Oud Beersel Brewery in Beersel, Belgium

When most people think of breweries located in the village of Beersel, just 10km outside of Brussels, their first thoughts run towards the 3 Fonteinen brewery. But this is not the only lambic brewer in Beersel.  You can also take advantage of a visit to Beersel’s other authentic lambic brewer, Oud Beersel.

Oud Beersel Brewery, Beersel, Belgium http://ourtastytravels.com/blog/oud-beersel-brewery-beersel-belgium/ #beer #travel #ourtastytravels

Oud Beersel has been brewing beer since 1882, and is one of the last remaining authentic lambic breweries.  They produce an Oude Geuze, Oude Kriek, and Framboise in the traditional lambic style, as well as the popular Bersalis Tripel and Bersalis Kadet top fermented beers.  They also produce Oud Kriekske, a liqueur based on their Oude Kriek.

Oud Beersel Kriek and Geuze http://ourtastytravels.com/blog/oud-beersel-brewery-beersel-belgium/ #beer #travel #ourtastytravels

Kriek and Geuze

Oud Beersel Framboise http://ourtastytravels.com/blog/oud-beersel-brewery-beersel-belgium/ #beer #travel #ourtastytravels

Framboise

Visits to the Oud Beersel Brewery can be arranged at any time by contacting the organization De Geuzen van Oud Beersel.  But if you’re not able to make an appointment, the brewery is open to the public on the first Saturday of every month, offering tours in Dutch (11 am and 12:30 pm) and English (12:30 pm and 2:00 pm) and a talking bar.  The tour will give you a unique opportunity to visit the brewery museum, as well as giving you an opportunity to try and purchase beers right at the source.

Oud Beersel Brewery http://ourtastytravels.com/blog/oud-beersel-brewery-beersel-belgium/ #beer #travel #ourtastytravels

Oud Beersel Brewery

Oud Beersel Brewery is located 1.5 km from the 3 Fonteinen brewery, and only 1.8 km from the Station Beersel if you are visiting by train from Brussels.

Information on Oud Beersel Brewery

Oud Beersel Brewery
Laarheidestraat 230
1650 Beersel
Belgium

3 Fonteinen Brewery Open Beer Days in Belgium: September 5-9, 2013

From August 30 through September 3, 2012, the 3 Fonteinen Brewery near Brussels held their annual open beer days.  This is a rare opportunity to visit one of the premier brewers of the local specialty lambic beers.  The event includes free tours of the brewery in Dutch, French and English, a chance to taste some of their products, and most importantly, a chance to buy some of their special, old bottles not usually available for purchase in the shop.  You may also get a chance to meet Armand and Lydie Debelder, the owners and brewer of the 3 Fonteinen beers.

Armand Debelder finishing up a tour of 3 Fonteinen Brewery

Armand Debelder finishing up a tour of 3 Fonteinen Brewery

 

Armand Debelder's Philosophy on Making Geuze

Armand Debelder’s Philosophy on Blending Geuze

Lydie Debelder helping a customer with their special beer purchases.

Lydie Debelder helping a customer with their special beer purchases.

Available for tasting at lat year’s event were the 3 Fonteinen Lambic, Oude Geuze, Oude Kriek, and Faro as well as the Beersel Blond, Lager and Zwet.be.  I had to partake of a Faro here, as they don’t bottle this for normal sale.  The Faro seems to be usually available only in the 3 Fonteinen Restaurant located next door.  Faro is a lambic blended with caramel and candied sugar.  It retains the normal sourness of a lambic, but with a nice sweetness that makes it quite smooth.  These beers are usually short lived, only three to four weeks in the bottle, as the added sugars result in very active fermentation that could make the bottle explode!

