Belgium The BA's Guide to Brussels

Discussion in 'Europe' started by ClassicBrad, Sep 18, 2012.

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  1. ClassicBrad

    ClassicBrad Initiate (0) Sep 29, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Heading there for my honeymoon and would love to hear any advice some fellow BAs might have for me based on past experiences or dilligent researching. Will be there from 10/15-20. Tours, pubs, restaurants, even shopping (to keep her happy).

    Also, what's the best way to send some liquid souvenirs back to the states; luggage or shipping?
  2. Hands22

    Hands22 Initiate (0) Oct 14, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Look at the Benelux forums, there's tons of posts about where to visit. I highly suggest Moeder Lambic and Cantillon. Not sure if 3F has finished rebuilding yet.

    When I went I brought beer back in my checked bag. I think 12 bottles of Cantillon worked out to be 50 lbs.
    ClassicBrad likes this.
  3. BelgianBeerPope

    BelgianBeerPope Initiate (99) Aug 10, 2012 Belgium

    Shipping rates of Belgian Post to US :
    < 5kg : 31.00€
    5 - 10kg : 62.00€
    10 - 20kg : 93.00€
    20 - 30kg : 124.00€

    It all depends on how many kg luggage you can take on the plane and the amount of bottles you want to buy -> plan carefully ! ! !

    In Brussels :

    Shopping : Rue Neuve - Nieuwstraat
    Beerbar : Moeder Lambic
    Sightseeing : Hop On - Hop Off bus + Magritte Museum (art)
    Brewery : Cantillon
    Food : avoid the Rue de Boucher, it's a rip-off

    Antwerp (by train : Antwerp-Central) :

    Shopping : more interesting to Brussels : Meir + Fashion district (Dries Van Noten etc.)
    Beerbar : Kulminator
    Sightseeing : take a nice stroll in the old town district + MaS-Museum (history)
    Brewery : 't Pakhuis (micro-brewery + restaurant)
    Food : 't Zuid area of 't Eilandje area

    Genth (by train : Gent - St Pieters) :

    Shopping : Veldstraat
    Beerbar : Waterhuis a/d Bierkant (and next door 't Druppelkot for some Belgian jenever)
    Sightseeing : take a nice stroll in the old town district
    Brewery : none (in the city centre) but you can replace with a visit to Hopduvel beershop
    Food : Patershol district

    Bruges (by train) :

    Shopping : Noordzand & Zuidzand
    Beerbar : Brugs Beertje
    Sightseeing : take a nice stroll in the old town district
    Brewery : De Halve Maan
    Food : ?

    If you need more details, do not hesitate to contact me !
    gueuzer likes this.
  4. DougOLis

    DougOLis Initiate (185) Aug 15, 2008 California

    Are there any stores that sell boxes/packaging supplies or things like wine/beer shipping containers? Or are there any stores that will package it all up and send it for me? I'm heading back to Saudi Arabia for work after this trip so I can't take beer with me, but I want to send some back home to San Diego.
  5. ClassicBrad

    ClassicBrad Initiate (0) Sep 29, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Are most breweries alright with walk-ins or are reservations necessary? I remember browsing through the back of Michael Jackson's Great Beers of Belgium and he mentioned reservations quite a bit.
  6. stephen1162

    stephen1162 Initiate (0) May 26, 2005 Massachusetts

    I visited the Cantillon Brewery about 6 years ago. It was a self guided tour, no reservations necessary. I didn't try any other breweries.

    The best way to bring back beer is in your checked luggage. Stuff the 11.2 oz bottles in your shoes, roll them up in your dirty laundry, wherever. Do the same with your new wife's luggage. You cannot carry liquids onto a plane bound for the USA, so don't bother trying your carry-on.

    You will find a number of specialty beer shops in the touristy part of Brussels They have the best selection but not the best prices. Any supermarket will have a good selection at reasonable prices; e.g. Rochefort 10 for 2 euros. Single bottles can be had in either venue.

    I can't comment on shipping, but the postage is likely to be more than the cost of the same beer here in the USA. Also many states won't allow alcohol in the mail.

    There are wonderful chocolate shops for every beer bar. Score some points with your wife.

    Good luck and enjoy.

    ClassicBrad likes this.
  7. atomeyes

    atomeyes Disciple (381) Jul 13, 2011 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    De Struise has a beer shop in Bruges now, apparently.

    Brussels: just hit Moeder Lambic near Groet Markt and screw the rest. Cantillon is a must visit.
  8. UncleJimbo

    UncleJimbo Site Editor (3,380) Sep 11, 2002 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    If you are talking about Brussels, there really aren't many breweries. You can visit Cantillon most days Mon-Sat. I am not sure about the (relatively) new Tilquin. Outside Brussels in Beersel, there is 3 Fonteinen and Oud Beersel, but they have limited days for visitors. Other breweries elsewhere in Belgium range from no real visitors allowed (except under special circumstances), to visitors allowed if booked in advance on a tour, to tours for walk-ins on one or two days per week.
    ClassicBrad likes this.
  9. rettie

    rettie Initiate (16) Feb 24, 2011 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Advice on here is excellent as always. Cantillon and Moeder Lambic in that order, and I would go to Delirium Cafe also as they have a huge amount on tap and it's a bit of a landmark. Go on a weeknight though so it's quiet, nothing better than a night of drinking and conversation sans douchebags.
  10. BelgianBeerPope

    BelgianBeerPope Initiate (99) Aug 10, 2012 Belgium

    At the post office you should be able to get boxes to pack your stuff (but they charge !).

    For shops, it's worth asking but I guess most of them will not do because of the complicated legal issues to send alcohol to the US.

    If you don't find a solution, I'm willing to help you out but send your enquiry in a seperate conversation !
  11. BelgianBeerPope

    BelgianBeerPope Initiate (99) Aug 10, 2012 Belgium

    No, they are not ! ! ! Most of them don't even bother to do public tours, some have limited visiting hours and only a few have daily tours (Cantillon - Brussels / Halve Maan - Bruges). So to avoid disappointements, plan carefully (again):relaxed: !
  12. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,003) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Subscriber

    Seems like the few obvious options have been said a bunch of times already, here are some other places that are just as worthy for a visit:

    Beer Circus
    La Porte Noir
    Poechenellekelder (while it is touristy I've still had a great time every visit)

    Entertaining places with less of a beer selection:

    La Bécasse
    A La Mort Subite

    Gallery du Roi has decent shopping ...
    ClassicBrad likes this.
  13. ClassicBrad

    ClassicBrad Initiate (0) Sep 29, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Anyone know anything about that Brauhaus Schmitz Oktoberfest/Block Party event? I guess its the fourth annual. Might head to Philly on the 28th with a few people. Or it could be a cool event to check out before we take a quick hotel break.
  14. UncleJimbo

    UncleJimbo Site Editor (3,380) Sep 11, 2002 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Where in Belgium is this event?
  15. ClassicBrad

    ClassicBrad Initiate (0) Sep 29, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Ooops! Meant to post this to a thread about Philly.
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