Are you a beer lover who is wondering what things to do in Brussels on your next trip? If so, you are not alone in this. Belgium is home to the world’s best beers. And there is only one city in Belgium where you can get all the fun and excitement of being a beer enthusiast. As you can guess, that city is Brussels.
1. Visit one of the top Belgian beer bars in Brussels
Brussels is a city steeped in Belgian history. And there is no better way to learn about Belgian culture than visiting a Belgian beer bar in Brussels. At popular beer bars like Pouchenellekelder, A L’Image de notre Dame, and Moeder Lambic, you will find people from different cultural roots, who will be willing to interact with you in Dutch, German, or French. Even if you cannot speak these Belgian official languages, you will still enjoy your visit to Belgian beer bars as long as you are open to consuming their beer and food.
Here’s a list of some must-see and must-do Brussels beer bars:
A bit on the expensive side but well-served beers.
A semi-heavy beer bar in a vaulted dungeon. Good selection of beers on draft as well. Excellent for late weekend nights.
2. Take a sip and a dip at the Good Beer Spa
As a beer lover it is fundamental to experience the unique combination of beer and spa. In Brussels, there is the Good Beer Spa, the first beer spa in Belgium. It is next to the center of the city, at one kilometer from the ‘Grande Place’. In this private spa, a beer-savvy person welcomes you and ‘affinates’ your large jacuzzi upon arrival. Barley malts and oats malts, hops, and brewer’s yeast are added to your bath with an explanation of the why of each ingredient. Some beer goes in as well. During your session there’s the unlimited Baptist beer on draft – the tap is right next to you.
The enormous beer baths are equipped with very good air massage. So after your 1-hour session, you come out totally relaxed and with baby skin.
As a beer and/or spa lover, exploring the beer spa at the Good Beer Spa is a total must when visiting Brussels and Belgium.
Beer, hops, and brewer’s yeast are also used in GoodBeer’s cosmetics, whose shop is located at the entrance to the spa in Brussels. They make beer t-shirts, wooden gadgets, and fashion accessories such as wooden watches and sunglasses. Definitely worth a visit as a beer lover, and the ideal shop if you are looking for an original beer gift.
3. Tour a Brussels beer brewery
A Belgian brewery is not like any brewery you’ve ever visited before. It’s only in a Belgian brewery you will find such a variety of beers. There is only one Brussels gueuze brewery – Cantillon Brewery– that is open to public tours. Cantillon Brewery is the only brewery in Brussels that produces Lambic beers. This type of beer tastes sour and dry. Brewers blend Lambic with fruit to produce fruit beer. If you have not tasted Lambic beers or fruit beers containing Lambic before, a tour of this Belgium brewery will give you the opportunity to do so. Plus, you will see with your naked eyes the ingredients used to produce beers, how the ingredients ferment and the bottling process.
In the last 5 years, Brussels has seen a rise in breweries. Not all of these breweries are open to visit, but here’s a short list of breweries you can visit.
Brasserie de la Senne
It is located a bit outside the city center in a new upcoming trendy area called ‘Turn and Taxis’. The whole site was actually the first cargo train station in Europe.
They produce very high-quality beers, and the brewery was the first brewery in Brussels, or even in Belgian, to start producing an IPA style of beer, the ‘Zinnebir’, in 2002.
There is a taproom with a view of the tanks.
Brasserie de la Source
Around the corner of Brasserie de la Senne, you’ll find ‘Brasserie de la Source’. Crafty beers with an (expensive) taproom.
Brasserie No Science
In the same area, there is another Brussels Brewery: ‘No Science’.
This is a microbrewery with 2 beers for now: ‘Fade to Grey’ and ‘Psycho’.
Brasserie En Stoemelings
On that same side of ‘Thurn and Taxis’ is another brewery ‘Brasserie En Stoemelings’.
Crafty beer brewery with some history compared to the other more recent ones. Curieuse Neus is their classic and is widely available in Brussels.