Tasting Bar at 3 Fonteinen Open Beer Days

Tasting Bar at 3 Fonteinen Open Beer Days

The 3 Fonteinen Faro, only available at the Restaurant or during the Open Beer Days

The 3 Fonteinen Faro, only available at the Restaurant or during the Open Beer Days

3 Fonteinen Oude Kriek - Amazing color!

3 Fonteinen Oude Kriek – Amazing color!

For the bottles for purchase in the store, the following options were available:

Beers available for purchase at 3 Fonteinen Brewery

3 Fonteinen

Oude Geuze 0.375 L €2.50
Oude Geuze 0.75 L €4.45
Golden Blend Oude Geuze 0.375 L €8.00
Oude Kriek 0.375 L €3.85
Schaarbeekse Kriek 0.75L €12.00

Armand D4 2010 Limited Edition Oude Geuze 0.75 L €24 each for Autumn, Summer and Winter.
Spring is only available as part of the limited edition (500) collector’s box at €110.00

Horal’s Oude Geuze Mega Blend 2011 0.75 L €7.00

Beersel

Blond 0.33 L €1.25
Lager 0.33 L €1.15
Zwet.be 0.33 L €1.75

Special Offerings during 3 Fonteinen Open Beer Days

Oude Geuze Vintage 2003 0.75 L €24.00 (max 1)
Oude Geuze Vintage 2005 0.75 L €17.00 (max 1)
Oude Geuze Vintage 2008 0.75 L €10.00 (max 6)
Oude Geuze Vintage 2008 0.375 L €6.00 (max 6)

Doesjel Vintage 2006 0.75 L  €7.00 (max 6)
Doesjel Vintage 2010 0.375 L €4.00 (max 6)

Oude Kriek 2006 0.375 L € 6.00 (max 1)
Schaarbeekse Kriek 2006 0.75 L € 20.00 (max 1)
Schaarbeekse Kriek 2008 0.75 L € 15.00 (max 6)

Straffe Winter 0.75 L € 34.00 (max 1)

Selection of 3 Fonteinen Special Beers available during the 2012 Open Beer Days

Selection of 3 Fonteinen Special Beers available during the 2012 Open Beer Days

The 2013 Open Beer Days will be held from Thursday, September 5 through Monday, September 9, 2013.  If you’re looking to pick up a few of the rare older bottles, try to get there on Thursday or Friday, as quantities are often limited and they run out of choice vintages fast!

If you’re driving to 3 Fonteinen, they’re off Exit 19 on the R0 Ring Brussels.  As you’re exiting, veer to the right to cross back under the highway and head up into Beersel (don’t go straight towards Lot).  When you hit the top of the hill with the large church, you can see the Restaurant 3 Fonteinen in the square, and the brewery in just around the corner on the main road.  Parking is free in the spots in front of the church and restaurant.

3 Fonteinen Restaurant - Beersel, Belgium

3 Fonteinen Restaurant – Beersel, Belgium

Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen
Hoogstraat 2a
1650 Beersel
http://www.3fonteinen.be

Restaurant 3 Fonteinen
Herman Tierlinckplein 3
1650 Beersel
+32 (0)2  331 06 52

New Brew Thursday: Petrus Aged Red

Well, it’s been a very long time…but I believe I may have finally found it.

My least favorite beer ever? Could it be?

Tonight I stopped by my local beer bar to see if they had anything new on offer I may be interested in trying.  I saw a few new offerings on the menu, and dcided to give one a try.  Petrus Aged Red, a Flanders Oud Bruin from Brouwerij Bavik in Belgium.  This is a style I actually usually enjoy, with the Liefman’s Goudenband of this style being one of my go-to beers in a pinch.

Petrus Aged Red

Petrus Aged Red

What did I think of the Petrus Aged Red?  Think Robitussin, with a touch of Benadryl!

Why does cherry syrup have to taste so bad. And since it does, why use it???

Petrus Aged Red

Petrus Aged Red

I had decent hopes here, but they were very quickly dashed. I took one sip, and knew this beer was not for me. It smelled like a Shirley Temple. And tasted like cough syrup. Definitely not a Kriek. And not up to par with other Oud Bruins that I’ve tried.

