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Belgium Going to Brugge, Belgium, need help/advice!

Discussion in 'Europe' started by csice, Sep 14, 2012.

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  1. csice

    csice Initiate (0) Sep 14, 2012

    So I will be doing a trip which will include Belgium for only one day. I am a beer nut, so this is a highlight of the trip for me. So, I am looking for things that I need to see that I can’t afford to pass up beer wise. Though I’m a beer nut, I don’t know too much about Belgium or the beers aside from what I can get in the US. Anywho I have made a list thus far, we will be staying at Novotel Brugge Centrum; I’m not sure where that is in relation to the things on my list and how feasible it will be to get to some places. Basically, I need to go to at least one bar and one bottle shop, I want to come back with plenty of treats, including at least one Westy 12. Here is my list so far, if you have anything to add as far as good places to visit, suggestions for my itinerary as far as lumping together multiple nearby locations, or beer rarities that I should add, I would be so grateful.

    • Tripel Karmeliet
    • De Dolle Dulle Teve 10º (Mad Bitch)
    • Westvleteren 12
    • Westvleteren Blond
    • Westvleteren Extra 8
    • Cantillon Faro
    • Cantillon Blåbær Lambik
    • Cantillon Crianza Helena
    • Cantillon Iris
    • 3 Fonteinen J & J Oude Geuze Blauw
    • 3 Fonteinen Straffe Winter
    • Dupont Avec les Bons Voeux
    • Fantôme Saison
    • Rodenbach Alexander
    • Struise Aardmonnik / Earthmonk
    • Struise Black Damnation
    • Struise Pannepot
    • Struise Tsjeeses
    • Struise St. Amatus - Oostvleteren 12
    • ’t Brugs Beertje - Kemelstraat 5, Brugge
    • De Kelk - Langestraat 69, Brugge
    Bottle Shops
    • De Bier Tempel - Philip Stockstraat 7, Brugge
    • The Bottle Shop - Wollestraat 13, Brugge
    • De Bierboom(bar/bottle shop) - Langestraat 73, Brugge
    • Bacchus Cornelius - Academiestraat 17, Brugge
  2. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,305) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I always enjoy the bar De Garre.
    mtbdonn and cneville like this.
  3. YaKnowBrady

    YaKnowBrady Initiate (0) Jul 23, 2010 New Jersey

    If you're going to de Heeren, where you can get the Crianza Helena, try the 3F J&J Rose and Blauw. Big time wales.
  4. Brabander

    Brabander Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2009 Netherlands

    For some nice Struise beers you can go to the Struise beershop. The adress is Burg 15, right in the center. You will meet either David or Bart (Yapi on BA). Three beers on tap and some nice bottles to buy. You will be able to buy Westvleteren 12 in Brugge but they will cost you some....about 10 to 12 euro a bottle.

    Forget Blabear, it is not for sale in Belgium. Some other bottles on your list like the Cantillon and 3F will be VERY hard to get, if not impossible when you are there for a day.

    Have fun there and greet Bart or David from me!

    thepeter likes this.
  5. calidelphia

    calidelphia Initiate (0) Mar 10, 2012 California

    While in Brugge, hit up Cambrinus. It's a great bar off the main square with 1100 bottles. There's also a nice little bottle shop a couple doors down.
    BEERchitect likes this.
  6. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    You'll be staying close to De Halve Mann, they often get over looked.

    I would for sure hit the Struise shop. I don't know Bart that well but if you meet David right before lunch he might take you for a walk and show you a place or two to go too.

    I'm not clear on your time restraints and how mobile you are. But outside of Brugge is De Bierloods - Bierhuis De Zytholoog. Basically I love Brugge, but it is what it is and it's not that in tune to beer geeks. Here is a great bar/bottle shop where you can chat about beer. 18 km east. GPS 51.204862 3.48351

    And I've found some a few surprising bottles in what looks to be a convenience store beer shop. So if you pass a window of beer, walk in.

    One of my favorite beers in Pius X by De Graal. You can only get it at De Windmolen - Carmersstraat 135 - GPS 51.208905 3.227208 and about 2 km from your hotel.

    Don't forget that many Belgian's do like American beer. The ratio in Brugge might be less, well way less, but it never hurts to have a few bottles in your day bag to bring out as presents. You'll know when to share.
  7. beerpirates

    beerpirates Defender (676) May 4, 2010 Belgium
    Beer Trader

    Roze is not availeble anymore , blauw costs around 100 € a bottle !
  8. beerpirates

    beerpirates Defender (676) May 4, 2010 Belgium
    Beer Trader

    Helena , very expencive , at de heeren
    Aardmonnik , not for sale anymore ( only made once each 2/3 years )
    Rodenbach alexander , you can get it at de heeren , VERY expencive , 25 cl bottle
    Straffe winter , not for sale anymore
    Cantillon faro , only to drink at chez moeder lambick in Brussels ! Not for sale , not bottled
  9. csice

