard to decide what to drink. Just so many beers to chose from that it can be paralyzing.

So I started in familiar territory and ordered a La Trappe Quadruple. This 1995 bottle was poured hard at the table without a decant. Small bottle. Head falls flat quickly and there was only the faintest pop on the cap. Dusty, dirty bottle with a label style that I haven't seen before. Musty, oxidized cherry and port like flavors. The normal oiliness and full flavor has dissipated. Lighter bodied, as if the yeast had thinned it out. Alcohol not apparent either. Interesting but I won't let quad bottles at home go this long.

Then, so I could justify being at the Kulminator, I ordered an Evolution of Chimay bottles: 1992. 2002 and 2012. Very fun side by side tasting, including the oldest aged beer that I've ever had at a 20 year old Chimay. The young Chimay is fresh, but the better than adequate beer that I've always thought it to be. It doesn't match up La Trappe for me. The 10 year version is showing some signs of age with clear cherry and port notes from oxidation and the alcohol is apparent in the nose. The 20 year old is very flat though a small head appeared briefly on the hard pour and the oxidation of the 10 year old is in full bloom in the 20. Comparing similarly aged bottles really made the differences from the cellar clear and apparent; it pulled together years of tastings from my own cellar. On a learning level, very worth the trip. It's an extraordinary experience without having to wait for 20 years in my own cellar.

Kulminator in a fine place with an amazing list. However, I will never return during the summer, particularly to avoid the gnats lurking the plants and the uncomfortable lack of air conditioning. The bar is hot and the beer served at room temperature, which affects the aging process. Today is clearly beyond any recommended temperature for aging. I'm not sure where the bottles are coming from but it seems to be just from the shelf; the bottles are clearly room temp on sweltering day. And, no kittens for most of the stop. They made a late appearance and were not very friendly.

Returning to our hotel the Hilton Antwerp, the AC was not keeping up, so we moved to a colder room. While walking, the desk clerk said it was the hottest weekend since 1994. Talk about hitting a bad day at an open air beer bar. With a beer geek dream of a cellar, I see why it's so revered but it's not my favorite bar. I would happily prefer a day at 't Arendsnest in Amsterdam, the former Brickskeller in DC or Rattle-n-Hum in New York. Another day, another time, especially in winter, I would like to give the famous K another try.

More at http://pintsizedrevelations.blogspot.com/2013/03/kulminator-antwerp-belgium.html

May 19, 2013
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ from Wisconsin

4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Belgian businesses seem to like taking Monday off, as I failed to find several Antwerp beer bars which were open. Doubt cast into my mind about the Kulminator, as I only planned to visit the city for one day. I made it to the door, oh good, there's a crowd. Walk in, ok, where do I sit? Seating in limited to a handful of tables inside, and in back is a small area to drink and sit.There's nowhere to sit at the bar, but behind it are hundreds upon hundreds of cellared beers which are waiting to be opened from the shelf. The beer menu reflects that, as I felt like I was flipping through the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

About 8 beers are listed on-tap (Buffalo Stout, Avec Les Bons Vieux, Bush Noel, Kaastel Cuvee), but that's not the main reason to visit. Its long bottle list not only features hundreds of hundreds of different beers, but a vast majority of them have been aged for at least one year, and in some cases more than 10 years old. With such a vast collection, I chose to drink classics with some age; Round 1 featured 2005 Orval (great!), Round 2 was a still lovely 1998 Chimay Blue, and Round 3 was 2010 3 Fonteinen, poured from a traditional handbasket. All three beers were excellent, served cool, and with matching glassware. One additional bonus are the prices for the aged beer; the "fresh" beers are priced right in line, but compared to other places with a few cellared beers, the prices are excellent. My 1998 Chimay way only €9!

Unfortunately, time may not be on the Kulminator's side. According to one regular patron, Dyrk was working with a bum knee and had planned to retire within the next month. This leaves the duties to his hard working wife (who took, delivered, and poured the orders during the night), but after her there's no heir. If you're a beer lover and anywhere in Benelux, a visit to Kulminator is obligatory, even more so with its future in the air.

