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General Category => Beer Travel => Topic started by: rabid_dingo on November 04, 2010, 05:12:59 PM

Title: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: rabid_dingo on November 04, 2010, 05:12:59 PM
Going to be in Belgium for 28ish hours. I may hike it to Brugges from Belgium but does anyone know
how far a ride it is really to St. Sixtus? Any recomended spots in Brussels or Brugges in case I cant
make it to the monastary?
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: dbeechum on November 04, 2010, 09:53:26 PM
It's really just a about a 10-15 minute bike ride from the town, unless you get lost,
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: rabid_dingo on November 05, 2010, 12:43:19 AM
It's really just a about a 10-15 minute bike ride from the town, unless you get lost,
From Brugges? Know that distance or time?
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: MDixon on November 05, 2010, 07:07:40 AM
I started to post earlier but with 28 hours, you ain't gonna make it much of anywhere AND back. Bruges is 70km from Westvleteren, about an 11 hour walk. Bruges is 100km from Brussels. They REALLY frown upon drunk driving, you cannot walk from one to the other and the trains only run at certain times. In Bruges you have to get from the train station to downtown.

That being said, if you are in Bruges or Brussels, there are plenty of places to go. Some of the beer rating sites list most of the places, or if you know specifically where you will be I'm sure you'll get lots of great advice.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: hopfenundmalz on November 05, 2010, 07:24:32 AM
The train ride from Brugge to Poperinge was not that long, but you have to change trains.  The wait in the station at some town that I have forgotten was much longer than time on the trains. 

You could spend a week in Brugge or Brussels and not see and do all that you could.

Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: dbeechum on November 05, 2010, 08:10:00 AM
It's really just a about a 10-15 minute bike ride from the town, unless you get lost,
From Brugges? Know that distance or time?


Hahah, no.. sorry my brain already skipped the step where you travel to Poperinge. If you're only there for a day, don't blow all you time on the train trip to St. Sixtus.

Spend all your time getting stupidly happy in one of the other towns.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: 1vertical on November 05, 2010, 10:23:43 PM
Google maps....see yer path  ;)
Print yer path....go ....go.....live!
 http://www.exploringabroad.com/electronic-translators.htm  (http://www.exploringabroad.com/electronic-translators.htm)
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: rabid_dingo on November 07, 2010, 01:11:11 AM
I started to post earlier but with 28 hours, you ain't gonna make it much of anywhere AND back. Bruges is 70km from Westvleteren, about an 11 hour walk. Bruges is 100km from Brussels. They REALLY frown upon drunk driving, you cannot walk from one to the other and the trains only run at certain times. In Bruges you have to get from the train station to downtown.

That being said, if you are in Bruges or Brussels, there are plenty of places to go. Some of the beer rating sites list most of the places, or if you know specifically where you will be I'm sure you'll get lots of great advice.

There's always time...I circumnavigated the globe in 8 days. Fun.  I am an "extreme" or should I say, for the benefit of the forum, "imperial" traveler... ;)
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: MDixon on November 07, 2010, 08:39:43 AM
Sorry I doubted you, guess you'll run from bar to bar...let's make your first stop Delirium Cafe in Brussels...2000 beers...how many ya gonna have before your run to the next stop...how about hitting Brugs Beertje in Brugges...300 there, some surely duplicated with Delirium...now let's compound that with all the places in Brugges and in Brussels and the next thing you know 28 hours isn't enough time to hit 3 to 5 establishments.

As an example we hit Miniatuurke in Antwerpen...they have 4 beers in total and on my visit 2 were the same beer, so only 3 beers. We must have spent two+ hours there when all was said and done.

Enjoy your trip.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: uthristy on November 07, 2010, 10:02:47 AM
<snip> the next thing you know 28 hours isn't enough time to hit 3 to 5 establishments.



First trip to brugge, 14 pubs 1 day/night, started at 11am and finished after 2am. 1 beer per pub works just fine, two people doubles the beers tasted :D

We had "Around Bruges in 80 Beers" memorized so it was just a long pub crawl.


