Monday, October 1, 2012

Delirium Pub (Brussels, BE)

Delirium Pub main bar on main floor that's up and to the right.
DrinkingCaracole Forestinne Mystery

On my way out of the Delirium Monesterium, I saw the sign that said Delirium Village. I found my way back that night to the Delirium Cafe proper--kinda.  I headed upstairs to the larger, seemingly main bar, and later upstairs to the Hoppy Loft. I learned from the bartender in the Hoppy Loft that I still hadn't been in the Delirium Cafe after three attempts. Persistence is key in every pub hunt.

The beer list is daunting--wow. And that's just the draft list. The short list doesn't have the breweries listed, so it was difficult to decide. I haven't felt this confused ordering a beer since the very early days of the beer path. I feel like a newbie.

Order what ever looks interesting at first glance and ask for the book of beers--it's a must!  Each beer on draft has a full page with art, prices, brewery and a description--most of it in English. First beer for me is Brouwerij Caracole, Forestinne Mystery, a hazy old gold ale with an off white head. Sweet spiciness to offset a very strong earthiness that lives up to the forest imagery and elves on the bottle art.

Belgoobeer's Belgoo Arboo
Similar to my first Great American Beer Festival, showing up at Delirium at night puts a hard spin on the place. The myth and the actually don't match.  Yes, they have a lot of great beer and the serve it well, including the glass rinse, full tap pull, Euro head shave with a wet knife and the final water rinse of the stem.  But the party atmosphere is unnerving and not comfortable.

Back bar is industrial and made for pouring a ton a beer without worrying about the mess. Kegs are out in the open and hooked up like a top notch homebrew set up.

When I walked in the bar, the table of young women behind me was singing along at the top of their lungs with Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. The clientele, tonight anyway, is very much towards the young and loud, but the bar isn't very full on a Thursday night, so not a problem yet.

My second beer is truly a Belgium--looks good and no idea what the style is. I'm going with Belgian IPA as a catch all:  Belgoo Arbo from Brasserie la Binchoise. The Delirium description says "Belgian 4 hops amber tripel beer."  Label art says "Hoppy Amber Beer."  Style doesn't matter in Belgium, or so I've heard.  Belgoo Arbo has heavily earthy hops with no real bite, blended with a light yeast twist underneath. Heavy, dirty white lace over hazy gold to amber ale, depending on the light. Myriad of nut and light fruit flavors underneath. Not a new favorite, but an interesting beer that I can honestly say I've never tasted the likes of before. Which, for me, is the purpose of travel abroad for beer.  As it warms, the flavors blend a bit more.

Delirium Pub, Brussels, Belgium
At 9 pm the sound doubled--the music and the young people yelling to each in conversation. The bartender very nicely let me pay for both beers after the second one, even though they don't run tabs in here. I learned earlier today that there's a 5 Euro minimum to use a card, so I used that to talk the bartender into holding it open for the bald guy typing at the bar.

As I was finishing at the Pub, two guys at the bar asked if I was writing a blog.  Answering yes, he made me promise to say that Pakistani's love beer. He and his friend attended university in England and this is their graduation party. Cheers to the Pakistani beer lovers!

The Pub is worth the effort to visit and a very fun place. The original bar is the downstairs section, which I haven't done.  Tonight, I went directly into the draft only pub. I planned to drink the Cafe next.  But I when walked down the spiral stairs, it was as loud as the pub, so I headed up to the Hoppy Loft and got, understandably, lost there for another draft.

The Cafe will have to wait for another day.

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