Keeping it real … Real Ale
When I am not drinking beer I am working to get money to drink beer and I work in travel for a small ship cruise company. Sometimes I am lucky enough to experience some of our cruises, last year I spent a week sailing the Baltic visiting Stockholm, Tallin, St Petersburg and Helsinki but this year I wanted to see what it is like on a river cruise so off I flew to Rotterdam to join one of our vessels mid cruise. Over a couple of days I visited Rotterdam, Den Haag, Delft, Veere, Middlesburg, Bruges and Brussels in passing. Over the next week you will see some posts from what I got up to when I wasn’t ‘working’ but first I want to talk about my favourite place I got to spend some time in last week … T’Brugsch Bieratelier…
Bruges has to be my most loved place to visit as you can read here, the morning was spent on a walking tour of Bruges followed by a 45 mins break which I spent running around some shops getting my beer shopping and a quick drink in the Duvel bar in Markt. The second half of the visit was another walking tour on route to the bus to take the passengers back to the ship and where my suitcase was waiting for me. On the way to the bus I noticed a beer cafe that I had not visited on my previous trip because it was being refurbished but now it was fully refurbished and open … calling my name to come drink in there!
T’brugsch Biertalier is a small and warming beer tasting room with 12 taps of Belgium beer ready for us thirsty beer nerds to tuck into. I think the best way to think about T’brugsch Bieratelier is to think New School Belgium meets American style tasting room, traditional Belgium surroundings with vintage beer adverts, beer photos and T shirts that they make and sell but with 12 large taps behind the bar offering a wide selection of Belgian beers. They offer small mini glasses to try 3 different beers at a time which I took advantage of as I had about an hour and a half to kill before catching my train to Brussels. The beers I tried was Timmermans traditional Lambic blanche, Gouden Carlos classic (voted best dark beer of the year!), Buffalo bitter, Novich Triple Black, St Bernardus prior 8 and Bourgogne des Flanders Brune all of which was really nice but I have to say the stand out beer was Novich triple black, a black triple!!! A first for me and I think something fairly rare to the Belgium beer scene according to the staff, same sort of feel as a black IPA. They change the beers every month depending on the season. So as you can see it is a great place to sample many different beers without getting too swozzeled (Just imagine if I had a glass of each of those! I wouldn’t have made my train that’s for sure!) They also serve cheese and dried meats to to calm your hunger while you work your way through the 12 taps.
They have bottles surrounding the top of the front room although you cannot buy bottles to drink in only to take away, it is all about draught beer in here! I thought both the front bar and the room at the back was both really well decorated and I instantly felt welcome even before I had the chance to talk to the amazing bar staff.
Not only was the beer great but I think that Elien the girl working behind the bar is one of the best and most friendliest bar staff I have had the pleasure to chat to over a beer (I hope you raise enough funds to go to New York). The customer service in T’brugsch Bieratelier was amazing, it was great to see someone really passionate about the beer they serve and the place they serve it in. I was given a master class in some of the Bruges beer rooms I haven’t been too and also helped me with what train to get back to Brussels and prices etc.
Situated just by De Halve Maan brewery and in the corner of the town going towards the train station by some of the best photo scenes T’brugsch Bieratelier attracts alot of people walking along then coming in to have a look and walking back out again (bloody tourists!) which is a shame because they are missing out on some true Belgian delights by leaving before trying! T’brugsch Bieratelier is new to the Bruges beer scene (previously being a sandwhich shop!) so new it has just missed out on Podge’s latest 80 beers in Bruges which is a real shame as it truly deserves to be in there, anyone visiting Bruges should not leave till they have spent some time in T’brugsch Bieratelier trying their amazing beers while talking to their lovely staff. I really left T’brugsch Bieratelier buzzing on a high of enjoyment and straight away was thinking of how much I loved being in there, I havent left a pub so satisfied in a long time but maybe that was just the beers talking and letting the magic of Bruges take over me. I cannot wait to return to T’brugsch Bieratelier, hopefully in the summer I shall return with the girlfriend as I cannot reccomend this place enough!
But wait there is more … not only is T’brugsch Bieratelier a wonderful bar with great beer and friendly bar staff … oh no … they also run a Bruges Beer tour! A 3 hour guided tour of 7 Bruges bars with a drink in each while listening to a bit of history about the bar and the beer you are drinking, sounds good to me hopefully me and the misses will be able to join this next time we are visiting Bruges.