There's always time...I circumnavigated the globe in 8 days. Fun.  I am an "extreme" or should I say, for the benefit of the forum, "imperial" traveler... ;)

Thats the spirt, we've been called a invading army on a blitzkrieg, have a primary plan with a backup and another backup - $hit happens
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: MDixon on November 07, 2010, 11:59:32 AM
Sure if one's only desire is to maximize pub visits, my preference is to spend some time and enjoy multiple beers, foods and the atmosphere. I think of it as the young bull wanting to run down the hill to spend time with a cow and the old bull telling him we'll walk down and spend time with them all...YMMV  ;)
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: tygo on November 07, 2010, 12:30:00 PM
I think of it as the young bull wanting to run down the hill to spend time with a cow and the old bull telling him we'll walk down and spend time with them all...YMMV  ;)

Nicely cleaned up to maintain the family friendliness of the forum  ;)
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: rabid_dingo on November 07, 2010, 01:30:03 PM
Sure if one's only desire is to maximize pub visits, my preference is to spend some time and enjoy multiple beers, foods and the atmosphere. I think of it as the young bull wanting to run down the hill to spend time with a cow and the old bull telling him we'll walk down and spend time with them all...YMMV  ;)

I get what you're saying, but I am not going to skip the trip just cause there isn't enought time.
Plus it is easier for me to go and go back next year. I am not aiming to sample 3300 beers, just
a handfull. Hell, I have never sampled all 2200 beers at the GABF nor have I tried.  ;D
But you have given me a place to aim for 3000 beers? That sound like a good starting point. And if it
is the only place I visit, it would be a damn fine place to mark as a notch on my walking stick.

Weather looks like it will be soggy but oh well, more reason to stay indoors and sample. Plus,
I am using the trip to guage a possible trek for Westy12. I doubt I will make it to St. Sixtus this
time but at least I will have blazed a trail to gain knowledge of surroundings.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: uthristy on November 07, 2010, 02:04:49 PM
Sure if one's only desire is to maximize pub visits, my preference is to spend some time and enjoy multiple beers, foods and the atmosphere.

Yeah its great to sit and really hit the beer list but if time is short ....besides how much time does it take to soak up the atomsphere? 45min -1hr is plenty along with the fact most pubs there all feel the same, yeah theres great ones but lots plain-jane ones too.  You mentioned food, beer/food again 45min -1hr, off to the next pub which in brugge could across the street. ;D

lunch>
(http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/th_beer302.jpg) (http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/beer302.jpg)

afternoon snack>
(http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/th_beer348.jpg) (http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/beer348.jpg)

dinner>
(http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/th_beer293.jpg) (http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/beer293.jpg)

latenight snack>
(http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/th_beer283.jpg) (http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/beer283.jpg)


Rabid_Dingo, if your in  Brussels  than Antwerpen is closer than Brugge, can you say Kulminator.Thats a pub you should spend hours & hours pouring thur the list.
http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/1232/
(http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/th_beer246.jpg) (http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/beer246.jpg)
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: MDixon on November 07, 2010, 05:44:10 PM
Breakfast tends to be a large meal in Belgium and many hotels provide it with the room. Some of the bars provide snacks with the beers so if one times it well you can get away without having to worry about lunch and snack pretty much all day till dinner.

I much prefer Antwerpen or Brugges over Brussels, but one still has to get there if the starting point is Brussels.

- -

thirsty - don't think I didn't run all over the countryside when we visited Belgium - first day was a tour of the Royal Palace combined with a Beer Festival - second day was a tour of Rodenbach, then Palm as well as the Belgian BBQ Festival. Rodenbach is in Roeselare, Palm is in Steenhuffel and the walk from the train station to Palm is nearly 4 miles. From there Antwerpen, then Brugges, then Ghent and back to Brussels. We took the train everywhere or walked, never spent more than $100 a night for a hotel including breakfast for two and did not have anything planned other than where we were staying each night. With a little knowledge of the layout of each city and the bars to visit, one can easily move around...

