Saturday, January 19, 2013

Le Bier Circus (Brussels, Belgium)


While trying to plan my first brewery tour to Bosteels on Friday, I accidentally ran across Le Bier Circus near the youth hostel Jacques Brel that I'm staying at a night this week.  Decided to give it a try: I saw vegetarian lasagna on the menu, plus I had heard of the bar before. Maybe it's because it's a Thursday night, but I'm the only one in the restaurant plus a few sitting outside.

Lasagna looked better than it tasted, but I'm hot and running on two hours of sleep from the flight.  Might not be a fair test. I don't see myself ordering it again, but it definitely hits the spot now.

With dinner I had a Keyte Dobbel-Triple, which is very good. What I can tell from the menu, the beer is from amateurs in Ostende. Unclear in translation, but the server clears it up that the beer is brewed by Brouwerij Strubbe but somehow created by the "club van bierliefhebbers" or homebrewers.  An amazing collaboration: dark chestnut brown with a dirty brown head that falls in a perfect lace. Chestnut in the nose that reminds me of a Christmas beer I had in Italy once. Light spice in nose to balance that subdued by the full Dubbel-like malt, slight dark fruits and full nuttiness. Fun beer.

Near the end of the meal, a Euro cover of G L O R I A Gloria song is playing.  Really odd and slightly surreal as I'm travelling alone for the week until my Gloria meets me in France. The music has been invasive in each place I've been and unsettling for some reason, but I can't seem to find the source of my discomfort. This is the longest trip that we've ever taken--a full month I'll be in Belgium and France, and--today--I feel a bit isolated and overwhelmed.  Dinner and a unique beer find has been a nice respite to re-group from jet lag and a rocky start with the hostel, all of which worked out fine as I found my footing in Belgium for a truly magnificent week.  If I lived in the neighborhood, I would most definitely be happy to be a regular at Le Bier Circus, but don't think it's the destination bar that it sounded like online.

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