I’ve had beers before that I hated at first but grew on me. Sour beers in general gained my respect in this manner (thank you Rodenbach Grand Cru). So I’m giving this beer a shot. I’ve been sipping at it now for over 30 minutes.

Can someone please knock over my table?

No.  The remainder of this beer, sadly, went down the drain.

Best Bars in Antwerp, Belgium: Bierhuis Kulminator

While Brussels may have the bar with the largest selection of beers in the world, there is another bar located in nearby Antwerp that is, in fact, the Mecca for beer lovers everywhere.  This bar is Antwerp’s famed Bierhuis Kulminator.  While only boasting around 600 different beers at any given time, it is the quality of the beer selection here that makes this pub so much more cherished than the Delirium Cafe.

Kulminator in Antwerp, Belgium

Kulminator in Antwerp, Belgium

Kulminator boasts a 30+ page menu featuring one of the largest selections of premium beers around.  What separates this menu from the others is the high quality selection of vintage beers you can choose from.  There is an incredible selection of vintage beers, including beers over 30 years old, some of which are no longer even produced.

On my visit here in May 2005, I tried one of the last jewels in my tasting of Trappist Beers, the Westvleteren 6 (Red Cap), last brewed in 1998, and since replaced by the Westvleteren Blonde.  I also tried the Bush Prestige and had my first taste of what has become one of my favorite sipping beers, the Rodenbach Grand Cru.

The Kulminator is not a large place, and at peak times, it can be difficult to get in.  However, when you are there during a more slow time, it can be an amazing experience.  A visit to the Kulminator can be like sitting at your local pub, only with much better beer!  The owners man the counter, and are very helpful in their recommendations and assisting with your selection process.  When they return with your beer and matching glass, the beer is served properly and you can truly enjoy your fine beer drinking experience.

The Kulminator is located not far from the Grote Markt and Cathedral, though can be a little difficult to find if you’re not sure how to get there.  One definite downside is that they are not open on Sundays, so if you are not staying in Antwerp and want to go on the weekend, you’re limited to Friday or Saturday nights.

Be sure to check out Chuck Cook’s article / interview on Beer Advocate for some great insight on the origins of the Kulminator and their beer selections.

Hours: Monday 8pm-?, Tues-Fri 12pm-12:30am, Sat 5pm-?.  Closed Sunday.

Vleminckveld 32
Antwerpen, 2000 Belgium
+32 (0)3 232 45 38

Visiting Westmalle Trappist Brewery and Monastery

During Erin’s first visit to the Netherlands, we hoped to be able to visit a couple of the famed Trappist breweries.  On our way to spend a day in Antwerp and night in Brussels, we decided to make our first stop at the Westmalle Brewery in Belgium.

Westmalle Trappist Brewery

Westmalle Trappist Brewery

Westmalle Trappist is brewed by the monks of the Abdik Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van het Helig Hart in Westmalle, Belgium, just east of Antwerp.  The abbey is cloistered, with the monks living a peaceful life of prayer and work.  As such, the abbey is not open to the public.  As the brewery is located within the walls of the abbey, it too is not open for visitors, however located very nearby to the abbey and brewery (basically across the street)is the Cafe Trappisten Westmalle where you can experience this Trappist beer as close to the source as possible, as well as watch a film about the monastery, the brewery, the farm and the cheese making facility at the abbey.

Cafe Trappisten Westmalle

Cafe Trappisten Westmalle

Westmalle has been brewing beer since 1836, and has two commercial offerings, the Westmalle Dubbel and Westmalle Tripel.  They also make the Westmalle Extra which is brewed twice a year and is only for internal consumption at the monastery.   The Tripel is a golden yellow beer with 9.5% alcohol and secondary bottle fermentation.  It has been brewed using almost the same recipe for over 50 years.  The Dubbel also undergoes secondary bottle fermentation, is reddish-brown, and 7% alcohol.  With some minor changes, it has been available for over 80 years.  What makes this beer a little more known is that it is also the only dark Trappist beer available in draught around the world!

