To be ready for Christmas, the elves and I have to work all year long. Christmas beer takes the preparation too. The best Christmas beer needs to be aged a bit. So, I stopped by Brussels, Belgium to add a couple dozen bottles to my cellar.
On previous trips, I’ve driven to the furthest reaches of Belgian (never longer than 4 hours drive from end to end). I’ve been to Orval, Westvleteren, De Dolle, Struise, Rochefort, St Bernardus, just to name some of my favorites.
Some of the best bottle shops, and the cheapest, are scattered around the countryside. But that takes a car, a GPS, and time. I had none of these this last trip so I stuck to Brussels.
Hunting Beer in Brussels
Fortunately, you can find an excellent selection of rare and the usual beers all within walking distance of Grand Place, right near the Central railway station.
Three shops stand out. You’ve really got to visit all three because they have a different selection, and are priced differently.
None of the shops we cheaper than the others for every beer. But you can save a Euro here or there if compare prices before buying.
Although, it’s quite extensive, it’s not the beer selection that stand out here. No, the best part of this little shop around the corner from the original Neuhaus Chocolate Store on Galerie du Roi is that you can discuss recommendations with the owners and then drink the beer right there in the shop. Then take home bottles of those that you liked.
Rue des Bouchers 68, Brussels, Belgium B1000 (Open 2-8pm Thursday to Monday)
Stroll down the crowded Rue des Bouchers and stop for mussels at Chez Léon. A block down on the right is the famous Delirium Café on Impasse de la Fedélité. You won’t find a better selection of beer in the country.
2. Beer Planet
Next up is the smallest shop on this list. Here’s the secret: shop on their website first and arrange to pick up what you want at the shop. That turns Beer Planet into one of the best store anywhere for Belgian beer.
Rue De La Fourche (Greepstraat) 45, Brussels 1000, Belgium (Open 1-9pm, and from 11am on Saturday and Sunday).
Take a left out of the shop. Pick up some frites and homemade sauces from Café Georgette a couple doors down. Continue along Rue De La Fourche until you hit Grasmarkt and turn left.
Yes, “The Beer Temple”. The largest selection in the central area. Prices are fair but you’re paying for convenience. You’ll find all the Trappist beers including the difficult to find Westvleteren 6, 8, and 12. They have a large selection of 1.5 liter bottles and a wall of glassware. There were only a few beers that the other shops had that Bier Tempel did not.
Grasmarkt 56b, Brussels, 1000 Belgium (Open daily 9:30am – 6:30pm).
Bargain shopper might check out the Carrefour Express a block over on Rue au Beurre 27. They have many of the standard Belgians including Trappists. You’ll save 1 to 1.5 Euros a bottle, if they have what you want.
One more, but it’s in Brugge, Bacchus Cornelius is one of my favorites. The owner has a nice selection at really great prices. She also makes her own chocolate liquor using her husband’s chocolate. He’s the chocolate maker next door. Academiestraat 17, 8000 Brugge.
Question: Where is your favorite beer shop in Brussels? You can leave a comment by clicking here.