Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant

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Het Waterhuis aan de BierkantHet Waterhuis aan de Bierkant
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Het Waterhuis aan de BierkantHet Waterhuis aan de Bierkant

Type: Bar, Eatery

Groentenmarkt 9
Gent, 9000

+32 9 225 06 80 | map

None provided.

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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 45
Photo of jmdrpi
4.17/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

the vibe of the location is great - right on the canal in the business district in Ghent- but since it was December only indoor seating which was limited as the inside isn't very big. the bar area is decorated in dusty bottles and other old beer items. bartender was a bit gruff and wanted payment upon bringing our round of beers - I guess they don't do tabs? Anyway, the draft and bottle list was pretty good. the food menu was sparse, we didn't partake.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Nice place. Inside is a small, classic bar, or you can sit outside with the canal in view. Good selection of Belgian beers, not surprisingly. Cantillon Kriek 750ml was out of stock, but I opted for a 375 of that side by side with a Drie Font Kriek (the latter always my favorite of the two anyway), to share with the wife. I'm pretty sure one of the buildings in that little square is an actual restaurant, but at this bar, food was basically meat and cheese plates, and they were actually good, and quite filling at a decent price of less than 10e. Service was a little awkward. We wandered around the outside area while the server stared at us from the bar, until finally we gave up and asked if we could sit outside. She spoke English, but still looked at me like I had ten heads. But overall, not too bad. There were only two other people there, but I'd imagine this place being a bit crazy during busy hours. It was fun, and I'd recommend it, just don't expect good service.

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Photo of aleigator
2.5/5  rDev -37%

The bar in Ghent with the largest variety of beers. Directly located in the center of the city, this place is always very crowded, no matter if its in the middle of the day or at nighttime. Has a cozy atmosphere, not too much room, it got two levels, the second one was more pleasant, because of the nice view.

They sell many different beers, including three home-made brews, which are very recommendable. Also you can buy tasty cheese with mustard, which goes very well with most of their beers.

The odd thing about this place was a houserule which doesn’t make any sense to me. We revisted on the day we were leaving, to buy a bottle of Gandavum, their housebeer, but weren’t able to get it, because they only sell it from 4 p.m. in the afternoon. Seeing all those people around that space already drinking their beer, that rule seemed kind of unreasonable. Working in the Altbiertown Duesseldorf I made the opposite experience, breweries sell their beer only till the early evening, because then, their taproom gets too crowded, and they don’t want the botteled beer to interfere with the ones on tap. That actually made sense to me.

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Photo of Jackofallbrews
4.56/5  rDev +14.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

A large canal-side restaurant and pub with an incredible array of great beer selections. We ended up sitting outside on the patio overlooking the canal. I ordered a Hercule Stout--a roasty but mild stout with some Belgian yeast character. After sharing sips of our various beers, with my wife swigging Cantillon out of the bottle like a heathen, we really enjoyed our trip here!

Dinner later that same night was in the attached Chez Liontine, which luckily had the same impressive beer list as at the outdoor pub. We were seated in a warm and crowded upstairs dining room. I ended up ordering a Flemish stew with pig cheeks, braised in Trappist ale. It was fantastically flavored and the pork was beyond tender, and went amazingly well with a Rochefort 10. We then had a Kriek-Off between a few of us, comparing several of the local cherry sours. One of us had the Beersel Kriek--I gave it a 3/5 because it was back sweetened too much. My wife had the Girardin Kriek--I gave it a 4, but it had a little skunky aroma I didn't love. And I won this round with the Hanssens Oude Kriek rated at 4.5--almost no carbonation, but so tart and puckering!

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Photo of DannyTomlinson
4.7/5  rDev +18.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Great place to just sit down and have a drink next to the canal. Amazing selection of beers, I think it is over 180! They have almost every single glass for every single drink they have. Great place to go! The staff are great and really helpful about what beer is what.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3 | selection: 4.25

It isn't the interior of Het Waterhuis which makes the high atmosphere mark, it's the fact that you're right next to the canal with enough old sites around which leaves you to unwind. Al fresca seating is right outside the enterance, and during the daylight is totally worth sitting at. And as a bonus, there's that beer thing....