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel

The Cafe Trappisten is one such place with the Westmalle Dubbel available on draft, and also serves the Tripel and a wide selection of other beverages.  They also have a decent selection of food, including basics such as Trappist Cheese and meats, sandwiches, desserts, and even a rabbit stew cooked in the Trappist beer!  The cafe is open daily from 10am to midnight.

Trappist Cheese

Trappist Cheese

Westmalle Trappist Brewery
Antwerpsesteenweg 496
B-2390 Westmalle – Belgium
Tel: +32 3 312 92 22
Fax: +32 3 312 92 28
e-mail: info@trappistwestmalle.be
http://www.trappistwestmalle.be/en/page/brouwerij.aspx

Café Trappisten
Antwerpsesteenweg 487
B-2390 Westmalle – Belgium
Tel: +32 3   312 05 02
Fax: +32 3   311 56 42
e-mail: info@trappisten.be
http://www.trappisten.be/eng/

Best Belgian Beers: Abbaye des Rocs

Throughout my stay in the Netherlands, I had the incredible opportunity to try a large number of European beers.  Of all of these, one of my favorites has always been the Abbaye des Rocs Bruin from Brasserie de l’Abbaye des Rocs.  

Abbaye des Rocs is a relatively new brewery, with roots going back only as far as 1979.  Over the years they have had a number of offerings, with their normal lineup including the Abbaye des Rocs Bruin, Abbaye des Rocs La Montagnarde, and Abbaye des Rocs Blanche des Honnelles.  While all three of these are wonderful examples of Belgian Dubbel Brown Ale, Belgian Amber Ale and Belgian Witbier respectively, the Bruin Dubbel is amongst my top 10 beers of my entire time living in the Netherlands. 

The Bruin is a pure malt beer, double fermented, with no added sugar.  Seven different malts and three types of hops (Belgian, German and Czech) are combined to make this beautiful amber colered ale.  The beer has some wine-like tendencies, and has a great mouthfeel, and a wonderful, woody flavor, without the over-sweet taste of many dubbel ales.

The Abbaye des Rocs brewery is rather out of the way to get to, requiring a lengthy drive through the beautiful Belgian Countryside, close to the French border, between Chimay and Westvleteren.  I made one attempt to visit the brewery in June, 2005, and did manage to finally find the brewery, but it did not appear to be open at the time!  I did a little trespassing and saw a little of the grounds where they did appear to be working, but never did find any form of cafe or shop open at the time.  Something to keep on my wishlist for next time! 

Abbaye des Rocs Brewery

Abbaye des Rocs Brewery

In the meantime, great news came a few weeks ago when I noticed that all three of these amazing beers are now available at our local City Super supermarket in Tienmu, Taipei, where I stop (almost) every Monday for our weekly fix of Din Tai Fung dumplings!  More recent visits have found only the Blanche des Honnelles and La Montagnarde on the shelf, but I do have a few bottles left here at home, and hope to see the Bruin back on the shelf soon! 

Abbaye des Rocs Bottle

Abbaye des Rocs Bruin

Brasserie de l’Abbaye des Rocs
37, Chaussée Brunehault
7387 Montignies-sur-Roc
Belgium
Tel: +32 65 75 59 99
Fax: +32 65 75 59 98
E-mail: abbaye.des.rocs@skynet.be
http://www.abbaye-des-rocs.com/page%20en%20anglais.htm

Visiting Achelse Kluise Trappist Brewery in Belgium

Achel Brewery is the newest, and least known of the Trappist breweries in Belgium.  Achel is brewed by the monks at the Sint Benedictus Abdij in Achel, Belgium, just over the border from the Netherlands.  The monastary has a history at the site dating back to the 1600′s, and a beer brewing history back to the 1850′s, but this was initially halted during WWI when the copper brewing works were commandeered by the German war effort.  The brewery was rebuilt in 1998, and the first Achel Trappist beers hit the market in 2001.

