Beer Tasting, Antwerp
The St Anna Tunnel is the fascinating 32 metre deep, 528 metre long, foot and cycle crossing under the river. Finished in 1933 this was the first permanent link between the city centre and the left bank and the cylindrical, tile-lined, tunnel is accessed by its original wooden escalators and is well worth a visit both as a historic monument and for the opportunity to get a skyline view from the other side.
Personally I found the return crossing thirsty work which is how I happened to drop into the wonderfully cosy little Cafe Corso. This is an atmospheric, one-room, locals bar with some terrace seating on its little square. Being winter the outside seating wasn't in use but the bar itself, with its couple of barstools and maybe half-a-dozen tables, was welcoming and characterful..
A swift Stella was more than enjoyed, and very reasonably-priced, but unfortunately I still had things to do and so bade my farewells a bit sooner than I would have preferred. But definitely due for a revisit next time and perhaps revamp this as a "nightlife" tip ;-)
Apart from Kulminator, mentioned earlier we tried a couple of other bars on our travels around town. They were -
Waagstuk, Staadswaag 10, good choice of beers to amuse us for an hour and being a little way from the centre of town, slightly cheaper. Enjoyed.
Engel, Grote Markt 3, old and comfortable cafe, well worth a visit.
Mind boggling amount of drinks to choose from, some very rare it seemed. My first chance to try trappist ale from the Sint Sixtus abbey - Westvleteren amber - very good. Comfortable and friendly surroundings, not just for a rainy day.
We visited on a very wet and cold afternoon and the question arose, and maybe I'll ask it on the misc forum oneday - "when it rains what do people who don't drink do?" couldn't find a good answer ourselves.
Anyway back to Kulminator, apart from the beer a decent range of snacks on offer too and the pub cat is very friendly.
This place was amazing. We sampled the cheeses and the beers made by the monks in the cafe across the street. The Cafe is run by the monks and it is called Cafe Trappist. Definately go if you like going off the beaten path.
Antwerp is well-known as a great BEER TASTING spot, as there are a lot of different kinds of beer to try.
The Belgians say their beers are the best in the world -- but so say the Dutch and the Germans and I must say our Canadian Beer is pretty darn good too - Molson Canadian eh!
Typical for Antwerp is "Bolleke" ( little bowl ). It's a special bowl-shaped glass filled with the local specialty " De Koninck ".
no matter what part of Belgium you are in, no matter what you do, sit down in a local pub and try Belgian beer. Duvel is Belgium's best known beer. It's even considered to be the champagne of Belgian beer.
The one that I liked the best though, was Kriek. It's a Lambic beer in which a further fermentation has been brought about with the addition of cherries or raspberries. Very refreshing in summer :)
We picked Antwerp for a beer drinking weekend because I had fond (but fuzzy) memories of it from a previous visit in 1994.
We found a number of fantastic bars selling fantastic beers (only some of which left me unable to walk).
I recommend you walk about town and pick an interesting bar and try a new beer.
De Koninck is the local beer. It's nicknamed "de Bolleke" due to the shape of its glass. It's best served with some aged cheese or peanuts. Not to be missed for its balanced taste and freshness, united to a persistent aftertaste.
There is a bewildering selection of beers to be found in Antwerp. Those who know all about them will have fun tracking down the different types in the different bars (Richie's made a career of it) but if you don't know what's what you could just make a random selection from the beer card. As long as it doesn't say "banana beer" you will probably be in for a treat. And remember that each beer in Belgium comes with its own special glass too.
This is on eof the more unusual beer glasses - that of Kwak. I actually got this beer because the waitress misheard me when I asked for Kriek, but who's to complain - it's a great beer.
For those who love beer, i guess you won't miss out on this activity... This shop has all kinds of Belgian beer.
Haven't acquired the liking for beer though!