- -

rabid - use the maps at the bottom here (right side links) to help you with whatever city you decide to visit.
http://www.whitebeertravels.co.uk/downloads.html
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: euge on November 07, 2010, 11:36:27 PM
I want to go sooo bad. Next year maybe. Glad to see you did a salad & shrimp for din dins urthristy. Actually all that looks great and healthy not like the crap you get here.

I imagine it's like a dream.So many choices. Unless you know what you want beforehand agonizing over what to choose seems unreal with a 3000 beer menu.

Only 28 hours? Squeeze in a few beers and take some pics man.

Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: theoman on November 08, 2010, 05:21:18 AM
If you're happy with staying in and sampling, I don't understand the point of leaving Brussels. Brugge is nice and all, but you gotta get out, walk around, take a boat trip and all that stuff. Brussels has the best bars, I think. It doesn't get any better than Moeder Lambic Fontainas. They're very, very serious about serving high-quality, well-kept beers.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: uthristy on November 08, 2010, 07:27:25 AM

thirsty - don't think I didn't run all over the countryside when we visited Belgium - first day was a tour of the Royal Palace combined with a Beer Festival - second day was a tour of Rodenbach, then Palm as well as the Belgian BBQ Festival. Rodenbach is in Roeselare, Palm is in Steenhuffel and the walk from the train station to Palm is nearly 4 miles. From there Antwerpen, then Brugges, then Ghent and back to Brussels.


Now thats more like it ;)
I once traveled with friends before and they would find a spot and never leave, odd they flew 9+hrs and didn't want to see the sights.
We never traveled with them again, LOL

Brussels has the best bars, .

Says the man from Brussels :D
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: svejk on November 08, 2010, 10:04:10 AM
...can you say Kulminator.Thats a pub you should spend hours & hours pouring thru the list.
http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/1232/
(http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/th_beer246.jpg) (http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/beer246.jpg)


I couldn't agree more.  For a short trip, a visit to Kulminator is really hard to beat.  I believe every Belgian beer lover should go there at least once in their life.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: MDixon on November 08, 2010, 06:44:33 PM
So Brussels man, tell me what is so awesome? Truthfully I didn't find much to love about the city. Some great bars, but we had a much better time in Antwerpen, Ghent and Brugge...YMMV

Also people in Belgium seemed to find it odd we came there traveling around for beer.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: theoman on November 09, 2010, 01:28:34 AM
So Brussels man, tell me what is so awesome? Truthfully I didn't find much to love about the city. Some great bars...

You pretty much answered your own question. Reread my previous post. I like Brussels a lot, but I don't deny that the other towns are pretty excellent. If you only have a day and are only concerned with beer tourism, there's no point in leaving Brussels (although I agree - Kulminator is pretty cool). Nobody in Belgium has a better selection of well-cared for taps than Moeder Lambic Fontainas. The original Chez Moeder Lambic is also excellent, with a much better atmosphere. I really don't like Delirium, but if you're looking for something specific, it's hard to beat. Just pick up a copy of "Around Brussels in 80 Beers" and I think you'll agree.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: uthristy on November 10, 2010, 06:32:03 AM
I imagine it's like a dream.So many choices. Unless you know what you want beforehand agonizing over what to choose seems unreal with a 3000 beer menu.

Its abit overwhelming at first but I like to prep by checking a few websites as to whats good or new.

http://blog.seniorennet.be/bierblog/
http://www.bloggen.be/bier_in_beeld/
http://hierstroomthetbier.be/
http://belgianbeerboard.com/
http://gloriousfoodandwinebelgianbeer.blogspot.com/
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: rabid_dingo on November 12, 2010, 12:28:07 AM
 Well, First of all I am definitely going back. uthirsty, those links were posted while I was there so there is my first excuse to go back. To check their accuracy. ;)

The flights were all fantastic. The plans didn't exist and it was, like I said "A whirlwind Trip" Short and without direction...