    csice Initiate (0) Sep 14, 2012

    Thanks so much for the help thus far. This is part of a multiple country guided tour so I can only be there for what looks to be a half day. Personally, I would have rather just gone to Belgium, but I guess I just need to make the most of it. My next step will be eliminating some places and trying to get a grasp on where everything actually is so I know what is feasible. Thanks again.
  10. csice

    csice Initiate (0) Sep 14, 2012

    Thanks for the advice so far. This is what I have thus far:
    't Brugs Beertje - Kemelstraat 5, Brugge
    Hours: Closed Wed, 1600-0100 weekdays, 1600-0200 weekends
    de garre - Belgium 8000, Brugge Hours: Th-Tu 12pm-12am
    Bierbrasserie Cambrinus - Philipstockstraat 19, Brugge Hours: Weekdays 11am - 11pm; weekends 11am - ?
    Bottle Shops
    De Bier Tempel(If Amsterdam doesnt have Westy) - Philip Stockstraat 7, Brugge
    The Bottle Shop - Wollestraat 13, Brugge Hours: 0900-1900(winter); 0900-2300(summer); closed Tues
    Struise Bruges Beershop - Belgium 8000, Brugge Hours: 11 to 13 & 14 to 19
    De Bierkoning - Netherlands 1012 ZL, Amsterdam

    Unfortunately, I think I will be there on Wednesday and it seems that most bars are closed then. Any ideas for food and Chocolate shop nearby?
  11. csice

    csice Initiate (0) Sep 14, 2012

    Lastly, what's the best way to find my way around? Is it possible to use phone gps? Not sure how that works.
  12. BEERchitect

    BEERchitect Poo-Bah (8,781) Feb 9, 2005 Kentucky

    Yep, I spent a day in Brugge back in April. I had a fantastic 3-hour lunch with the most exclussive Belgian beers: Westvleteren 8, 12, Cantillon Fou Foune, and others. Food is amazing as well. It's a touch pricey but "when in Rome..."
  13. struise

    struise Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2008 Belgium

    The Struise Bruges Beershop is now open every day of the week, the opening hours are from 1:30 PM to 7:00 PM :-)
    tendermorsel and ggaughan like this.
  14. swetsastonic

    swetsastonic Initiate (194) Mar 22, 2012 New Jersey

  15. BelgianBeerPope

    BelgianBeerPope Initiate (99) Aug 10, 2012 Belgium

    Bruges city centre is not that big so a simple map will already get you to most points of interest !
    There plenty of chocolate shops and food places in the city centre, try the one which looks most inviting :slight_smile: !
  16. csice

    csice Initiate (0) Sep 14, 2012

    This isn't really something for the BA forums, so I apologize, but I also wanted to ask about cell phones and gps on the cell. How does this work coming from the US? I assume neither will, if not, what are my options?
  17. atomeyes

    atomeyes Disciple (383) Jul 13, 2011 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    worth a glass or 2. its neat and fun.
  18. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Defender (655) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    My advice is to leave the cell in your hotel room. Hook up to the wifi if your hotel has it, and map it from there. Otherwise if you turn on your cell and try to use the GPS off of your network you will get charged A LOT by your carrier.

    From there use an old fashioned map, and ask around. It's not too bad, and you can meet some locals! Hell, I found many of the places you mention just by walking around asking women in some of the chocolate shops (downtown Brugge has some of the most beautiful women I've ever seen, so this is relatively painless :wink:)
  19. JimDH

    JimDH Initiate (60) Feb 7, 2011 Kentucky

    GPS is fine, but your usual mapping application will want to download data, and more than anything else you want that turned off or you will pay hundreds. There are mobile apps that allow you to preload maps and use your GPS. It's easy to get turned around in Brugge if you aren't there long.

    And ’t Brugs Beertje is a nice little bar.
  20. CoverMePorkins

    CoverMePorkins Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2012 Delaware
    Beer Trader

    I was in Brugge at the end of July with my wife. If you have time to get it or download on iTunes get the Rick Steves book for Belgium. For food and sights it is very helpful. I went to 't Brugs Beertje and it is worth the stop. Great bar with an incredible selection and all the proper glassware.

    As someone else mentioned check out De Halve Mann. They have tours during the day that start every 30 or 45 minutes. If you are a quad fan check out the beer and gift shop. I got 4 bottles of the Straffe Hendrik Heritage 2011 Quad. It is an oak aged quad. According to the head brewer he is starting to drink his at 8 years and taking it out to 12. I think they were selling for 11.50 euro for a 750ml in a wood case. I saw the same beer at The Bottle Shop for 75 euro. Speaking of The Bottle Shop it is worth stopping. Prices are a little high because of location and tourists but it is impressive. The cute blond behind the counter gave me 4 free beers due to the amount I bought.