Carry over proper glassware, cool serving of the beer, 16 draft selections (ex. Boon, Augustijn, Gulden Draak, Piraat, Klokke) plus 150 bottles (ex. De Dolle, Tilquin, Val Duei, Floreffe) at reasonable prices and you have yet another good Belgian beer bar. It did have one flaw during my visit though, the service is rather slow. It took many minutes before I was approached by a waitress to make my beer selection. If you can tolerate that, this would be a good place in Ghent to stop at for a beer.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
3.54/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5

From a couple of different sources, we were told to visit Ghent over Bruges. Enamored with the movie In Bruges, we spent our overnight time in Bruges before heading to Poperinge to drink Westvleteren. So we hit Ghent for the day on the way to Antwerp for a disappointing trip at the Kulminator. After our short day in Ghent, it is the top of our next trip list for Belgium.

To maximize our day, we left early and got on the first canal boat tour of the morning.
Our tour guide Matthew gave us a personalized tour of the city because we were the only ones to buy a ticket. While chatting, Matthew told us of a local beer named after the largest bell of the city center clocktower: Klokke Roeland. We saw the famous bell while walking. Google the image to check it out—it's a bell. This part of Belgium is known for it's clock towers, especially to the west around Bruges. In Bruges the day before, there was a list of historic Belgian clock towers in the area. Evidently, some people collect clock towers like I collect beer. We missed a lot of small breweries in this area, so a combination clock tower tour while beer hunting is definitely a good vacation possibility.

At the conclusion of our tour, Matthew sent us to the Bierhuis to taste Klokke Roeland. The bar's proper name is Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant, which seems to mean beer on the water's edge (according to google translate). Right on the canal in the historic center of Ghent, the Bierhuis is clearly the place of choice for thirsty tourists. We had two drafts. First, Augustijn Blonde. Straw gold with an off white head, slight spice in the nose with a solid light malt. Smooth flavor, easy drinking.

Next, Klokke Roeland. Shimmering amber beer with a dirty white head served in the same styled glass as the house tripel at Staminee de Garre. Earthy malt nose with a little spice and only a trace to betray the high alcohol. Sweet malt and a light spiciness from the alcohol in the taste. Easy and dangerous to drink, it's slightly off balanced but a nice beer. BA rating is less than stellar, but I thought the beer to be a bit better than the reviews. The reviews I looked at seemed to be of stateside kegs at east coast bars; I would guess drinking local probably helped improve my sample.

I'm glad we stopped to try the Klokke Roeland, but the fourteen taps are of middling range of standard Belgians. The beer was well served and I wouldn't hesitate to have a quick, easy draft here again when being a tourist in the heart of this historic city. However, a perusal of BA bars in Ghent implies that a savvy beer geek could find better with some time and effort. However, it's our first bar after our day at Westvleteren and we are suppose to drink at the world famous Kulminator tonight, so the Bierhuis may have suffered by comparison. I look forward to giving it another try on our next trip to Ghent.

Pictures at http://pintsizedrevelations.blogspot.com/2013/03/het-waterhuis-aan-de-bierkant-ghent.html.

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Photo of skypup
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Visited this during a trip to Ghent in September, 2011.

Located in a high tourist area. Comfortable atmosphere, wooden booth inside and tables with stools outside. We sat at a table inside, but seating was available outside that overlooks the river.

Had several beers on tap and an extensive beer menu. Sampled a bottled Tatras Bulba and a Steen Brugge Triple.

Service was prompt and friendly, Even with most of the tables occupied. Waitress spoke decent English.

Prices were competitive with other restaurants and beer sampling establishments.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Went to this place the first night in Belgium, well the pub, and had lunch there a week later. A nice outdoor seating area right above the canal and inside the pub was just how I would expect a Belgian pub to look like. Lots of old signs and displays of bottles and glassware. The selection was very nice with all the Trappists (except Westvletern), Catillion, and well you get the picture. All the beer served in proper glassware and just below cellar temp. The service was good, they knew I was American and had tons of questions but answered everything. As for lunch a week later, inside the restaurant part, old home like feeling and had the waterzooi, man that was delicious. A definate stop if you get to Gent!