They guys I was meeting up with had planned on a VRBO. The first day was shot because the owner and my friend didn't meet
up right. Miscommunication. So it was up to my arriving group to check in and secure it. By the time that was done and we
found the rest of our group it was 11:00-12:00 noon. So Brugges was waived off and I threw out the Delirium Cafe idea. No
argument and we sought it out. Took is a bit to find it as the maps were all in a language we could not understand.
After walking around the restaurants that surround the area and subsequently walking past it maybe 3 times. Eureka!

We had dinner at one of the restaurants afterwards. That pretty much completed my day. On
the train back to the airport by 8:30am the next day.

Here's my take and some fun. Not in order and I am not snobby cicerone that tastes in order an/or in suggested direction.
This was purely recreational and I had a fantastic time. There is one beer here that I would love to see comments on and
wonder if I am nuts about what it was supposed to taste like or If I got a bad beer. Please comment on these if you have
had them. And it was not the Duff. Not pictured: Delirium Tremens and Noctourn.

(http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/th_IMG_0269.jpg) (http://s257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/?action=view&current=IMG_0269.jpg)     (http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/th_IMG_0270.jpg) (http://s257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/?action=view&current=IMG_0270.jpg)     (http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/th_IMG_0285.jpg) (http://s257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/?action=view&current=IMG_0285.jpg)

(http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/th_IMG_0287.jpg) (http://s257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/?action=view&current=IMG_0287.jpg)     (http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/th_IMG_0292.jpg) (http://s257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/?action=view&current=IMG_0292.jpg)     (http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/th_IMG_0281.jpg) (http://s257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/?action=view&current=IMG_0281.jpg)

(http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/th_IMAG0679.jpg) (http://s257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/?action=view&current=IMAG0679.jpg)     (http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/th_IMAG0682.jpg) (http://s257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/?action=view&current=IMAG0682.jpg)     (http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/th_IMAG0651.jpg) (http://s257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/?action=view&current=IMAG0651.jpg)

(http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/th_IMAG0646.jpg) (http://s257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/?action=view&current=IMAG0646.jpg)
What a contrail really looks like...
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: rabid_dingo on November 12, 2010, 12:28:34 AM
(http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/Rabid_Dingo/Brewing/IMG_0261.jpg)
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: euge on November 12, 2010, 12:44:18 AM
I've had the Malheur 10 and the Kwak. Both good/great though I prefer the Malheur 8.

Looks like you had fun. Limited by the time window I think Delirium Cafe is something people will remember. The Liefmans looks interesting.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: tschmidlin on November 12, 2010, 03:07:16 AM
Goudenband is a great beer!  I really like the Schlenkerla Marzen, although I prefer the Urbock.  Malheur, Kwak, Duvel, and Boon Geuze are all very good.  Delerium Tremens and Nocturnum are both great too.  I'd say you made some great selections!  I haven't had the Duff though, what is that like?

And yes, that is what a contrail looks like when the flight path is more or less perpendicular to your position instead of coming toward you, and when the sun is not setting behind it ;)
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: uthristy on November 12, 2010, 05:13:12 AM
Took is a bit to find it as the maps were all in a language we could not understand.

Ahh you were in  foreign country that speaks 4-5 different languages :D

< edit to ask >
So did you get the Nude-O-Scope or the enhanced grope?

INFO (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-safety-security-222/)

Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: gordonstrong on November 12, 2010, 08:26:25 AM
Delirium Cafe is a good choice for the range of beers, as long as you aren't there when it's overly crowded.  If I was only going to be in Brussels for a short time and wanted a big selection, that's where I'd go.  When you suggested running all over the place, people who had been there suggested you'd be better off finding one good place and spending some time there.  Glad to see that's what you did.  Go back on other trips and check out some of the other suggestions.  You could easily have done the same thing in Antwerp at the Kulminator or Brugge (Bruges) at 't Brugs Beertje.

