Belgium is well known for being the home of the best waffles, chocolate, frites and beer. Speaking of beer… I got to try a couple of beer from Delirium Café, a bar with the biggest beer selection in the world, and it was a very pleasing experience. The Delirium Café is probably the most famous bar in Brussels.
Well, this marks my very first article in Europe and I’m proud to dedicate this to Brussels, Belgium.
Before I came to Brussels, I had a very simple bucket list and it contained the following:
- Frites (aka French fries)
- …and, of course, beer
That was it.
You really think I’d have a list that short for a country like Belgium? Oh, please.
Of course, I had a bucket list of different attractions and sightseeings, but you get my point, right?
My Belgian friends, Heather and Jonathan, told me that it was a must that I visit Delirium Café when I was in Brussels, so I complied. Why would I deny to go to a bar that holds a record in the Guinness Book of World Records for most varieties of beer commercially available?
Funny thing here is that the Delirium Café broke the record with a selection of 2,004 beers in the year of 2004.
Before we went to the café, Heather and Jonathan took me down to the central to visit the Grand Place where I rubbed the Everard ‘t Serclaes Statue from its head to toe for good luck. Many people would pause to rub the statue to bring good luck to themselves.
After that, I went to the Manneken Pis statue (aka the Peeing Boy statue). Many tourists were there taking pictures. My friends told me that there were several legends to the statue.
Here’s one of legends they told me. I think this is probably the most interesting story and my favorite of all.
When Brussels was surrounded by a foreign power and had been resisting attacks for several days. So, the attackers set up explosive charges at the city walls to burn the city before they left. Luckily, a little boy named Julianske who was walking down rue de l’Etuve saw the burning wick. He didn’t know where to find water, so he started to pee to put it out and thus saved the city. The people of the city heard about it and sculpted a statue honoring his epic act.
Anyways, we went for a short walk to a small dead-end alley with a total of eight related bars appealing to different drinkers. Besides that, there were several restaurants that had mussels, waffles, frites, etc. This area is now known as the Delirium Village.
It smelt good there. While walking through the crowd, I observed how Belgians looked and dressed in their fashion. I was fantasized by how I could see the strong resemblances of the Belgian figure in their face and body.
I had finally arrived at the Delirium Café and it was housed on three floors. The basement is the original café and the ground floor is the Delirium Tap House. The upper floor was closed at the time, so I didn’t get the chance to see. I was told that it was known as the Hoppy Loft and it focused on hoppier beers and has an extensive collection of US Microbrews.
Anyways, Heather, Jonathan and I headed over to the basement. It had an 18th century scenery with dim lighting and old beer trays stuck to the ceiling. It had a wall of extensive beer selections. I actually found the basement to be very colorful with all of their beer trays and lighting. It had a lot of orange/yellow lighting that gave out a mellow vibe.
We intended to sit in the original café for a couple of drinks, but it was very touristy and too packed to even get close to the bar or find a place to sit. Instead, we wandered back to the ground floor to the Delirium Tap House, a stylish bar that offered an extensive tap/draft collection. The Tap House was a lot brighter for sure, which is a nice bonus for being Deaf-friendly.
We were ready to order, so one of the staff gave us a beer list of their tap collection. I knew it wasn’t the complete beer list and Jonathan affirmed it, so we went downstairs to the basement for the complete beer menu.
A friggin’ beer encyclopedia?! I thought when I was handed the beer list. It was actually a book of several hundreds pages with lists of beers organized by country. By just looking at it is enough to make a beer-lover like myself giddy. Really, the only way I can describe the menu is: it’s glorious.
The list had an amazing range of beers on offer including many different varieties on tap and in a bottle including cherry, blonde, chocolate cookie, ginger, IPA and many more. Some of the beers were very strong and on average would be around 7-8%.
Jonathan and I deliberated on which beer we should try. I mean… how could you choose a beer from a selection of 2,400 beer?
Not only that, the menu advertised that they now have over 3,100 beer and they’re still adding more. 1,200 of their beer selection are Belgians but the rest are imported from all over the world.
Now, how could you choose to try one beer from 3,100? You gotta taste ’em all!
Finally, we both decided to go with IPA. We ordered Chuff Houblon (10%), but Heather wasn’t into beer, so she ordered wine instead.
The beer was very tasty and strong. After this cup, I was completely buzzed. I was impressed myself, but Jonathan suggested that he could find something better. We both had 33cl (11 oz).
While finishing up the beer, we talked a lot about politics in Belgium regarding different barriers the had with the government. I was fantasized by it and we both definitely brought in interesting perspective in politics.
After that, Jonathan and I were up for another beer, so instead of ordering another 33cl for each of us, we spilt up on a order of one 75cl (25 oz) of a very strong, blonde beer, La Choufee (8.5%), for both of us. This one was a lot more smooth for me. It was light and tasty for me.
From there, we started chatting about many things related to traveling the world—Heather and Jonathan had traveled around the world before and they were planning on more later in the future. So, they asked me for some advices to certain countries that they were planning to go and that I had gone to. Then they filled me in on their experience traveling as a couple. It was a deep conversation for all of us and I enjoyed that the most, actually.
Once we were finished with the beer, I was totally buzzed, but I still ended up inviting myself to the bar right across the alley from Delirium Cafe named Floris Bar. It’s a “younger brother” bar of Delirium Cafe and it is a giant bar featuring Absinthe, Whiskey, Gin, and Vodka. It had over 400 types of absinthe from all over the world. Of course, I had to try one since the selection and opportunities to try absinthe in the US is very limited comparing to the rest of the world.
Heather and Jonathan didn’t join me, but I still took a shot of absinthe by myself. Whoo! Was it strong!
One of the absolute highlights for any beer lover on a trip to Brussels is a visit to the pub with the biggest beer selection in the world, the Delirium Café. If you visit Brussels, I would recommend you to check it out. Honestly, to really get a decent sampling of what they have to offer, you’ll want to visit several times and spend several long sessions here. Just be warned, some of the beers are mighty strong.
- Address: Impasse de la Fidélité 4, 1000 City of Brussels, Belgium
- Operating Hours:
- Monday-Saturday 10am-4am
- Sunday: 10am-2am
- Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://deliriumcafe.be/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delirium-Caf%C3%A9/161207937239954
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeliriumVillage
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/deliriumvillage/