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Photo of Ruds
4/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Have visited this bar a number of times over the years, most recently in November 2010.

Popped in for a couple at 1am on a Saturday night/Sunday morning and actually managed to get a couple of seats at the bar (the place is always crowded)

Headed straight to the bottled menu as usual, which had around 100 options (4 or so on draft)

The bottled menu didn't contain too many rareities in my opinion, so I got stuck into a couple of hommel beers (as a palate cleansing interlude between stronger Belgian examples and jenever!!!)

The layout of this bar is akin to an English/Irish pub with various artifacts and ols books strewn around and is table service.

However as we were sat around the bar we proffered from a much faster bar service and didn't go thirsty (top tip, as on previous visits the table service can be somewhat slow - normally due to the fact the bar is jam packed!)

As is our tradition on a Ghent visit, we piled into the Dreupelkot next door for good night Jenevers :P

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.56/5  rDev +14.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Visited 10/2008

We headed back across the Leie River to Het Waterhuis, a café right on the river that had a good reputation for beer. It did not disappoint.

They offered three different house beers. I stuck with a hoppy blonde called Gandavum, my friend grabbed a tawny colored strong ale Klokke Roeland. Both were surprisingly excellent. The cafe was lots of brick and timber, old dusty glasses on a ledge above the bar, beer signs galore and false vines draped from the ceiling. Nice view of the river too.

But there was more! What should I spy on the chalkboard but Rodenbach Foederbier. Fantastic! I ordered one and the server asked me if I was sure I wanted one because this beer was very, very sour. I reaffirmed that, yes, this was the beer I desired. She warned me again about the extreme sourness and asked me if I was really sure about this choice.Again, I assured her that I had an idea what it would be like and said that I was prepared. A third time she tried to warn me..."Bring it on!" I said. I am guessing she has had to take this beer back from unsuspecting tourists in the past...

Good service, decent prices, a great atmosphere and a fantastic beer list. Maybe the best all-around beer bar in Gent.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

Visited: 8-22-08

A wonderful bar with ample history and a fine atmosphere. Great beer list with lots of lambic, geuze, and sour browns. Also features a fair number of house beers including the very good Gandavum Dry Hopping, a Belgian IPA brewed exclusively for Waterhuis by De Proef. I was pleased to see Timmermans Witte Lambic on tap when I visited. Service was a little slow. The lower level was jam packed so we sat upstairs. The view was good and the space interesting so that was nice but unfortunately it meant having to rely on an older lady to serve us. She was less than prompt but otherwise friendly.

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Photo of Travlr
3.93/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Right on one of the canals in Ghent, this is a great place to sit outside if the weather is good. Easy to watch the canal boats go by while you're choosing from a nice selection of geuze and interesting house beers. Just a few steps from the city center. Didn't try the food. Staff was very helpful in choosing decent beers and avoiding the lesser ones. They do have wireless internet, although the staff didn't know it. Beer prices are very good. A few rare finds, including a Moriau Geuze (brewery has closed). Definitely one of the beer highlights of a visit to Ghent.

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Photo of jfunkk79
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Visited in March '08 on a tour of Belgium with some fellow beer nerds.

We sat at a small table by the bar. Real homey feel with all the dark wood everywhere. The bar was really small, made of brick with huge glassware rack. The glassware hung from above and extended out to over the serving area. Lots of glasses.

The dry hop vines lining the top of the bar and extending around to the side of the room are a really nice touch. In any other bar it may seem out of place and forced but here it definitely lends itself nicely to the rustic interior.

The beers were great and pretty inexpensive. They had a nice mix of your standard Belgians with a few lambics from each of about 5 different breweries. Very cool.

Service was friendly, spoke great english and was happy to answer questions.

If you find yourself in Ghent this is a must visit. Especially when it's nice out.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Visited twice during a long weekend over New Year (08-09). On the first visit we had to go upstairs because the small groundfloor bar was full.

Service up there was poor, the lad forgot our order and then only brought 3 beers, forgetting my on tap Gulden Draak Vintage. The lovely cheese platter we also ordered came only after reminding him. On leaving I found him downstairs texting someone instead of doing his job, very annoying. Everyone upstairs seemed to be tourists, no Flemish spoken at all, just French and English. The view from the windows however are great, the room and furniture all wooden and rickety.