At DC, I like to get the Delirium Nocturnum on draft, and the La Rulles Tripel on draft is also a winner.  Other than that, trying whatever random beers you haven't tried or those that you have tried but want to see what they taste like fresh is a good move.

The restaurants on the little side street (rue de Bouchers?) you have to walk through to get to the cafe are sort of tourist traps.  The food is OK, but you can do a lot better. 

Many people in Belgium speak English, so you can usually get help.  Flemish/Dutch is sort of a cross between German and English, so if you sound out the words you can often figure out what they mean.  Some conversational French can help, particularly in restaurants.

The main point is, I'm glad you went and that you enjoyed it.  Belgium is a wonderful country, and you can only get a brief glimpse in a day.  But now you know what we're talking about!
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: bluesman on November 12, 2010, 08:54:48 AM
Ruben...I'm jealous.

Never had the opporunity to go to Belgium yet.  It's on my list for sure.
I've had the Shlenkerla Marzen, DT and Duvel beers which were great choices. How was the food?

Sounds like you had a great time. At least you have a primer now for the next trip.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: rabid_dingo on November 14, 2010, 11:58:14 AM
Euge the Liefmans was a fantastic sour. Barrel aged for "many many months" per the label.
Tom, can you remember in more detail the Boon Geuze? Describe it to me so make sure I got it right.

Gordon, The cafe was not crowded, we were 4 of maybe 12 people there. It did pick up later in the evening, but
by then we scored seats right at the taps at the bar. Never moved, until we got hungry. Then
we ate and called it a night. We were there for a good long while. 5-7 hours.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: MDixon on November 14, 2010, 12:40:32 PM
Glad you decided to try the ways of the old bull  ;)
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: uthristy on November 14, 2010, 01:44:14 PM
But now he has to go back :D  Next thing he'll be going a couple times per year  :D ;D

rabid_dingo- what do you think was wrong with the boon geuze?

So did you get the Nude-O-Scope or the enhanced grope??


Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: tumarkin on November 14, 2010, 02:19:08 PM
Euge the Liefmans was a fantastic sour. Barrel aged for "many many months" per the label.
Tom, can you remember in more detail the Boon Geuze? Describe it to me so make sure I got it right.

Gordon, The cafe was not crowded, we were 4 of maybe 12 people there. It did pick up later in the evening, but
by then we scored seats right at the taps at the bar. Never moved, until we got hungry. Then
we ate and called it a night. We were there for a good long while. 5-7 hours.

Boon (pronounced Bone) is one of my favorites, it's really one of the more traditional lambics. My top 3 are Boon, Hannsens, and Cantillion. Each of these breweries has a range of beers, you typically won't go wrong with any of them. Frank Boon is a fantastic brewer & blender. The gueze is citric and bright, fairly dry, wonderful funk. If you come across the Boon Marriage Parfait be sure to get some, you'll be glad you did.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: tschmidlin on November 15, 2010, 12:22:14 AM
Tom, can you remember in more detail the Boon Geuze? Describe it to me so make sure I got it right.
The bottles I've had I had here, not in Belgium.  But it was nicely sour, a little fruity . . . it's been a while, hard to remember the details exactly.  What did you think?
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: uthristy on November 15, 2010, 06:13:54 AM
If you come across the Boon Marriage Parfait be sure to get some, you'll be glad you did.

Every trip  Boon Marriage Parfait was the first beer my wife would order, now its Drie Fonteinen Oude Kriek. She calls them breakfest beers :D
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: tumarkin on November 15, 2010, 06:59:04 AM
If you come across the Boon Marriage Parfait be sure to get some, you'll be glad you did.

