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In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst

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In de Verzekering tegen de Grote DorstIn de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst
23 Ratings
In de Verzekering tegen de Grote DorstIn de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst

Type: Bar

Frans Baetensstraat 45
Lennik, 1750

+32 2 532 58 58 | map

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Ratings: 23 |  Reviews: 10
Reviews by Thorpe429:
Photo of Thorpe429
4.86/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

When Amy and I visite Belgium, we couldn't wait for Sunday to roll around so that we could finally hit this spot. It was worth the wait.

We got there right when they opened on Sunday and were the first ones inside. The place is fairly small with seating for maybe 40-50 people. There are some round wooden tables off to the right and benches to the left. The bar is on the far right. Just before the bar is the entrance to the cellar (which they so graciously let me have a peak into) and an assortment of lambic baskets.

The decor all appears to be fairly old, with plenty of of old lambic collectibles and bottles hanging on the walls, plus a string of the ever-present aged whole-leaf hops hanging in the back.

The quality and selection are superb. There are plenty of new and vintage offerings from Cantillon, De Cam, Drie Fonteinen, Girardin, an others plus a few retired beers from closed brewers. For the most part, proper glassware from each brewery is used. If not that, you'll receive a nice, small tumbler etched with the bar's logo, which you can purchase for a small amount.

The service is unparalleled. Both Yves and Kurt were incredibly friendly, knowledgable, and hospitable. Both chatted with us about lambic and the region for awhile on each of our visits.

Finally, it is difficult to not love the locals, who come in after church to sip on lambic or coffee and chat. Everyone was quite chatty and asked my wife and I questions about our trip, and on the final day, one generous gentleman even insisted on buying us a bottle of gueuze.

This place is a must visit. If you are headed to lambic country, make sure to clear out your Sunday morning and afternoon for a trip to Grote Dorst.

 1,709 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of FinnishFox
4.73/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Photo of YvesB
4.48/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of CraigTravor
4.81/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

As people have mentioned, it is difficult to get to this place,but one you're there it is worth it. A friend and I decided to do a 2011 run on Cantillon. It was a great decision. Definitely go to this bar. As mentioned, terrible hours.

 236 characters

Photo of Maakun
4.93/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Probably the best bar I've ever been to. Amazing atmosphere, one of the best lambic cellars in the world, very friendly service. The only downside is that it's so hard to get there. The opening times are hilarious and impractical, but it would probably be impossibe to operate this place any other way.

 302 characters

Photo of BenBreeg
4.93/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Photo of Pletser
5/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of amano_h
5/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

So there are two bars that currently hold the distinction of being known as "the best bar in Belgium."

One is Café Kulminator in Antwerpen, who pride themselves on their very extensive menu of cellared Belgian beers dating back to the early 80s.

The other is In de Verzekering Tegen de Grote Dorst, whose cellar isn't quite as extensive as Kulminator or as accessible by public transportation (I had to take the bus for about 40 minutes then walk 20 minutes out in the farmlands of Pajottenland to get here) or have personalities shrouded in mystery or fables quite like Kulminator.

What "In Insurance Against the Great Thirst" does have, however, is hands down the most meticulously curated lambic selection on the planet, with their collection reaching as far and wide as the now-defunct Brasserie Eylenbosch, whose existence was wiped away from the planet after they were bought out by Mort-Subite about two decades ago. Instead of the surly and slow service (both attributable to whatever mood Dirk is in that day) you get at Kulminator, the only hamper to the service here is the fact that this place fills up quite quickly around lunch time to the point that you're jumping up and down trying to get the cellarmaster's attention.

Whereas I probably don't quite feel the need to go back to Kulminator unless I was with a big group of people, Dorst.be is someplace I can see myself going back time after time. Too bad they're only open for three and a half hours a day.

My suggestion if you're planning on visiting is to order a fresh lambic off the tap list and try the gueuze cheese and the pate. Oh and get here EARLY.

 1,631 characters

Photo of billverstein
5/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of olradetbalder
4.58/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Incredible place.
Only minus with this place is that they only accept cash.

75 characters

Photo of sblank
5/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of CavemanRamblin
5/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of Rifugium
4.26/5  rDev -11.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of desint
4.5/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of srletend
5/5  rDev +4.4%

Top of the bucket list for any sour beer enthusiast.

52 characters

Photo of Kirk
5/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This place is truly something special, hided in the outskirts of Brussels in Eizeringen this place only opens for 3 to 4 hours a week after Church on the Sunday.

The ambiance is perfect, quiet and at time fun and upbeat. Sometimes some improv brass/jazz offs.

Service can not be beaten here, they clearly do not re this place for profit or gains but from true love of beer. Attention to deal is everything from cellaring these amazing beers, to serving them! Noticing when we had poured the last of one bottle and preparing the next to be served.

Selection is unbelievable so many world class breweries.

Food they only served a Gueuze cheese when we were there but it was exquisite.

Value i think the prices were extremely fair - They were charging 1 euro more for each year old vintage of the Lou Pepe Kriek!!!! Bargain

Overall this is a place to come and reflect on amazing beers with like minded people.