The second visit was quieter and we found seats downstairs, the bar is very pleasant and again wood is the main stuff used throughout. The staff were more attentive and my on tap NIce Chouffe was in fine order. Everyone in the place on this occasion appeared to be local apart from us.

The bar is part of a business that has four distinct parts, this bar, Chez-Leontine, which is a posh looking Flemish eating house next door. Next door to that is 't Dreupelkot, purely a Jenever Bar with 215 to choose from and lastly across the river on Kraanlei is their Beer and Jenever shop, which I also used to buy some rare beers before heading home.

In short, a good choice of well kept beers, pleasant atmosphere and surroundings, hope the staff are the ones we encounted second!

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Photo of JEdmund
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Located right on a river, Waterhuis has a great vantage point for taking in the sights of Ghent. We sat outside both times we came, and we were there during the summer festival, so there was lots going on. During the afternoon, there was a live band and a lot of people, making it more crowded--and more festive--than in the evening when we had no trouble finding a table. The house beer, Gandavum Dry Hopping, was extremely drinkable and a hophead's delight in Belgium. We also had the Timmerman's Lambic, which was equally drinkable. The beer menu wasn't too extensive, but the options were all good. Service was very good as waitresses make frequent rounds. Prices were typical, though expensive when you're converting from dollars...

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Photo of ggaughan
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Visited with my wife on a trip about a month ago. The location is great, right along a nice canal. We tried to get a table outside but the day was great so all tables were taken. We came back after dinner for some drinks.

We found a nice table in the corner. Great atmosphere, small bar and nice breweriana on the walls.

Very extensive bottle list. I settled on their house beer which was served in a great glass that had a huge handle on the bottom, very heavy and cool. The beer rang in at about 10% or so, very nice. We stayed and had a few other beers.

Very enjoyable time, very reasonable prices I thought. Definitely have to visit again and get a table outside to enjoy the city and people watching.

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Photo of msboyd
3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

I've only been in the off-season, but it certainly seemed we were the only tourists there when we visited. It has a lovely canal-side location and while there are certainly places with longer lists, the 100+ beers on offer are well-chosen and the specials they featured when we were there were very interesting indeed.

My only complaint is one that can easily refer to all of continental Europe - it was far too smoky. I would love a smoke-free beer bar with such a beautiful location and half the beer list if it meant I could actually breathe and enjoy my beer!

But on the whole, it's a nice place and worth a visit if you are looking for a nice place to enjoy a good beer along the canal.

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Photo of Estarrio
3.73/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

This place was rather small but atmosphere was pleasant. Wooden tables, hop vines and a wonderful view of the waterfront. The service was forgettable.

The selection was pretty average in comparison to some of the bigger bars in Gent, leaving very little reason to come here aside from the location. I do recommend trying the house beer, which was a pleasantly, hoppy Belgian IPA.

Again, this is a decent place to stop in for one or two and watch the waterfront. That being said, there are far better places to spend your time and Euros in the fine city of Gent.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Het Waterhuis is located just South of the Gravesteen beside a waterway. It was extremely easy to locate and had an old and very smoky presence. We asked the waitress to open the windows more and she obiliged. One might not want to go if it was a day that would not allow ventilation in the bar. The place was very old and used to be a boathouse.

The beer list was impressive in terms of quantity with 14 drafts and 120 bottles (the menu touts 150). At first we received quick service from a young lass, the same waitress who assisted with the window opening. Later she forgot us which really put a damper on what could have been a very nice experience.

An interesting note was that all the table bases were Singer sewing machines, some with the treadle, some without. The 70's and 80's music on the juke box was a bit odd, but seemed to be the norm throughout bars in Belgium. I'd drop back in, why not?

Visited on September 15, 2006.

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Photo of rbowser
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Perhaps because I first found this bar in a torrential rain storm, or because we got a nice booth by the canal by chance just as we entered, or we were starving and the cheese plate hit the spot and of course the great beer; but I started coming back each day I was in Gent to this bar to have a beer and hang a bit.

