Every year, beer lovers from all over the world flock to Belgium to taste the know-how of our breweries. But where to go to enjoy the best hopped drinks? Follow the guide!
Cantillon in Anderlecht
This Belgian family brewery, in operation since 1990, is one of the most popular in the world (according to a 2016 Ratebeer survey). His specialty? The brewing of lambic beers, beers sown with bacteria and wild yeasts. You can come whenever you want between 10am and 4pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday to visit the brewery and taste their know-how for seven euros. During some events such as the one to come on November 11, you can even experience the different stages of traditional lambic making.
56 rue Gheude 56 à 1070 Anderlecht. 02 521 49 28. www.cantillon.be
Het Anker in Mechelen
Known worldwide for its “Gouden Carolus” beer range, this family brewery, which has been operating since 1471, is one of the oldest in the country. Representing the fifth generation of the Van Breedam family who installed the brewery in 1872 in the Mechelen beguinage, Charles Leclef took over the brewery in 1990 and restored the buildings. He perpetuates the old recipes and produces delicious beers such as “Gouden Carolus” but also “Cuvée van de Keizer” or “Mechelse Reuzen”. Beers that all take their names from the city’s history. ADVERTISING
You can visit the brewery with a guide, individually or in groups, to visit the brewery and the whisky maturing warehouses. The tour includes a tasting and ends on the roof of the brewery, which offers a magnificent view of the city of Mechelen.
49, Guido Gezellelaan, 2800 Mechelen. 0032 15 287 141
Located halfway between Brussels and Antwerp, the Duvel Moortgat brewery was founded in 1871 by Jan-Leonard Moortgat. After the First World War, the Moortgats named their beer Victory Ale (“the beer of victory”) to commemorate the end of the war. During a tasting with the village elders, the shoemaker Van De Wouwer, very surprised by the powerful aromas of the latter, exclaimed: “It is a real devil (duvel)”. In 1923, the beer was marketed under the name “nen echten duvel”. A bold act for Catholic Flanders at the time. Now renamed “Duvel”, it has become the brewery’s star beer.
A beer that you can enjoy during a guided tour (nine euros per person) that includes a presentation film, a visit to the brewery and bottling workshop as well as an introduction to the beer service.
58 Breendonk-Dorp at 2870 Puurs.
From Halve Maan to Bruges
In this traditional family brewery, the only one still in operation in the city centre of Bruges, the “Brugse Zot” and the “Straffe Hendrik” are brewed. Created in 1856 and completely renovated and modernized in 2005, this brewery invites you on a 45-minute guided tour to discover the brewing process live and learn more about the fascinating world of malt and hops. The visit includes a tasting of the “Brugse Zot Blonde”, a golden beer with subtle fruity and spicy aromas. The most beer-loving people can “do a little crazy” and buy the “XL tour”, in order to taste three different beers.
Bruges offers many other wonders to discover. It’s an ideal destination for a weekend. Beautiful hotels will welcome you, for one or two nights. To discover on FindHotel.com.
26 Walplein in 8000 Bruges. +32 50 44 44 42 22.
From Koninck to Antwerp
A true Antwerp emblem, the Koninck Brewery has, after the zoo, the oldest commercial register number in the city! Founded in 1833, this completely renovated building, which has been part of the Duvel Moortgat brewing group since 2010, brews with know-how and passion the “Bolleke Koninck”, which today has become synonymous with Antwerp and vice versa.
In an interactive tour, you will go through different theme rooms, learn everything about Antwerp as a brewing city, about Belgian beers and the whole brewing process. Many interactive tools and audiovisual effects will make you live a 360° experience. And the icing on the cake? The visit ends with a tasting of the “Bolleke Koninck”. Those who still have a dry throat can also enjoy “La triple d’Anvers”, “Wild Jo” or “Lost In Spice”.
291 Mechelsesteenweg to 2018 Antwerp. +32 38 66 66 96.
St. Bernardus in Watou
In the small village of Watou, on the border with France, a beer has been brewing since 1946 that interests all lovers of hopped drinks: “St. Bernardus”. St. Bernardus Abt 12, voted the best beer in the world in 2005 and since then one of the hardest to access beers in the world, is characterised by the highest alcohol content (10%vol.alc.). A “grand cru” of the dark-coloured brewery, topped by an ivory-coloured moss that you can enjoy during an individual or group guided tour.
To kill two birds with one stone, note that only 15 minutes from the brewery (by car) is Saint-Sixte Abbey in Westvleteren, which houses the famous Trappist beer of the same name.
23 Trappistenweg at 8978 Watou. +32 57 38 80 21.
Donkerstraat at 8640 Westvleteren. +32 (0)57 40 03 76
St-Feuillien in Le Roeulx
In the Walloon town of Le Roeulx, this 144-year-old brewery welcomes visitors without reservation every Saturday from 2pm or Sundays from 10:30am. Founded in 1873 by Stéphanie Friart, the brewery, with its fifth generation on track, continues to produce a wide range of beers, including “Grisette Blanche bio”, “St-Feuillien brune” and “Grisette Blonde bio sans gluten”. Three beers that were awarded by an international jury of specialists who blindly tested more than 1500 beers from 32 countries at the 2016 edition of the World Beer Awards.
This being of course a non-exhaustive list!