Brewing Tanks at Achel Brewery

Achel’s beers can be found around the world (even here in Taiwan!), but one of the best ways to enjoy this beer is at the brewery itself!  The Achelse Kluise, as the monastary is known, is located along the well laid out bike trails in Noord-Brabant, and is just a short drive out of Valkenswaard and Eindhoven in the Netherlands.  A visit to the monastary can be topped off with a stop in the cafe, where you can have a quick bite to eat and try the local brewed Trappist beer.  The 5° Bruin and Blond beers (5% ABV) can only be tasted here on draft in the cafeteria.  The normal product you see in bottles in stores is the 8° which is 8% ABV.  You can enjoy your beer and snack in the beer garden, surrounded by the walls of the monastary.

Beer Garden at Achelse Kluis

If you are looking to try some other Belgian beers, try to pay a visit to the food store and beer hall located on the premises of the monastary, where you can buy large selections of other Belgian beers at excellent, almost wholesale prices!  Local food products are also available here in the market and are a wonderful treat!

Achel Monestary looking towards the food store / beer hall

You may also wish to check out the book store and gallery with information on life in the area and at the monastary.

The Achelse Kluis monastary is open year round, except certain holidays like Christmas and Easter.

During Low Season from October to April, the cafe is open Tuesday through Sunday from 12-5PM (bar closes at 4:30).  Closed Mondays.  The gallery and book store are open Tuesday through Friday from 12:30-5PM, Saturday 12-4:30PM, and Sunday from 12:30-5PM.  Closed Mondays.

During High Season from May to September, the cafe is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11-5:30PM (bar closes at 5PM).  Closed Mondays.  The gallery and book store are open Tuesday through Friday from 11-5PM, Saturday 10:30-4:30PM, and Sunday from 11-5PM.  Closed Mondays.

The food store / beer hall is open year round from 9-12 and 12:30-5PM from Tuesday through Saturday, closed Sundays and Mondays.

St. Benedictusabdij De Achelse Kluis
De Kluis 1
3930 Hamont-Achel
Phone: +32 011.800760
http://www.achelsekluis.org/english/frame_en.htm however much of the information is only available on the Dutch pages.

Ter Dolen Kasteelbrouwerij: Castle and Brewery Tour in Belgium

One of the best parts of living close to Belgium was the vast multitude of opportunities to visit local breweries.  Especially as so many of these are located within scenic environments, such as monestaries and castles.  One such example is Kasteelbrowerij Ter Dolen in Helechteren. 

Ter Dolen Castle is a 16th century castle once inhabited by the abbots of Sint-Truiden.  Since, 1994, this castle has been renovated and turned into a family-run brewery, pub and bed & breakfast.  During the winter months, the pub is the place to be, with a nice fire to warm your chilled bones.  In the summer, there is a wonderful terrace to sit down and relax with a glass of the tasty Belgian beers being served up. 

I’ve been to Ter Dolen a couple of times, as it is one of the closest breweries to Eindhoven, the Netherlands.  My first time was in April, 2004 when some colleagues from work brought me down on a weekend.  We managed to snag a table at the terrace, and even enjoy the tour of the ultra-modern brewery itself (Saturdays and Sundays at 3PM, approx. 45 minutes, €5 per person including 1 drink.  Dutch language only)  

Ter Dolen beers are typical Belgian Abbey Beers; at present, the beer line-up at Ter Dolen consists of Ter Dolen Lager (6.1 %), Ter Dolen Dark (7.1 %), Ter Dolen Triple (8.1 %) and Ter Dolen Kriek (4.5 %).  My favorite among these is the Triple, as the Ter Dolen Dark is the style of dark that I find to be a little too sweet at times, but not overpoweringly so like many others.  The Kriek is one of their most popular beers, especially when combined with a nice sunny day in the courtyard (and a drive home afterwards). 

