As much as I wish I could throw back Budweiser after Budweiser, I can’t. I used to hate all beer; it did nothing for me. After working at a wine, cheese, and beer bar in Philadelphia, I grew to appreciate and heck, even like the stuff.
I gained an affinity for lambic beers; beers that are fermented using the yeast that naturally flies through the air; a much riskier process than using controlled yeast and a process that results in a funky, sour, complex flavor.
In the US, these beers are usually imported and costly. In Belgium, they are inexpensive and EVERYWHERE.
Rachel and I spent a lovely evening sampling as many beers as we could muster at Delirium bar in Brussels. They have over two thousand types of beer. Over. Two. Thousand.
Right through here to where dreams come true.
Our bartender France (Yup. Her name was the name of a country) was the most helpful person in the history of the world. I was OBIVOUSLY overwhelmed, but I told her what I liked and she made some great suggestions.
The inside of the bar, or the inside of heaven?!
I tried a gueuze, which is a mixture of 1, 2, and 3 year old lambics—it was funky and rich. I would have had another one, but there were thousands to try and I’m ONLY ONE PERSON FOR GOODNESS SAKE.
Gueuze her?! I hardly know her!
This paper wrapped beer was a little more standard—a little citrusy with little hops (I am not a hops fan).
Whatchu hiding underneath that paper?!
I loved this tripel—a tripel is a strong pale ale (typically Belgian). It had a hint of fruit in it, and look how jolly that dude is on the label! I want to drink with HIM!
I’d be that jolly if I were drinking this beer all the time.
My favorite had to have been this hibiscus beer, or hibeerscus as I think it should be renamed. The hibiscus added subtle floral notes and a bit of sweet plum to the beer. Easy drinkin’. And delicious times seven.
Who doesn’t love consuming a beverage that is slightly purple?!
Rachel’s twiter name is geisette, so she was required to get this beer.
Geisette holding Grisette.
Also, the beers were not expensive (of course there were ones that were), but for such a tourist-y place, they kept the prices reasonable, which allows for maximum beer consumption!
How cool do these streets look?!
Speaking of beer, we took a tour of the Cantillon Brewery—It’s only a few Euro (under ten) and you get a glass of lambic at the end!
I was so crateful for this experience.
If you want more, it’s only a few Euro to get another glass, then sit by the fire and lambic your troubles away. I had the gueze and the kriek (cherry) variety.
Look at that COLOR!
This place is world renown for their beers, and they did not disappoint. Tart, sour, and delicious. I highly suggest this tour if you find yourself nearby!
You better store that beer!
I had to have mussels in brussels, and I found Mer du Nord. It was a little place right by the hotel where there are no indoor seats; you get your seafood and can stand and eat it at the outdoor tables, or bring to your hotel room with some high alcohol (and kinda gross beer) and have an indoor picnic!
Mer du Nord translates to “deliciously awesome seafood at a stand in the middle of Brussels.” I think.
Indoor picnic funtimes. And Rachel’s legs.
The mussels were in a light and savory tomato broth flavored with fresh herbs, white wine, and sautéed onions. They were so fresh and tender, I ended up getting them the next day also.
Mussels look kind of weird up close. Still delicious. But weird.
The shrimp I had were equally delicious—sauteed with garlic and tomatoes, and accompanied with crostinis, a mustard-y slightly sweet sauce and some cheese sprinkled on top. A perfect indoor picnic feast. In Brussels!
Who you callin’ a shrimp? These guys!
All the better to sop you up with, my dear.
And I could not find brussel sprouts on one freakin’ menu, though many of them were in French and I don’t know the French words for Brussel Sprouts. Oy.
Who cares, ’cause here’s a random statue of a cat riding a bicycle.
No caption needed?
All in all, Brussels is a beautiful, delicious city. I’d definitely be back, but only after spending more time in Paris, which I head back to in my next post!
Also it wouldn’t be a trip to Brussels if there wasn’t a picture of this little kid peeing! DREAMS!
At least he’s hydrated.