Every trip  Boon Marriage Parfait was the first beer my wife would order, now its Drie Fonteinen Oude Kriek. She calls them breakfest beers :D

I didn't mention Drie Fonteinen in my list of favorite lambic breweries.... my bad, they're another traditional brewery & make some great beer. I recently had a chance to try their distilled product. They had a temp control malfunction at their warehouse & a butt load of lambic got way too hot. Rather than throw it out, they distilled Armand'Spirit, an eau di vie. Apparently, they plan on continuing to do some artisanal distillation.

check this link for more info    http://www.thirstypilgrim.com/2010/01/drie-fonteinen-to-stop-brewing-keep.html
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: 1vertical on November 16, 2010, 07:58:41 AM
Envy  Maybe someday
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: uthristy on November 18, 2010, 05:02:19 AM
Flemish/Dutch is sort of a cross between German and English, so if you sound out the words you can often figure out what they mean.

 I had to check with a few people but each reply was slighty different, I was always hearing French sounds
Finally I asked  Filip @ http://belgianbeerboard.com/


>>>Flemish is a mix or blending of Dutch & French?


Well, not always.
Everything is the result of our rich history and unfortunately also our history of occupancies.
Going east flanders, you will reach Limburg where German influences are very common. Limburg dialect is nearly 'Chinese' for us Westflanders people.
Going west, you indeed will notice the French influences. The region of Kortrijk has that "CH" pronouncing variation which sounds like "SK".
This is a clear example of the French influence, as Frenchman are incapable to pronounce "CH" like we do. "Schild en Vriend", remember !
So indeed the Westflanders dialect is frequently mixed with French words which are not part of ABN.
It makes it all that more difficult for foreign people, and even for the local people.
But speaking ABN solves everything 
Cheers,
Filip
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: phillamb168 on November 24, 2010, 05:55:03 AM
Headed to Brussels for a weekend trip in December to see the Christmas Market and of course drink delicious beers. Staying at the Stanhope Hotel, anybody stayed there before?

More important question: a lot of the reviews I'm reading are saying that the bars all still allow smoking inside - is this true? If so, wtf? <rant> Smoking destroys your taste buds and is really bad for the health of everyone around you, and that means you can't enjoy a beer properly. </rant> Any recommendations for bars that DO NOT allow smoking? I've heard Chez Moeder Lambic fits the bill.

Sad to see that a major European city still allows smoking inside buildings.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: MDixon on November 24, 2010, 06:15:36 AM
I don't recall any bar which did not allow smoking, many times/places if the weather cooperates you can sit outside.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: uthristy on November 24, 2010, 07:15:49 AM

Sad to see that a major European city still allows smoking inside buildings.

Thats the way it is & its their  country so....
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: phillamb168 on November 24, 2010, 08:51:50 AM

Sad to see that a major European city still allows smoking inside buildings.

Thats the way it is & its their  country so....

True, but even -France- doesn't permit smoking inside restaurants and bars anymore. I just don't get why I should have to put up with somebody else's dirty habit when I decide to go to a bar in certain places.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: uthristy on November 24, 2010, 10:03:28 AM

Sad to see that a major European city still allows smoking inside buildings.

Thats the way it is & its their  country so....

True, but even -France- doesn't permit smoking inside restaurants and bars anymore. I just don't get why I should have to put up with somebody else's dirty habit when I decide to go to a bar in certain places.

Seriously? this is what I hate about too many americans, its their country and who the F*** are we  to tell them how to run their business.

Gawd Damn

How about this,  don't like it then don't go.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: thirsty on November 24, 2010, 10:25:02 AM

Seriously? this is what I hate about too many americans, its their country and who the F*** are we  to tell them how to run their business.

Gawd Damn

How about this,  don't like it then don't go.


+ a billion.

Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: thirsty on November 24, 2010, 10:34:39 AM
I just don't get why people in Belgium should have to put up with some crazy foreigners anti-smoking crusade when they decide to go to a bar in certain places.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: Kaiser on November 24, 2010, 10:42:01 AM

Sad to see that a major European city still allows smoking inside buildings.