It is small and has an older wooden feel, it is in s very nice location near the Patershol and on a lovely canal. Good selection of 6-8 beers on tap and many 50+ in bottles. Had no problem finding an excellent example of local beer on tap. Service was prompt and professional.

Some have mentioned tourists filling the place but I did not find many during my October 2005 visit. Maybe it gets worse in the summer or on weekends, I found mostly pleasant locals, some with their dogs, and Belgian and once a UK tourist. I would recommend this bar as a place to sit and take in the local character with some great beers. Not the best beer bar place in Gent, but in the center and in a very pretty location and I found it endearing. I would also seek out Den Trollekelder for a cozier night and younger crowd, and the incredible selection at Trappistenhuis, which is a little south of the center.

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Photo of Popsinc
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

First and foremost i found the staff here to be both very friendly and very helpful. Excellent service!

A nice little place situated right on the canal near the centre of town. A little bit touristy but not so much so that it took away from my experience. The beer menu is great and while the food is mainly snacks here, the quality is above average.

On this particular day i did a sampling of their tap offerings...Saison Dupont, Dentergems Witbier, De Konick, Hommel & Jan Van Sant. The bartender was very nice and threw in the 5th glass for free. I did however sample a less than impressive bottle of Ichtegem's Old Bruin (5.5%) from Brouwerij Strubbe).

You can't argue with the selection or service so as far i can see, this was a very good experience in Belgium. My wife also loved it b/c they served a huge glass of "warm kriek".

DO NOT MISS the t'Dreupelkot a few doors down. It's a wonderful Genever bar with a great atmosphere and very friendly owner!!!!

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Photo of wbthink
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

The Waterhuis location is very inviting to beer geeks and non-geeks alike. It is on the canal, and just off the markt, with a nice outdoor area. The hopvine decor inside, make this cafe an enjoyable spot for enjoying a great. The selection was good, with a comfortable environment to linger awhile.

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Photo of saltydog
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Not a great bar, but a good one, and worth stopping as part of a pub crawl of all the great bars in the area, all within walking distance. Rough-hewn wood, brick bar. Old bottles as decoration. American music is pretty tacky. Good location near the canal. Sometimes you can find some hard to find beers there-I remember the Girardin Gueuze Black Label at my first visit there. I do not remember an excess of tourists during my visits, but I went in the fall, and in the afternoon, so maybe I just missed them.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.03/5  rDev -23.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3

Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant, “The Waterhouse on the Beerside”, is worth a visit by virtue of it’s beer list (which is 100+ & good for Ghent) and, to a lesser extent, its location. However, a word of warning, due to the latter it is VERY “tourtisty” (like Ghent is not right ?!) and you may not get a Table thanks to hordes of elderly, dying and often dead Coffee drinking visitors talking in funny languages taking Photos of each other at the Table - which can become annoying in the extreme.
That said, I have been to this place several times over the years, and always pop in for a beer whenever I am in Ghent crawling through the City, it is worth the effort, even if I do have to throw a few 60+ year old American Tourists into the nearby Canals to get a seat (yes, I am joking, it’s called Irony). But I never stay for a Session, it is just not that sort of place, for as a beer drinker, I guarantee that you too will end up throwing a Tourist, or two, into the Canal if you stay here too long.
Situated right next to the Leie River, so that’s where it gets it’s name from (duh!), it does command some great views. Beer List, although over 100, is not too well thought out and a bit dis-jointed. Cantillon Gueuze and Kriek is on hand for Lambic-Monsters, and a good fall-back rescue beer, but it is very expensive, as in fact are all the beers here… as in fact is Ghent!!. Service can be tardy at times, and there is No Food either.
There is a Puppet theatre upstairs, but I would go to the Toone in Brussels if you want to experience a truly genuine “Belgium Puppet Theatre in a Bar” with good reasonably priced Beers and a great atmosphere.
Oh dear, it all sounds so bad - ignore my facetiousness.
It's not that bad really. It has an above average Beer list and it really is worth a visit. You really must pop in for a “brace of beers” - but please promise me that you don’t stay too long and become, or even drown/kill, a Tourist.

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Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant in Gent, Belgium
Place rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 45 ratings