Delirium Café

BA SCORE
92
outstanding

153 Reviews
Delirium CaféDelirium Café
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

Impasse de la Fidélité 4
Brussels, 1000
Belgium

+32 2 514 44 34 | map
deliriumcafe.be

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

PLACE STATS
Score:
92
Reviews:
153
Ratings:
254
Avg:
4.14
pDev:
10.39%
 
 
Taps:
15
Bottles/Cans:
2,400
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
N
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 153 | Ratings: 254
Reviews by Tut:
Photo of Tut
3.4/5  rDev -17.9%
vibe: 1 | quality: 5 | service: 1 | selection: 5

Given the ongoing number of over-the-top/rave reviews here for the Delirium Cafe, I think it's important to keep a contrary, alternative view in the mix for balance, so I'm updating mine to provide it. Most of the raves seem to come from young American guys who like nothing better than getting wasted while packed elbow to elbow with a bunch of other tourists. Typical of them is the guy below who thought the highlight of his night at Delirium was when an extremely drunk kid fell face first down the staircase. If you're a more mature, seasoned traveler who doesn't find stupid behavior like that amusing, Brussels has many more atmospheric, interesting, and unusual cafes to discover. Spend your time seeking them out rather than wasting it surrounded by drunken tourists in Delirium.

Nothing has changed since I wrote the following in late 2008:
First, a little background. I've traveled throughout Belgium on ten trips(as of 20013) starting in 1998 and have been to most of the great beer cafes. I've spent over three months total in Brussels alone, have a number of friends there, and know it pretty well.

I don't review many overseas beer cafes and pubs because it would take way to much of my time. I'm doing the Delirium Cafe to hopefully spare new visitors to Brussels from thinking, because of all the A+ reviews here, that they've found "beer nirvana" and wasting their limited time there. I can tell from what they say that many of the rave reviews are from first time visitors to Belgium who spent, at best, only 1-2 days in Brussels and were easily impressed due to the novelty and newness of the whole experience. There are much better options to be had.

The Delirium Cafe is a classic tourist trap.It's interior resembles any number of somewhat shabby college bars in North America. It has no special atmosphere or uniqueness and is usually full of foreign tourists. The impasse(dead end alley) it's on is right off the ultimate tourist armpit of Brussels, the Rue des Bouchers, which is a narrow pedestrian street lined with 20+ phoney, overpriced, rip-off, tourist restaurants. These places are patronized by the throngs that spend all their time near the Grand Place and who think they're having an authentic Brussels experience at those restaurants. Those same tourists also fill the Delirium Cafe. Yes, it has a huge beer list, but many are standard, generic macros from other countries and they're often out of the better Belgians. My friends from Brussels never would go there and it only required one visit for me to understand why.

Last summer I convinced my Belgian friend Marc to check it out with me late one afternoon, just to satisfy my curiosity. We had a couple beers, were very unimpressed with the place, and decided to go to one of the numerous cafes we know that are well away from the tourist hordes. We paused outside the door and had a final look at the beer list on display. Thinking we had just arrived, a drunken young American in his mid-twenties came over to us, gushing about the number of beers the Delirium had and how it was "the best bar in the world!" What he didn't realize was that one of the reasons we were leaving was because the place was full of people like him.

The "biggest beer list in the world" isn't enough to get me there again. I really dislike it's location - Brussel's tourist armpit as I said above. There are plenty of other great cafes in Brussels that have excellent beer lists, much better atmospheres, and keep me very happy with interesting and unusual choices -- without being surrounded by tourists and hearing English spoken as if I was in the US.

My best advice is to get Tim Webb's guide(for overall Belgian beer info.), Joe Stange and Yvan de Baet's, Around Brussels In 80 Beers(for the best cafes/restaurants), a good street map(not the city center tourist maps), and walk and/or use the subway and trams to go to cafes that take a little time and effort to find. Places away from the touristy Grand Place. In the process you'll discover the real Brussels. The tourists won't be there but you'll meet the locals and you might run into some fellow travelers, which is good.