Beer selection at Ter Dolen

The beer is available in the following packaging: 

  • barrels of 30 litres
  • crates of 24 x 33 cl bottles
  • wooden crates of 9 x 33 cl bottles
  • wooden crates of 4 x 33 cl bottles and a beer glass Ter Dolen
  • cluster of 3 x 33 cl bottles
  • It’s a very convenient drive straight south from Eindhoven to get to the castle/brewery, with signs located along the main road as you enter Helechteren.  You can combine a visit to Ter Dolen with some other breweries in the area, such as Achel Trappist, or make a day of it enjoying the nice weather in the courtyard. 

    Hours:
    October until March
    Friday from 18.00
    Saturday and Sunday from 13.00
    Public holidays from 13.00 

    April – May – June – September
    Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 12.00 

    July – August
    Seven days a week, from 12.00 hrs. 

    Kasteelbrouwerij Ter Dolen
    Eikendreef 21
    3530 Houthalen-Helchteren 
    +32 11 606 999

    Best Bars in Brussels, Belgium: Delirium Cafe and Floris Bar

    How many choices of beer does your local pub have?  Five?  Ten?  Are you lucky to have one of those specialty establishments with upwards of 100-200 types of beer?  Try over 2000 beers on for size!

    Delirium Cafe in Brussels was inducted to the Guinness Book of World Records in 2004 for having 2004 different beers commercially available on their menu!  While there may not be quite as many to choose from today, this bar still boasts one of the largest beer selections anywhere.  There are beers on the menu from over 75 different countries, representing every continent (except Antarctica).  Some of my favorite beers can be selected from the menu here, including a number of brews from Abbaye des Rocs, De Dolle and De Struise.

    Interior of Delirium Cafe

    Delirium Cafe is located in an 18th century basement on Impasse de la Fidelite, an alley off the Rue des Bouchers, the famous street of seafood restaurants located around 100 meters from the Grand Place.  The alley is also the location of the Jannneke Pis statue, the female counterpart to the world famous Mannekin Pis located on the other side of the Grand Place.  The decor within the cafe is mostly made up of breweriana, including signs, glasses, and barrels, which is rather nice.  Delirium Cafe can get extremely busy on weekend evenings, and as of my last visit, was rather smoky.

    If you prefer draft beer, check out Delirium Taphouse, upstairs from the cafe.  Erik Smith of On My Feet or In My Mind recently provided more information on the Delirium Taphouse on his blog.

    French Absinthe Fountain

    If you more prefer spirits to beer, right across the alley from Delirium Cafe is it’s younger brother, the Floris Bar.  Floris is one giant bar with different “grottos” featuring Absinthe, Whiskey, Gin, and Pastis.  In the past, there were areas for Rum and Tequila as well.  Last time I was there, in 2008, there were over 400 different Absinthes to choose from, though their website now boasts of only “no less than 300 varieties”.  One of the best parts of the Floris Bar is the knoweldgable and friendly staff.  As most people are new to the Absinthe experience, they will walk you through your selection, and help you to properly prepare your taste of the famous libation.

    Like Delirium Cafe, Floris Bar is also increasingly popular and can be extremely busy and smoky on weekends, so plan accordingly.    For more information on the whole alley, which contains both Delirium Cafe and Floris Bar, visit their Delirium Village website.