Thats the way it is & its their  country so....

I hear you. I used to live in Germany and go back on a regular basis and I don't realize how much I like the widespread ban in indoor smoking until I get off the plane in Germany. But what I miss here in the US is the more relaxed attitude towards beer. I'd love to see Beergardens in the US like they have in Germany. Why do we have to do most of our drinking in dark places? Why can't there be a Beergarden with an attached playground? They have that in Germany, and most likely allow smoking there as well ;)

But I also agree with the others who say that we should not complain about the rules and customs of other countries even if they can be pretty annoying.

Kai
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: phillamb168 on November 24, 2010, 11:03:54 AM

Sad to see that a major European city still allows smoking inside buildings.

Thats the way it is & its their  country so....

True, but even -France- doesn't permit smoking inside restaurants and bars anymore. I just don't get why I should have to put up with somebody else's dirty habit when I decide to go to a bar in certain places.

Seriously? this is what I hate about too many americans, its their country and who the F*** are we  to tell them how to run their business.

Gawd Damn

How about this,  don't like it then don't go.


Wow, touchy touchy. I'm a citizen of France and the US, and while not a citizen of Belgium I do happen to believe it's unfair as a -general principle- to have to inhale someone else's toxic fumes. That's not being American, that's wanting a better quality of life for me and those around me.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: gordonstrong on November 24, 2010, 11:15:02 AM
I don't like breathing smoke while drinking, and really don't while doing critical tasting.  That said, I don't recall a major problem in Belgium the times I've been there.  Avoid the heavy crowded times if that's an issue, or choose seats accordingly.  Not an ideal solution, but you play the hand you're dealt.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: phillamb168 on November 24, 2010, 11:17:47 AM
I don't like breathing smoke while drinking, and really don't while doing critical tasting.  That said, I don't recall a major problem in Belgium the times I've been there.  Avoid the heavy crowded times if that's an issue, or choose seats accordingly.  Not an ideal solution, but you play the hand you're dealt.

Sounds like a plan - it sounds like some of these places have designated non-smoking areas, but it's been my experience that they're just 'seats further away from the smoke.' I'm going to be there during the day with my boy and my wife which is why I'm concerned about smoke in the first place, but it sounds like it'll be alright. Thanks!

P.S. - as a French citizen it's actually part of my constitutional duty to complain about Belgium.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: MDixon on November 24, 2010, 02:37:05 PM
When we were in Brugge at t'Brugs Beertje it was difficult to see across the bar for the smoke...
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: uthristy on November 24, 2010, 03:46:33 PM
Wow, touchy touchy.

Yes I'm touchy about guest telling the host how to runs things,its just rude.


When we were in Brugge at t'Brugs Beertje it was difficult to see across the bar for the smoke...

How many years ago was that? I've never seen any of the pubs that smokey, the EU did change the laws but each pub has adjusted as needed/wanted by users.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: MDixon on November 24, 2010, 03:56:54 PM
2006...I found a photo, but it didn't really show any smoke since I was focused on the brews.

Scan through some of the reviews of the place and quite a few mention the smoke. I found this quote which kinda sums it up
Quote
Delirium Tremens trinkets filled the windows, smoke filled the air.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: bluesman on November 24, 2010, 05:29:27 PM
I wouldn't mind doing critical tasting around smokers if it was outdoors or in a highly ventilated indoor area.  I can certainly appreciate not having to inhale smoke while trying to inulge in some craft beer.  

I'll smoke a cigar while sipping on a RIS from time to time but only if I'm in a well ventilated area.  I don't want to disturb others while they are eating and drinking and I would expect that of others as well.  It's a sensitive issue on both sides and I can relate to both.

