My friend El sent hubby Al a number of beer links in the hopes of luring him to Brussels – and hey, it worked!
(The link that led us to this 300 year old pub is down at the bottom of this post, just in case you are as easily influenced as Al!)
So we end up in Brussels, strolling along with El’s list of the top 10 bars in town, searching for the bar ‘Delirium Tremens’. During this search I spotted a small sign ‘Au Bon Vieux Temps’. The name rang a bell so we checked our list, and there it was, a 300 year old bar, the name translating as ‘to the Good Old Times’. Intrigued, we headed down the narrow alleyway to the obscure doorway and entered.
The obscure doorway that lead into the Au Bon Vieux Temps pub.
The pub was very dark as befits a 300 year old building.
Being midafternoon, it was relatively empty, containing only a fellow Canadian, an older Belgian and the bartender. The other Canadian was a beer-lover from Ottawa, who had been studying the business in the hopes of starting up his own brewery. The Belgian was an older man who spent a lot of time in Portugal. And the bartender was a good friend of his.
Al and I ordered Kreiks, the ‘lower’ alcohol cherry beers, while the others tested several beers. Al and the other Canadian threw around their favourite West Coast beers – on his recommendations we added Russian River, Pliny the Elder (and Pliny, the Younger), and Bear Republic Racer 5 to our list, and we passed along a number of beers for him to try as well.
The Belgian was quite impressed with the way all three of us traveled, stopping to spend time, to drink, to experience the ‘real’ Brussels. To salute us, he ordered a ‘Kasteel Tripel’, along with tasting glasses. Al decided it was similar to Duval, but better. It is very high alcohol, 11%, which is probably why I liked it so much! A 5 mmmmm beer – I’d order that again!
TRADITIONAL PUBS WE VISITED WHILE IN BRUSSELS (BRUXELLES)
- The next traditional pub we ended up in was ‘A la Becasse‘, where Al had a slab o’ bread with Ardennes ham, and of course we both tasted more Belgian beer
- A la Mort Subite, a historic brasserie in Brussels
- Toone, with a great selection of beer and a bar cat!
The post that led us astray; even though it is from 2008, the ‘Top 10 Traditional Bars in Brussels’ being ‘traditional’, are still there, and haven’t changed much:
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I think a return trip is a must. I have a new list.
Hey El, it was so much fun running around the art galleries of Brussels with you and Joe! And as for your NEW list, we didn’t even get through your old list — so many pubs, too little time! I too have found a new list — this one contains ‘Delirium Tremens’ which we never managed to find as well as ‘Le Bier Circus’ which sounds intriguing… Actually, the entire post is full of things we missed, so we definitely have to go back: http://renaissance-hotels.marriott.com/renaissance-brussels-hotel/rnavigator
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what a wonderful establishment. Trust beer to have longevity in business terms…300 years!!
I can imagine your excitement for this find as I came upon the oldest restaurant in the world in the central square of Madrid Spain. I didn’t eat there but next time I visit, I will!
Let me know the name – we might be in Madrid soon and I love old places with history…
Restaurant Botin. It’s in the Guiness book of records
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