 4,163 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of South2NW
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5

Photo of Zekenyce
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of Hydroventures
4/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 2.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Have visited several times.. HUGE selection..Lots of tourists but ignore that and drink something you have been wanting to try, or pick at random. If you are needing munchies, good selection of meats and cheeses. Cheers!

 220 characters

Photo of Kmadnesss
4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Great selection,,,must see!

27 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Downstairs from the fratty madhouse of Delirium Taphouse is Delirium Cafe, probably where the whole Delirium brand thing started. Tons of bartenders serving tons of young people, dirty bathrooms.

15 taps: Delirium, Floris, Bush, Viven IIPA, Oud Beersel… and tons of bottles, unlike at the taphouse or loft. I bought a 2001 Cuvee Keyzer for only 10 euros to take home.

Wish I had more time and the place was less packed so that I could have perused the bottle menu.

 470 characters

Photo of Sergio_Nesmachnow
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

A must visit place, went there this winter and atmosphere was great.
A huge selection of beers and many draft choices. Three floors, with different options, Invited beers in the second floor.

 191 characters

Photo of MisledTitan
4.43/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Redrover
4/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

I know it is a touristy but it is also a must stop. We went fairly early at 6 p.m. and it was already slammed.

Getting a beer can be problematic as you line up at the long bar and hope the bartender finally notices you in the sea of other people trying to get their attention. My friend and I were waiting to order four beers. I finally gave up and went downstairs. I was able to get beers and back to our table before he was finally served and they had to change my keg on one of the beers I ordered. My bartender was a nice guy they could just use like four more at each bar…

Speaking of beers, huge selection but I stuck with the draft choices. I had no problem finding plenty of beers I had been wanting try.

Delirium is decorated with a ton of cool old beer signs and even an old copper kettle that has been made into a booth. Numerous rooms and two floors to wander through.

Bonus, right outside the second door is the female answer to the Mannekin Pis statue. Had to search a bit but there it is.

Go early and have a few before moving on to more civilized options : )

 1,095 characters

Photo of poskok
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Too much people. To much tourists. to crowdy. noisy. great selection of beers.

78 characters

Photo of MattMorin
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of epyon396
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Photo of beergorrilla
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Dicers
3.69/5  rDev -10.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of jophish17
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.25

Photo of parpalapelix
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of Kevin67
2.6/5  rDev -37.2%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 4

I have been here a couple of times, but never again. The selection is good, but you can find most of the beers fairly easily around town. The service was abhorrent and the place is completely overrun with horribly behaved tourists. I have gotten a headache both times I been here, and it wasn't due to the beer.

 311 characters

Photo of jprivott
3.91/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of JakeScully
3.76/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Worth visiting, fairly good selection of beer, great service and a good staff overall. Giving this one a good rating, which seem deserved... I've had a delirium there btw

 170 characters

Photo of mothman
2.18/5  rDev -47.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 1

Two of the beers I ordered weren't in stock. Bad odds?

54 characters

Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.8/5  rDev +15.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

If this doesn't get a 5 for selection I don't know where to begin. Multiple floors of different scenes and selections including IPAs on the top floor. This is the Guinness world record holder with a several hundred page book of beers available. Worth going just to buy the book for 5 euro.

 289 characters

Photo of esktime
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of DanielCseklye
4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of dougbreathe
3.37/5  rDev -18.6%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 2.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Photo of Jow
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75

They have a lot of choice I can assure you that! But... there ARE TO MUCH PEOPLE IN THIS PLACE!

It is a meeting place for foreigners and it is not quite at all... I was looking for a calmer place to enjoy my beer but that's individual off course.

 247 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Delirium Café in Brussels, Belgium
4.14 out of 5 based on 254 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.

    Subscribe