Brasserie de l’Ermitage
A fairly new brewery with very good beers. They have a great cozy taproom next to the brewery with fairly priced beers. Here you can taste all their beers at 3 euros per 25 cl. Brasserie de l’Ermitage also has a taproom in Saint-Gilles . The latter is a lot more expensive. In both taprooms, they serve homemade pizzas.
Located close to the Gare de Midi, this is the icon of Brussels’ breweries. Take a tour of the brewery and discover the traditional way of making gueuze. Some of their beers figure among the best beers in the world. At the end of the tour, you’ll be able to sample some beers at the brewery.
4. Visit a Brussels beer museum
The rich history of Belgium beer is kept alive at these three popular museums: The Timmermans Brewery Museum, The Museum of the Belgian Brewers, and The Schaarbeek Beer Museum. Each of these museums is located in Brussels. Each one showcases different aspects of Belgium beer culture and hosts thousands of Belgium beer bottles produced in the 18th and 19th centuries. In these museums, you will see antique beer glasses, fermentation tubs, and equipment. You can visit any of these museums from Mondays to Saturdays during the day.
Timmermans Brewery Museum
Timmermans has kept the tradition of the true lambic alive for over 300 years now. This unique beer, made with 30% wheat, is brewed in Itterbeek. The brewery is the oldest active lambic brewery.
Musée schaerbeekois de la bière
This is actually the Brewery Cantillon, with guided tours through their production process.
The Museum of the Belgian Brewers
This museum is located at the Grand Place, in one of the beautiful 17th-century Guild houses. The museum walks you through the brewing process of Belgian Beer, and at the end, they offer you an (ever changing) Belgian beer on draft.
5. Have dinner at a beer restaurant in Brussels
Decent Belgian Beer cuisine. The place is quite small and reservation is a must. They have a particular selection of Belgian beers, with quite a bit of Gueuze on the menu.
In a beautiful setting with a lot of wood. Classic refined Belgian and French cuisine.
Le Jardin du Sommelier
Quite a recent beer restaurant in the Shuman (European) area. Nice terrace with a rather small, but interesting selection of Belgian beer.
La Tana is an Italian restaurant near the Madou tower – and thus quite close to the Good Beer Spa. They serve good pastas and have an extensive Belgian and Italian beer list, also for takeaway.
6. Take the Brussels beer bus
Discover Brussels through expert and local eyes and ride in a 1940’s war ambulance. More than a tour, enjoy a “brewonomic” experience of the capital.
Hop aboard an amazing World War 2 ambulance transformed into a rolling Brussels beer museum and follow your local guide to discover Brussels’s best-kept secrets and highlights.
Enjoy three local beers while roaming the streets of Brussels from the royal area to the EU quarter! – Vintage bus guided tour – Small group (8 persons maximum) – Local beers tasting – City highlights
7. Participate in a beer tasting tour
In Brussels beer and gourmet tours are popular – and there is a lot of venues to choose from!
I recommend taking a look at the selection on TripAdvisor.com or Airbnb Experiences!
8. Brussels beer festivals
- SWAFFF : halfway June
- BXLBEERFEST: last weekend of August
- WANDERLUST : halfway September organized by Brussels Beer Project
- Week of Belgian Beer : last week of August
- Belgian Beer Weekend: first weekend of September
- The night of the Great Thirst : halfway September (if still organized)
9. Hop on the Beer Bike in Brussels
If you are a group of people with a more or less healthy physical condition, you might want to consider going on a tour with the beer bike. But remember, Brussels is hilly so it can get tough on the legs! But of course, the reward is in front of you 🙂
Brussels is an amazing place any beer lover should visit. Visiting a Belgian beer bar, beer brewery or beer museum will enrich your knowledge about Belgian beer and Belgian breweries. Even though these recommendations are not only the only things to do in Brussels, visiting these places will lighten your mood and help you destress yourself. What other fun activities do you think beer lovers should do in Brussels? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
This article about ‘What is there to do in Brussels beer?’ or ‘Things to do in Brussels as a beer lover’ is under constant writing. Check back soon to get the latest additions!