2005 | REGIONAL | INTERNATIONAL
Brussels's Newest Beer Stars
By Chuck Cook
that 2005 is the “Year of Beer” in Brussels and
Wallonia (in cooperation with the Walloon and Brussels tourist
offices), what a great year it will be to go traveling and
see some of the many new, and newly discovered, cafes, restaurants
and brewery tasting rooms there!
In Brussels, the Delirium
Cafe had a banner year in 2004. Beer lovers from across
the globe have begun to find the place and explore its huge
beer selection (10 on tap, over 2,000 bottled) along with
its 500 genevers. The new cafe was designed by Joel Pecheur,
who also created Chez Moeder Lambic and a number of other
beer specialty cafes in Brussels. Delirium
Cafe has a friendly, “brown café” (old
Belgian pub) feel in its cellar area. The walls are covered
with old breweriana. There is even one wall of old American
The beer menu is phonebook sized, with beers arranged by
new offerings, country of origin, style of beer or seasonality.
There was a German “bock fest” going on when I
visited in early December, with over 20 different brews offered.
is a great place to sample the hard-to-find beers of small
Wallonian breweries like Brasserie Authentique, Mortals, Les
Rulles and many more. There are also top-shelf brews like
Malheur Brut Reserve and Bosteels DeuS, as well as most of
the Trappist beers and, of course, lambics, gueuzes and regional
beers. Just about anything you want is available here, including
beers from France, Germany, the U.K., the Netherlands and
farther afield. Food is limited to bread, cheese, paté
and sausage — enough to keep you going until lunch or
statue of Janneken Pis (the female Manneken Pis) is on the
same street, Impasse de la Fidelite. In the future, Pecheur
would like to open a cafe with 50 beers on tap on the same
street if another building can be found that would suit that
purpose. If this does not work out, the Ixelles area of Brussels
may see such a cafe in the future. The Delirium Cafe is open
from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. Monday to Saturday, and 10:00
a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Sundays.
Restobieres is a beer cuisine restaurant that opened in late
2001 that is just now getting recognition. It is, in fact,
a top destination in Brussels. Owner Alain Fayt has created
a first-class place with great service and value as well.
Beer and food are expertly paired.
I had a four-course meal (35 euros, with prices beginning
at 20 euros), starting with a scrumptious paté with
fresh orange on the side paired with Ellezelloise Saisis.
This was followed by a plate of mussels cooked in a cream
sauce, and then venison on a bed of mushroom sauce with raspberries
on the side, paired with Westvleteren 8! A handmade chocolate
mousse completed the meal. There are over a dozen different
meals to choose from.
The atmosphere here is very conducive to cuisine a la bière
and conversation. The walls are covered with old beer bottles,
beer glasses, coffee grinders, historical photos and breweriana
such as old ceramic plates and serving trays.
Regional Belgian beers, Trappist brews, lambics and gueuzes
are well represented on the beer menu. There are also other
beers that are not on the list, so have a look at the cooler
to the right of the bar, where these can be seen and selected.
Restobieres is open Tuesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to midnight,
Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and from
7:00 p.m. to midnight, and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30
p.m. I highly recommend that you visit.
Chuck Cook is a freelance writer living
in Richmond, VA. His passions are beer and travel, and he
has written for various beer publications. He traveled to
Belgium in December as a guest of the Belgian Tourist Office.
He can also be reached via