    As far as chocolates look for a shop named Dumon. Mind blowing good.
  21. csice

    csice Initiate (0) Sep 14, 2012

    I also need advice on bringing beer there and bringing it back. I am bringing some very valuable beer with me for a trade. What is the best way to pack it etc.? Probably bubble wrap in check-on bag? Do places ship beer? I plan on going to De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.
  22. atomeyes

    atomeyes Disciple (383) Jul 13, 2011 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    i always just wrap it in a t-shirt.
    pack the bottles closer to the bottom (wheels) and make sure things aren't rolling around and loose.
  23. CoverMePorkins

    CoverMePorkins Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2012 Delaware
    Beer Trader

    Bubble wrap is your friend along with freezer bags. If you can find wine sleeves than even better, especially if you are getting some 750ml bottles. Packing them in your checked bag is the way to go. When you go through customs go through the nothing to declare line and hope they don't open your bag which more than likely they won't.
  24. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    For the people going into the USA as far as I can tell you don't pick your line.

    While on the return flight you are given a form (no pen) to fill out that has an area for what are are declaring. I suggest being honest on the form. I declare "beer", normally at a $150 value.

    At your first check point you'll have no luggage, you get a few questions and the form gets stamped. As far as I can tell this is when it's determined if your bags get searched. Then you go to baggage claim, get your checked bags and go to the next checking area. There are two, search and non-search.

    My first beer haul return I was told to go to the search area. If applicable when they open your bags you might want to mention that you are only carrying beer, no spirits. My second trip I assumed that I had to go to that area and I was told to leave, to go to the normal line. Which was longer and I think that the agents thought that I was trying to take a short cut. Out of six trips I've only been searched once.

    At the second point you'll be asked more questions. These seems to be more probing. I imagine that if you at weird you could be sent from the non-search to the search area, but I've never seen that happen.
  25. csice

    csice Initiate (0) Sep 14, 2012

    Can more of you tell me about whether I should declare it or not? I have only been over seas once and at that time I never had to deal with any of this, so I would appreciate any advice, am I not particularly intrigued by losing $400 worth of beer!
  26. Brabander

    Brabander Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2009 Netherlands

    Always declare it! Simple as it is customs is not very interested in beer, more in liquor. When you should pay any taxes it will be for a very decent price.....

  27. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2006 Massachusetts

    I have traveled back and forth from Europe to the USA many times with my bags full of beer. I use clothes to protect the bottles and have never had an issue.

    Be somewhat honest on the customs declaration. They honestly will only give you a problem if they think you are trying to hide something. A customer's agent doesn't want to take the time or do the paperwork for taxes on 100-200 dollars worth of beer unless they have to. My last trip I came back with 9x750ML and 14x12 oz and declared 200$ worth of beer and went through without any issues.
  28. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2006 Massachusetts

    Another piece of advice... I wouldn't obsess about getting every whale beer on that list. Some of them are going to be real hard to get and even if they are available it would probably be for on-site drinking only.

    Enjoy the city, food and people. Some of the best times I have had over in Belgium were sipping on Orval/Westmalle/Gouldenband/Rodenbach ect. at a "normal" cafe. You will find very good stuff at Brugge Bear however. Sometimes hunting the whales takes away from actually enjoying the trip and I also believe that sometimes the whales will find you. One of my all time wants was a Quebec Bier De Champagne by a very obscure French Canadian brewery. While I was at Brugge Bear another patron brought a bottle for Daisy and offered me some. I also alway keep a few American bottles/cans in my backpack to share with others as it works both ways:slight_smile:

    If you really want to tick those whales go to De Heren. Even beyond the sick beer list the place has great food too. They will have most of the stuff on your list but I have heard that they are not as leanient with take away bottles as they used to be especially with non-natives.

    Another personal favorite of mine is:


    It's in Oostende on the coast a quick 15 minute train ride from Brugge.
    thepeter likes this.
  29. latestart

    latestart Initiate (135) Sep 21, 2012 Florida
    Beer Trader

    "the whales will find you" haha that is a good line.

    Im going to Belgium in a couple days, I cant seem to find Tilquin brasserie on any maps. Is it in Brussels? I will be there for 3 days and definitely wanna hit up 3F and Cantillon. What other brasseries are close to those them? Thanks for the info on flying with beer, it was helpful.
  30. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

  31. DougOLis

    DougOLis Initiate (185) Aug 15, 2008 California

    Tilquin has a Brasserie?
  32. latestart

    latestart Initiate (135) Sep 21, 2012 Florida
    Beer Trader

    I dont know. I'm probably just gonna go to Moeder Lambic I guess they have it all. Not really interested in seeing the brew places just drinking the beers
  33. mtbdonn

    mtbdonn Devotee (426) Dec 15, 2009 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Make sure and call ahead for a reservation at Cambrinus. This past Saturday they were booked solid! They also normally have Westy 8's on the menu.
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