Eat and drink in Brussels when you’re not at the BXLBeerFest
Brussels–and Belgium for that matter–is virtually in my backyard. From my American perspective, I’ve driven almost the same distance in the US just to get to the airport to go somewhere as it takes for me to get to the likes of Belgium, the Netherlands or even the Czech Republic now. I take it for granted how I get to just pop into one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, you know, just for the weekend.
But I’m not taking Brussels for granted anymore.
The BXLBeerFest is what brought me to Brussels over this past weekend and it’s what will keep me coming back to this gorgeous city. The mission of the festival is to give Brussels its rightful place on the list of the best beer cities in the world. Well, to the organizers, volunteers, brewers and fellow festival-goers, I’d say: mission accomplished.
The BXLBeerFest put itself on the map and 2019’s dates are going in the calendar. The venue was very spacious which, even after it got busy, meant that there was still breathing room to walk around. That’s a great thing for families too because Wee Man had some space to run around without getting in the way and people with strollers weren’t thrashing other people’s ankles. Gold star.
Personal space aside, the quality of the breweries there was outstanding! Belgian breweries were the focus (I mean, we were in Belgium, after all…) but I made sure to hit up the French, Dutch and German breweries I was looking forward to trying. None of them disappointed and I am pleased to say that I can now add two French breweries to my rather short “French Breweries I Like” list.
Clean glasses, clean restrooms, short lines, lots of space and a super chill vibe where it really felt like you were hanging with about 2500 friends made the BXLBeerFest my new favorite festival on the continent. Looking forward to next year!
And the (totally useless but it makes me feel good to say it) awards for my favorite beers of the fest go to…
Brauerei J. Kemker
(East Flemish Oud Bruin)
The city of Brussels had a captive beer audience over the weekend. I’m mean, of course there had to be pre-gaming, after-partying and “I need to beat this hangover with more beer”ing. In the name of research, I partook in all three. Just for you, gentle reader. Here are a few of the standout places to see what Brussels beer culture is all about whether you’re in town for the fest or not:
I’m so glad that the BXLBeerFest pulled me back to Brussels. As I said before, I had been taking it a bit for granted. I made a long weekend out of this beer festival and made my way to pub after pub, museum after museum (and waffle after waffle.) I have a new-found affection for the city and I can’t wait to go back to get to all the places I couldn’t manage to get to this time. Let me know where I should be going WHEN I go back in the comments below!