May 18, 2013
Photo of PaulAlvin

4.48/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 5

The place to visit if you're looking for great disappeared beers, the place isn't that big so it's hard to find a seat. Here you can find some unexpected beers from different years, real vintage beers, some beers of disappeared breweries. The way they manage all that beers in unbelievable, they poor it perfectly in your glass. The price is what you pay for such an experience.

Jan 28, 2013
Photo of eric5bellies
eric5bellies from Australia

4.95/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Fulfilled a dream coming to this Bar and wasn't dissappointed.

Dyrk and his lovely wife were so hospitable and left me with a truely memorable experience. I brought Dyrk a couple of gifts which he really appreciated.

I was lucky enough to taste the Westy Red Cap and a host of other aged Westvleterens / St Sixtus beers that were remarkable. People on here complain that the service is slow, all I saw was his wife work her butt off two nights in a row trying to do her best, If Americans go there expecting American service then don't, this is Europe so get used to it, oh and by the way we don't expect a tip.. She was so lovely and even gave us a book to keep. The two year old Belgian cheese was exquisite, as were the meats. The beer menu speaks for itself and you could get lost in it. With a St Sixtus 1979 costing 11 euro's can you really complain ? I

One thing I did notice that Dyrk and his wife aren't getting any younger, and at some point they will retire. I just hope this place is presereved as a beer museum and it lives on for all to enjoy.

Oct 05, 2012
Photo of Heretic42
Heretic42 from Texas

4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

A: Kulminator is small, and for lack of a better word, quaint. The actual bar area is filled/cluttered with beer paraphernalia and empty (usually rare) bottles, which gives it both a homey and claustrophobic feel at the same time. The tables and the small terrace in the back are great for having a beer with a few friends.

Q: Quality was excellent with a vast selection of Belgian beers.

S: Service was excellent each time I went, but it was never very packed.

S: Selection is excellent for Belgian beers, especially for cellared beers. While not the largest bottle list I've seen in Belgium, it certainly has the highest quality. They also had an good selection of Mikkeller beers. That said, don't come here expecting to see your favorite German or American beer.

F: A few cheeses, meats, and other bar snacks.

V: Oddly, a bit overpriced on some of the more common bottles while some of the more rare (or at least older) bottles were reasonable. The food was also a tad bit pricey, but not very far out of the average for Belgium.

O: A must go if you're in Antwerp, especially if you like cellared beers or are looking for a hard-to-find Belgian beer. However, if you just want a more common beer or something on tap, I'd probably recommend going elsewhere.

Jun 07, 2012
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The amazing late afternoon stop at the famed Kulminator provided the perfect warm up for the Zythos festival the following day. A somewhat meandering path through the 6-8 blocks from Antwerp's main town square leads down the austere and understated storefront that hugs the cobblestone street. The Kulminator is denoted by the brightly colored yellow/green sign that screams 'destination'. Already 30 minutes before 4pm there's a group of about a dozen anticipating beer drinkers vying to get a seat. Strange how popular this bar is at 49 people at a time. That's right, the occupancy is limited to 49 people because of the scant seating and tight corridors inside- this place exudes tradition and quality.

Once inside, we're greeted by an over-stuffed interior that's haphazardly decorated with hop vines, other plants, trinkets, beer propoganda, and crates with empty bottles of Westvleteren pretending to be in use but is merely decoration. This induces a mouthwatering effect as I settle into the bench seating near the front window and cozily hosts our group of ten. Even a working cuckoo clock tells me how much time has passed- like I cared. The place could use a dusting every now and then as the place seems to strike fear in the claustrophobic or allergy ridden patrons.

