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Belgium 't Brugs Beertje: Opinions

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Nachos4two, Aug 31, 2013.

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  1. Nachos4two

    Nachos4two Zealot (538) Nov 26, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Any information and experience info on this local is greatly appreciated as my old man is headed in that area in a week. Is this place worth the stop?
     
  2. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Defender (656) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Yes, that place is unreal. Small, unsuspecting beer haven. Go there with beer knowledge, as they have some incredible offerings you don't want to miss out on. Only tip I can offer is to go there late afternoon, I don't believe it opens until 4 pm or so.
     
  3. YieldToNothing

    YieldToNothing Initiate (0) Mar 13, 2013 New York

    yes.

    send him to cafe de garre also
     
  4. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,534) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    UncleJimbo likes this.
  5. ManforallSaisons

    ManforallSaisons Disciple (389) Mar 20, 2008 Belgium

    And for good reason. Even the little street is atmospheric and hours can pleasantly slip by. I've been with non- (or not-much) drinkers who claimed they liked it. Hang by the bar to discuss and chat, talk about beer and get suggestions. If you sit at a table, you might be able to strike up conversation with neighbors (probably fellow tourists, which I don't mean as a bad thing) but it's less of a given. Menu can be a bit hard to navigate but useful for pointing out some of the more obscure local offerings.
     
  6. Ruds

    Ruds Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2008 United Kingdom (England)

    95 reviews on this site, 210 reviews on RB.

    Everyone says it's shit - don't go !

    Did you really need to create a post on this topic ???
     
    azorie likes this.
  7. UncleJimbo

    UncleJimbo Site Editor (3,411) Sep 11, 2002 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Great pub. Definitely visit. Way better than De Garre.
     
    Tut likes this.
  8. 77black_ships

    77black_ships Devotee (440) Dec 4, 2012 Belgium

    It is like a living museum. When I was there, there were only tourists talking about how authentic it is but locals don’t go there. I have met locals who dislike it, in part due to the tourists.

    That being said, I liked it. It was cute, fun to drink there. Nothing particularly rare there for me, maybe 4 beers which I hadn’t had before but the beer list was a solid one with manageable prices.

    Great place.
     
  9. ManforallSaisons

    ManforallSaisons Disciple (389) Mar 20, 2008 Belgium

    Agreed that visitors (tourists plus beer hunters who are not otherwise commiting tourism) certainly have outnumbered locals in my handful of visits but I've always observed a few locals stopping in to hang at the bar (as opposed to the table seating).
     
  10. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    Tourists are found in virtually every café in Brugge unless you venture away from the center to the outer side streets. It's the nature of the city.
     
    herrburgess and UncleJimbo like this.
  11. atomeyes

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

    De garre is what it is - their beer is contract brewed. it is very tasty but you'll spend 60 min in there max.

    Bertje, to be honest, is overrated. i was there in May. all the hostels/hotels tell tourists to go there. all the beer geeks go there. so, depending what time of the year you're there, there may be little to no locals. it isn't like Kulminator, which i've always found really nice locals AND beer geeks.

    The beer list at Berje has gotten a bit lazy. they haven't updated their menu. the waiting stuff seems indifferent.
    Go if you like. but yeah, it doesn't even compare to Kulminator or Moedr Lambic as far as epic beer bars go. Those 2 are my favourite bars in the world.
     
  12. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    Tim Webb(my big gun:slight_smile:) and I disagree re: 't Brugs Beertje.
    As I said above, tourists are unavoidable anywhere near the center and have been a presence at Beertje for many years. I've been there 5-6 times since 1998 and haven't considered their numbers a real problem. While Moeder Lambic Fontainas has more rare and "ticker beers", it also gets plenty of tourists and I prefer Beertje's atmosphere much more than Moeder's. Beer lists aren't the only consideration - if they were I'd spend time at Delirium Cafe whenever I'm in Brussels, but I hate it's atmosphere. Beertje's beer list always has plenty to make an enjoyable time for me. I don't always seek the rarest, most unusual beers in Belgium.