In other words "I want my beer and I want to drink it too".   :)
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: theoman on November 25, 2010, 03:19:24 AM
Smoking is only allowed in bars that don't serve food. Some bars will try to push the envelope a bit. I agree with you in a sense. The bars that try to sell themselves as beer destination and then allow smoking just seem to be missing the point. Like Cafe Delirium. I really don't like that place. Then again, to their credit, they've opened the "Hoppy Loft" on the top floor dedicated to hoppy beers and they don't allow smoking there. That's where the more serious geeks go, I guess (an aside - the last time I was there they were out of every beer I wanted to try).

I'm going to keep singing the praises of Chez Moeder Lambic and Moeder Lambic Fontainas. These guys "get it". They could get away with allowing smoking, but they don't. They were worried about banning smoking in the long established Moeder, but the place has been packed every time I've been there since the ban. Just goes to show that if you have a good product, people will do what they must to buy it.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: phillamb168 on November 25, 2010, 05:04:19 AM
Then again, to their credit, they've opened the "Hoppy Loft" on the top floor dedicated to hoppy beers

That's a pretty damn good description of heaven. Sounds like it's worth giving a shot. And yeah, Moeder Lambic is at the top of my list of places to go right now (other than Brouwland!)
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: theoman on November 25, 2010, 05:16:25 AM
If you're missing American IPA's, the Hoppy Loft is pretty much the only place in Belgium to get 'em. They carry a few other interesting beers as well, like some of the Mikkeller line from Denmark.

Just FYI - Brouwland isn't open on Sundays.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: oscarvan on November 28, 2010, 10:19:08 AM
Quote
Flemish/Dutch is sort of a cross between German and English, so if you sound out the words you can often figure out what they mean.

Something I know a little about..... I'm of Dutch origin.

The original Germanic language split into Northern and Western Branches. The Northern branch spawned the Scandinavian languages: Norwegian, Swedish and Danish, as well as Icelandic and Faroese. The Western branch begat English, Dutch, German and Frisian. The latter spoken in one of the Northern provinces of The Netherlands.

There are two languages spoken in Belgium. Dutch and French. That said, they call their version of Dutch Flemish which is technically a dialect. I can speak with them when they use their school language and haven't had their fifth Duvel yet. Beyond that there is a whole vocabulary of it's own. Kinda like talking to someone in a dark bar in England or Ireland after midnight. He's speaking English, but that doesn't mean you can understand him.

Meanwhile the language thing in Belgium is not unlike the Quebec situation. Basically they've been burning each others books for a few thousand years. Once Vlaanderen (the Northern part where Vlaams or Flemish is spoken) was a part of Holland (The Netherlands) and the South was French. Although one country now, the two halves still have, eh, their differences.

And yes, a lot of people speak English.

The smoking thing is very divisive in the countries themselves. Don't know the Belgian situation, but I know Holland, after an all out ban is now allowing family owned and operated establishments to set their own policy. As an ex smoker I want nothing to do with the odor.

OK, back to beer talk now.
Title: Re: OMG, whirlwind trip to Belgium.
Post by: rabid_dingo on December 01, 2010, 12:30:31 AM
But now he has to go back :D  Next thing he'll be going a couple times per year  :D ;D

rabid_dingo- what do you think was wrong with the boon geuze?

So did you get the Nude-O-Scope or the enhanced grope??
It's not a grope it's a freedom pat!  ;)

The Boon Geuze that I tasted....well the only way to describe it, in my words at least:

Have you ever seen an aircraft land? I mean the actual touchdown of the main landing gear? There is a small puff of
white smoke as the rubber is vaporized trying to go from 0mph to 130mph in 0 seconds.
Have you ever smelled that smoke?
other possible examples: 1/4 mile races both NHRA or Motorcycle races where they warm up the tires by burning rubber?

That smell is the exact taste I got...and being that I have never tasted a Geuze, I did not say, "Ugh WTF?" or "Say old man
does this taste funny to you?" I just took about an hour to drink it...Then I moved on.
I have no reference point for it. I have had lambics and other sours. Hell that Leifmans was specfreakingdamntacular.

Ugh. Live and learn. 10 down 1994 to go...