Contributor: David Bernard
When you think of Belgium, it’s almost impossible not to think of beer. It’s been one of the country’s most notable exports for ages, and in a tiny city like Brussels it’s what makes it worth extending your stay. Brussels itself may not have nearly as many attractions as London or Paris, but what it lacks in terms of physical attractions the country most certainly makes up for in terms of culture and history.
With the country’s huge beer history, its only natural to expect a large variety of products throughout the area. One of Brussels’ specialties however, is something unlike anywhere else in the world. Located near the city center, visitors and locals can find the Delirium Café. Here, over 2000 beers can be found both by bottle and on tap, and in addition to their imports, the bar also makes many of its own varieties for guests to enjoy as well!
Normally I’m not much of a beer drinker myself, but I also know when I see something worth talking about. This bar currently holds the world record for the most beers available for purchase and consumption (a record it has held since 2004). No matter what you like to drink, that number is surly impressive by any means! You could get two different beers every day, and it would still take you almost three years to try them all! By then I’m sure they would have introduced even more new flavors as well!
During my time there, I ordered three different beers and also had the opportunity to try and taste about four other different flavors by the end of the night. My friends who had joined me were more fans of beer, so it gave me some chances to try other varieties while I was there. What I enjoyed the most about the place was it’s complete variety. Just looking at the menu book (yes, an actual BOOK) it seemed like there was a beer for just about anyone’s palette. I typically have a sweet tooth and prefer drinks that are less bitter (so it’s no big shock that beer usually isn’t my favorite drink, lol) but even here I found several that peaked my interest and I enjoyed.
Both of the heavier beers I personally ordered were fruit flavored varieties. One was a cheery flavoring of Delirium’s own beer brewing. The other was also a cheery variety, but from the brewer Floris. The first one, the one by Delirium themselves, I found to be quite interesting. The flavoring was fairly thin, which normally I’m okay with, however at an alcohol content of about 8% you could certainly taste the hops from the beer and less of the cherry. The other cherry beer was a bit better. The flavoring was thicker, and even though it had a higher alcohol content by .7%, I actually tasted that less than the first one.
In addition to the two heavier beers, I also had a light cider beer, also made by Floris. At only an alcohol content of only 3-4%, and having quite a bit of apple flavoring in it, I found this one to drink almost too easily. In fact, it was great for someone with my palette because of the sugar taste, but it certainly wasn’t a beer I’d recommend for heavy beer drinkers.
My friends had ordered much heavier beers for their tastes. Some of them even contained alcohol contents as high as 11% (one of which I tried and I could only describe it as a potent mix of cognac and IPA) but the bottom line seemed to be that we all were able to find drinks that fit our tastes nearly perfectly. Even after I found myself done with beer, the place is still a bar of course and I was able to order other (more typically sweet) drinks. I finished the night with a sprite mixed with the richest raspberry vodka I’ve ever had, so as you can imagine was pleased.
Having been to Brussels now twice in my life, I must say that I’m so happy I finally got to see the Delirium Café after having heard so much about it from friends and colleagues. Even though I don’t drink much beer, I can definitely say that everyone can find a beer here that fits their tastes. And if all else fails… it’s still a bar! Surely you can still find something else besides beer and just enjoy the atmosphere instead!
Have you been to the Delirium Café before? Comment and share your experiences below!