    Delirium Cafe: Impasse de la Fidelite, 4A - 1000 Brussels +32/2.514.44.34  Open 7 days a week from 10AM to 4AM

    Floris Bar: Impasse de la Fidelite, 12 - 1000 Brussels +32/2.514.44.34  Open 7 days a week from 8PM to 6AM

    Delirium Cafe and Floris Bar

    How to buy Westvleteren Trappist Beers: Belgian Beer at In De Vrede Cafe

    One question people often ask is, “what is the best beer you have ever tried?”  For me, the answer is pretty easy.  The best beer I have ever had is Trappist Westvleteren 8 from Sint-Sixtus Abdij in Westvleteren, Belgium.  Most people actually tend to prefer the Trappist Westvleteren 12, which is usually even rated as the top beer in the world on http://www.ratebeer.com, but I personally prefer the 8 since it has less of an alcohol taste to it, with most of the other wonderful flavors still present.  I love the 12 as well, but the 8 is my top choice.  I guess it may also factor in that I am usually driving when I am visiting and need the lower alcohol in order to continue afterwards…

    I have been lucky enough to purchase cases of these wonderful beers directly from the Abbey a few years ago, but typically, this is an extremely difficuly task to accomplish these days (see official instructions on the Sint-Sixtus Abbey website) and often requires quite a bit of luck.  Since buying from the Abbey is so difficult, and the monks do not allow their beer to be resold by others (and when it is resold by others, it is usually with a very hefty mark-up), how can you manage to get your hands on some for yourself?

    It’s easier than you think…as long as you have a way of getting around in Belgium.

    Westvleteren Trappist Collector's Set

    Right accross the Donkerstraat from the monestary, there is a cafe called In De Vrede, which is owned by the Sint-Sixtus Abbey.  This cafe is the only authorized reseller of Trappist Westvleteren in the world!  The primary way to purchase the Trappist Beer here is by the bottle in the cafe, but there is also a small shop at the entrance to the cafe which at time also does sell beer by the bottle or in special collector’s sets for take-away.  Due to the limited production of the beers and increasing popularity, and need to keep enough on stock for the cafe, there were no individual bottle sales for take-away available in the store the past few times I visited, however  was able to purchase the collector’s sets, which contain 4 beers – 2 blonde (green-cap), 1 8 (blue-cap) and 1 12 (yellow-cap) – along with a Trappist Westvleteren glass and a collector’s box.  The shop also sells other products such as the pâté and cheese produced by the monks, gingerbread, and other local products, along with some basic conveniences.

    In De Vrede (“In Peace”) is a popular cafe, especially on weekends.  The parking lot is usually pretty full, both with cars and bicycles.  When the weather cooperates, it can be difficult to find a spot, and both the inside cafe and terrace can be completely full even!  The cafe sells some light snacks and sandwiches, ice cream, hot and cold beverages, and of course, the Trappist Westvleteren beers. 

    I recommend the Portie Paterskaas €2.50, a nice sized slice of the cheese made by the monks, and the Portie Abdijpaté €2.90 which is a similarly sized slice of the monestary’s own pâté, which is actually delicious!  The Bierworstje is just a prepackage sausage snack, so I suggest to stick to the pâté and cheese.  The sandwiches are ok, but beware the Hennepot if you are not aware of what it is – it’s a slice of small pieces of chicken suspended in gelatin…looks quite disgusting.  I’ve never actually tasted it though.

    Brett with Westvleteren Trappist trio at In De Vrede, Nov/04

    Beer prices in the cafe are €3.20 for a blonde, €3.70 for the 8, and €4.30 for the 12.  This is almost 3x what you would pay if you can get them by the case at the monestsary, and almost 2x what it would cost from the store, but being able to buy in either of these sites is not as likely.

     The cafe is open every day from 10:00 AM, except for the following times when it is closed:

    • Thursdays (From September 1 – July 1)
    • Fridays
    • 1st half of January
    • 2nd half of Easter Holiday
    • 2nd half of September

    For more information, check them out at http://www.indevrede.be/languagee/index.htm

    “In de Vrede”
    Donkerstraat 13
    8640 WESTVLETEREN
     Tel. 057/40.03.77
    Fax. 057/40.19.60

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