    As the old saying goes, though - "different strokes for different folks".
     
  13. atomeyes

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

    just wondering when you were last there?
    i was there in 2011 and this past May.
    Two totally different experiences. night and day.
    unless i was there in an off period, it went from being a quaint, enjoyable bar with a good beer list to being a bar with horrible service, a thin bottle list and a sad draught list.
     
  14. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    July, 2010 - hard to believe it could change so much in such a short time.
    Would like to hear from others who were there this year and can compare it to previous visits.
     
  15. atomeyes

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

    we bailed after 2 pints. we really had nothing to order. don't think they had many of the bottles i asked for.
    it was total crap, as opposed to being nice and comfortable back in 2011. i still think it is overrated compared to Kulminator, whose cellar is ridiculous, but Bertje is, in my opinion, not worth the detour and one should drink at the grungy punk bar that's a 10 minute walk east from there that has Struise beer galore/
     
  16. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    You paint a pretty grim picture. I can't believe Daisy would let it degenerate like that. Has it been sold? I still want to hear from others who've been recently but know it's history.

    Even if it's true, there's no need to drink at a "grungy punk bar". There are a number of far better alternatives.

    Curious why you were drinking pints in a Belgian beer cafe. I've never seen Belgian beer served in pints in that country.
     
  17. atomeyes

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


    i am using the term "pints" loosely. pints equals draught in my books. i wasn't drinking Belgian style i.e. the tom collins tall-thin 1/3 pint glasses of no-name ale that's on tap. don't fret. i was drinking from a tulip glass or something similar.

    the grungy bar was excellent if you're not old and fancypantsed. the bartender's an incredibly nice guy and knows his beer. he's friendly and talks (bertje's staff never was helpful on any of my 3 visits). he's passionate about beer. he doesn't cater to tourists but caters to Belgians under 40 who like beer and like the punk asthetic. read the reviews before you frown down at it.

    http://www.ratebeer.com/p/de-kelk-brugge/9497/

    the over-all Ratebeer rating is off compared to what it really should be. and consider that Cambrinus and de Garre are "ranked" the 2nd and 3rd best bars in Bruges before you fully appreciate De Kelk's ranking. i would suggest 3 bars in the city: de Garre for the experience, Bertje for the history and De kelk for the beer and feel.
     
  18. atomeyes

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

    furthermore, some recent ratebeer reviews or Bertje:









    (no, i did not write that review)

    and, finally, the most entertaining but the most accurate review. from March 2013. he gave the bar 46/100

     
  19. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    Relax Atomeyes, you said pints and I took it at face value. Should I have been aware of your unusual use of the term?
    You described De Kelk as a "grungy punk bar" and didn't provide the name. What the hell was I supposed to think? I was there several times in '08 and 2010 and like the place. While it's a little rough around the edges, I certainly wouldn't call it a grungy punk bar. It's away from the tourists and has a good beer list.

    Is there anything else you'd care to lecture me about? :wink:

    I still want to hear some others impressions of recent visits to Beertje.
     
  20. Ruds

    Ruds Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2008 United Kingdom (England)

    I last visited the bear in Dec '12.
    The range of beers available hasn't changed too much since I first visited in July '00.
    There was a 'wow' factor back then that has now faded after many trips to Belgium.
    They had the likes of Struise on the bottle list (both BA Tsjeeses on my visit) but nothing 'rare', so moving with the times to some extent.
    It isn't that kind of place to need to serve rare beers to be honest and the tap list is never likely to expand beyond the 6 'safe' bets.
    It's always had one too many tourists ie ordering Kwak and fruit beers, but the general ambience and service were absolutely fine on my last visit and it was pretty busy being the first weekend in Dec and the run up to Xmas.
    Daisy was working too.
     
  21. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    The Rate beer quotes you provide are more positive than your description, except for the last - which is easy for me to dismiss because he's obviously a grammer challenged kid.
    I prefer the BA reviews, and the recent ones rate it highly and speak well of it. One states the staff were friendly and very helpful.
    Tim Webb continues to rate it highly in his latest guide.