 918 characters

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.69/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

This was the highlight of my trip to Belgium. It's only open on Sundays between 10 and 1:30, but it is well worth the quick trip out of Brussels (or wherever you're coming from).

A: This is a fairly rural area outside of Belgium, you walk through a neighborhood up to a small building that appears like a small store front. When we got inside around opening, it was fairly empty. However, it soon filled to a comfortable amount of people. Most appeared to be locals. The room was very comfortable with tables lining the walls with a small bar on one wall. It reminded me of a rural country store. It was beautiful.

Q: Everything was served to perfection. The aged beers we had had obviously been aged with care, and proper glassware and lambic baskets were always used. Everything was top notch.

S: The service was very friendly and helpful. We felt very comfortable in a place full of locals, which is typically tough to accomplish. The service was a touch slow, but a minor complaint to a great experience.

S: if you're expecting only lambic, the selection is unbelievable. I'm not sure if there is a better selection of lambic anywhere in the world. And for extremely reasonable prices.

V: Extremely reasonable. Everything was inexpensive.

 1,247 characters

Photo of phingdong
5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.86/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I'd been looking forward to this visit for some time. Inconvenient hours but this is actually part of a family's home, and they have jobs during the week which are a first priority. In any case I think it's a good thing, as it makes for a special visit.

I got there about 1/2 hour after they opened, found plenty of seating available with only 12 or so people inside. I counted 8 tables, with lots of seats, maybe for up to 60 or so people. Wonderful decor, tile floors and beautiful wooden rafters, one of which was full of hops vines.

The bottle list is very nice, ranging in price and vintage from affordable to extremely pricy. Some examples of what was available:
3F Oude Gueuze 1999, 2002, 2007, Vanentijn Cuvee
3F Schaarbeekse 2004-2010, Hommage, Millenium Gueuze
Eylenbosch Oude Gueueze 1984, 1988
Several house gueuze (also kriekenlambiek)
Tons more from De Cam, Cantillon, Girardin, etc etc.

I stayed for hours, enjoying the quiet mix of locals and near-locals coming and going while the churchbells occasionally chimed. I had a nice chat with Yves who then introduced me to a new friend from Duisberg. We sat and talked lambic throughout the morning, and I got to try his own Gueuze blend (incredibly tasty).

A very special place overall, dedicated to the love of Oude Gueuze and Oude Kriek. I'll try very hard to make it back sometime.

 1,352 characters

Photo of ManforallSaisons
4.84/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst (and that's how the bar capitalizes the name on official publications) calls itself a 'traditional Payottenland lambik beer cafe,' deservedly so for how the Panneels brothers have maintained a village pub atmosphere despite their growing role as curators and advocates of the local lambics. Villagers outnumbered beer hunters today and they amiably shared tables plus a bit of chitchat. The menu offered about any lambic-based beer I could think of and a deep roster of unfamiliar ones. Some of the rarities and vintages noted in earlier reviews, such as from the defunct Eylenbosch, remain on offer. Without a group to share a big bottle, I stuck to a draft Girardin lambic and a Moriau gueuze. Sampling of the draft products seems to be encouraged. Co-proprietor Yves promised there are more finds in storage not yet represented on the printed menu. There is a small selection of standard non-lambic beers (Hoegaarden, a range of Duvel-Moortgat products, Westmalle, Orval), liquors and soft drinks, and they are certainly well used by the locals. (I was torn about how to rate the selection, before deciding that a well-curated list of locals is a mark of excellence.) The hours remain 10am-1:30pm on Sundays, plus some holidays and for funerals in the neighboring church, but the cafe also can be rented for private parties and the Panneels family seems to be adding to their calendar of special events.

 1,445 characters

Photo of Paisan
4.36/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

If you're looking for geuze or lambic, this is THE place to go to. They have (possibly) the largest selection in the world of these beers, and even (diminishing) stocks from breweries/blenders that have been closed for years now. We're talking real vintage stuff here.
Only very few beer bars have lambic on tap (if they serve it at all!) - but here you'll find it.
Open 3-4 hours per week only (during and after Sunday service), so plan your visit. I for one intend to go back several times! Absolutely recommended.

 516 characters

Photo of erkaneva
4.3/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5

"Insurance Against Great Thirst"
It is early Sunday morning and we are rolling off the Ferry from England. We had heard of this place in Eizeringen and that it was open only on Sundays so we had best find it. We walked into the place at about 10am finding a couple locals enjoying the morning and Kurt & Yves Parents running the place. After some attempt at comminication we discovered that they did not accept credit cards. They generiously offered to drive us to the closest cash machine in town so we could recharge our wallets.
After that we started with a Girardin Fondgueuze and then finished with a 1991 Eylenbosch Gueuze (Blender is no longer in operation). They offer a good selection of Payottenland beers.

At noon the Church crowd showed up for their "after worship" white port.
Very hospitable hosts and nice atmosphere.
They also host a Lambic Festival at the end of May that would be good to mark the calendar.

Their website: www.dorst.be

 963 characters

In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst in Lennik, Belgium
Place rating: 4.79 out of 5 with 23 ratings
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