The extensive, hard bound beer menu could have easily been mistaken for remnant from Raiders of the Lost Ark as it is very classily bound and hosts a plethora of beer varieties and vintages... choosing a beer could take forever. Settling on a De Dolle Orebier '02 and '07 for comparisons sake took care of the first two rounds. A follow up of Three Floyds/Struisse Shark Pants, Struisse Damnation Coffee, and De Molen Hel & Verdominis Wild Turkey Barrel Aged edition left me happy and well satisfied. The tap selection rounds out about six offerings and span the classy additions of Tripel Karmeliet, De Koninck, Avec le bons Veaux and a few more. Although not cheap, the vintage items on the menu seemed reasonable and justified.

With little food at their disposal, a carefully carved selection of meats and cheeses provided the perfect companion for the beers. The palate exploration with trial and error ensures a well rounded experience at the table.

A narrow path to the gentleman's room goes past a window to their cellar which boasts stacks of bottles, dusted to the gills and in oddly placed rhyme or reason. Further yet, the path reveals a small patio beyond for those few non-rainy days in Antwerp.

With it's charm and quirkiness, it's no surprise that the entire staff consists of the modest husband and wife team and no one else. So ample patience is required when placing orders. These guys just don't get in a rush to do anything.

For the serious beer lover, Kulminator is a must-stop on any visit to Antwerp as this lazy Thursday evening left an indelible impression on my mind and in my heart that's not likely to be forgotten anytime soon.

May 07, 2012
Photo of mtbdonn
mtbdonn from Colorado

4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3

A-The place is quaint and interesting, but very small; get there when it opens if you want a table.
Q-Outstanding, 1st rate! The menus of aged beers is undescribable! You have to try the Westvleteren flight!
S-Only one waitress, the wife, so it can be a bit slow.
S-Again, nothing like it that I have ever heard of! 2nd to none!
F-Only a few snacks, but some great cheeses and sausage!
V-A little high, but mostly comparable to European prices!

Ive been here a few times and you have to get there when it opens if you want a table, it fills up fast!

Feb 17, 2012
Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4thelvofbeer from Virginia

4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Been to the Kulminator five or six times, most recently right before Christmas. A beer lovers hidden gem that has beers you will not be able to find anywhere else. The aged/vintage Belgian beer collection that is available for sale here is truly one of a kind. Many beers on the 25+ page beer list are up to 20 years old and many popular brands (Chimay, LaTrappe, etc.) have numerous years available. If you every find yourself in Antwerp, this place is an absolute must. It is a bit disorganized inside, and you usually have to get there right when it opens to get a nice seat, but you will be rewarded with the visit and effort to get there. It is small and fills up quick. It is easy for drinkers to sit down in this place and not move until the place closes down!!

Jan 11, 2012
Photo of Boud504
Boud504 from Louisiana

4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

For aged Belgium Beer this place is second to none. We did some vertical tasting of De Dolle Stille Nacht. Very reasonably priced for drinking beer that has been aged for 5 to 6 years and I haven't found anywhere else that has this level of selection. I did find that newer beers were a little more expensive then I was expecting.

The owners wife does most of the serving and is incredibly nice and helpful. The atmosphere is great. A great place to just sit down relax and have some good conversation.

The bar is small so you get to share tables with other people. It was a good way to meet other travelers.

Dec 07, 2011
Photo of skimoore
skimoore from France

5/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I have been to quite a few beer bars, but none have had the selection and service of the Kulminator. I brought a colleague who did not know good beer and he was not shunned (might have helped that I chose the beers) but the selection was incredibly especially with the vintages! Dirk and his wife (I am terribly sorry I did not catch the name) were wonderful and gave perfect advice on what beers to take as well as enlightening conversation concerning the direction of beer in Europe. I sampled only de Struise and de Dolle, but the vintages were honestly better than I've ever tasted and I will return ASAP. If you are in the area this is a must visit, a venerable aged beer destination!

Nov 29, 2011
Kulminator in Antwerpen, Belgium
Place rating: 4.61 out of 5 with 139 ratings