    I'm hoping some others weigh in on this thread with impressions from their recent experiences. You seem to be pretty much the lone bad mouther, and I need to hear more before I accept your opinion of the place.
     
  22. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    Thanks for your perspective.
    I've never gone there seeking rare beers, just a good list. The ambiance was more important to me.
     
  23. atomeyes

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


    to be honest, it's been a number of posts since i've actually cared about your opinion of my opinion. i'm sure if you ask enough times (you're probably close to half a dozen now), you'll hear what you want to hear and will be satisfied. but considering that i was there a few months ago, my opinion is quite fresh, and if someone of your stature doesn't take that into consideration (along with my other Belgian-related advice on this board), then that's your choice and i wish you luck in your beer pursuits.
     
  24. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    My, My, Atomeyes.
    You've certainly taken on a somewhat snotty and petulant attitude here. What have I done beyond questioning your very negative opinion about a cafe I've enjoyed many times? What's with this "someone of your stature" business? Have I said anything to indicate I think I'm superior or better than you? Have I said anything that could be remotely considered arrogant or pissy?

    It appears that you feel threatened by my questioning of your opinion and rating. Being experienced with the Belgian beer scene, I want to see other experienced people who feel the same as you before I accept your negative view of Beertje. Why is that a problem?
     
  25. papagobrewing

    papagobrewing Initiate (19) Sep 8, 2009 Arizona

    The Beertje is a mighty fine spot but also be sure to check out a fairly new place called LeTrappiste. A much better setting than the Beertje that is extremely well run with an international portfolio. I can see this place overtaking the Beertje in the ratings in a year or so.
     
  26. JBogan

    JBogan Champion (827) Jul 15, 2007 California

    It's been over a year since my last visit to Beertje, so can't say if it's changed in the last year. As mentioned, the beer list is nice but nothing earth shaking as far as rarities, but then again I'm not a ticker and couldn't care less about that sort of thing anyways.

    My experiences with the service at Beertje (with and without Daisy present) has always been excellent. I've been there when it's slow and also when it's full to the brim with people, and no matter who was serving they were cordial and helpful.

    I can't wait until my next visit to Bruges to try out the above mentioned Le Trappiste. Have heard great things about that place.
     
  27. azorie

    azorie Initiate (0) Mar 18, 2006 Florida

    Was fine in March/April, got to go in the OFF season. so yea Brugge is packed in the summer....winter is nice.
     
  28. DougOLis

    DougOLis Initiate (185) Aug 15, 2008 California


    Are you talking about Comptoir des Artes? I actually do agree that Beertje is a little overrated compared to Kulminator or Moeder Lambic, and that Comptoir des Artes is probably better.
     
  29. DeDolle

    DeDolle Initiate (129) Jul 7, 2007 United Kingdom (England)

    My number one favourite bar, visited Bruges seven times so have popped into Daisy's many many times (last time during the last beer festival in February) it TOTALLY lives up to it reputation and rightfully deserves it's No1 spot.

    De Garre is well worth visiting for the house beer alone.....simply amazing.

    De Kelk is okay but try De Bierboom across the street, especially as Rudy has just launched his own house beer.

    Comptoir des Artes is situated across from Poatersget (also worth trying) on Vlamingstraat.
     
  30. simoen

    simoen Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2013 Belgium

    Brugs Beertje is a good cafe but in Bruges there are many pubs/bars/cafe's that are mutch better.
    Rose RED, De Kelk, @ the pub, 't Poatersgat, Le Trappiste, De Garre.
     
  31. TomFoley

    TomFoley Initiate (198) Mar 19, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Crap, somebody had to go and mention Rose Red.
     
  32. TomFoley

    TomFoley Initiate (198) Mar 19, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Beertje was pretty much the same when we were in Belgium last year, and I mean that in a good way, though I did spend more time at De Kelk, De Garre and the afore mentioned Rose Red.
     
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