Diane, A Broad
April 25, 2012

When in Brussels…

… drink stupid amounts of Belgian beer.

brussels beer bar

We visited Brussels on a cold grey weekend with a good-sized squad of friends, old and new. The LynnRoss (as they are known colloquially — making the spawn currently gestating in Lynn’s belly Roslyn (or so I fervently hope)), Ari and Andy, Iris and Simon (pronounced in the French manner, accent on the latter syllable). I didn’t realize until we’d departed, but apparently the original plan was for this to be a getaway weekend for Iris and Simon, but Ari, who is Iris’s roommate, decided to tag along. Not wanting to be the third wheel, he invited some friends, who invited other friends, and we ended up with a merry party of eight, nearly impossible to seat without reservations.

The boy and I stayed at the Hostel Grand Place, while the others stayed at a hotel north of the city center. Though the hotel was much more posh, the arrangement turned out well for us, as it turns out the hostel was only a block or so away from the Grand Place, and only a few blocks more from Delirium Village — alternately known as Delirium Impasse, “that one street where we got totally wasted,” or “the only street worth visiting in this godforsaken city,” depending on who you are. We shared a ten-person hostel room with some friendly visitors from Boston, though I was amused to wake up the second night to sounds of heavy petting from one of the far bunks.

But anyway. The beer.

maredsous

Clearly it was too dark in the bars to take decent photos of the beers. I tried to keep tasting notes on everything I tried, but as we were a large party, did at least five rounds that night, with each person getting a different beer, with judicious passing around of the various goblets and glasses during each round, and (of course) each of us getting more and more inebriated with each round, I think the beer geek gods will forgive me for losing track. And that was just the first night. I know I tried some really incredible and unique stuff — Pink Killer, which is, as the name implies, bright pink, due to its being brewed with grapefruit; Kasteel Rouge, served in a high, wide-mouthed goblet, the deep dark red of a garnet and smelling of cherry cough syrup; Queue de Charrue Brune, a lovely brown sour with a little bit of the sweetness of Duchesse de Bourgogne, but more body. And, of course, the old standbys, Maredsous, Chimay, St. Bernardus, etc. We even had a tour of the Cantillon Brewery, the only brewery left in the Brussels making true gueuze-lambics the old way, through spontaneous fermentation by wild yeasts. With tastings after, of course.

Don’t call me a lush. It was research. And it made this kind of thing happen:

andy gets drunk

Music to travel by: Some Nights [Fun. // Some Nights]

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