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Around Brussels in 80 Beers

Joe Stange & Yvan De Baets

The latest addition to the Around in 80 Beers collection from Cogan & Mater focuses on that most obvious of great beer cities, Brussels.

Around Brussels in 80 BeersThe format is, of course, the same as for the earlier two books in the series (Bruges and London): 80 pubs or bars – sometimes a hotel, a shop, a brewery, a restaurant or some other venue; there are even museums in this particular book – chosen on merit and defined by the choice of one outstanding beer from their regular selections.

Also as with the other books, the pages are bright and colourful, graced by decent photographs and functional maps.

While good beer is not hard to come by in Brussels, what makes this a particularly useful publication is its encouragement of the reader to look beyond the obvious places, to branch out beyond the tourist centre of the Grand Place and its surrounding streets.

Hence, as well as being nodded towards some of the great central bars, such as the Mort Subite, with its high ceilings and mirrors, Toone, the puppet theatre, and the Poechenellekelder, close to the Mannekin Pis, it is suggested you break out and explore suburban establishments such as Moeder Lambic, with its hand-pulled lambic beer, the Art Nouveau treasures of Ultieme Hallucinatie, or the Eastern-European inspiration of Belladone.

The book’s beer choice for each venue is sometimes clear cut, but in other cases must have proved to be a headache for locally-based authors Joe Stange and Yvan De Baets, given the extensive choice available. What do you pick out of Delirium’s range of 2,000 beers? Saison d’Erpe Mere, apparently, from Glazen Toren brewery that only opened in 2004.

Inevitably, some of my favourite beer drinking venues are featured in the book. There are also quite a number that I have not yet visited. In the unlikely event that I ever need encouragement to head to Brussels again, this will be it.

First edition (2009)

104-page paperback (Cogan & Mater)


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