So we were in Antwerp. And we were going to the zoo. But it was raining. So I said I’d just call in to fellow Midlands man Patrick in Kelly’s Irish Pub for a minute. (The zoo is one side of Central Station, Kelly’s is just the other side…)
I’m not really in the habit of drinking in Irish bars while abroad but exceptions have to be made from time to time. Anyway, I was delighted to be able to order a glass of a local Pale Ale by De Koninck. This one reminded me of some of Black Donkey’s beers, Buck It for instance.
I followed that with a Coronet. Which wasn’t bad at all. Then Patrick finished his shift. He brought me next door to Bier Central and showed me their extensive cellar.
They offer 300 bottles of beer and have 26 on tap.
I chose a Mort Subite from said impressive selection next. A lovely Gueuze.
This tipping in to meet Patrick for a minute was going well.
After an enjoyable time in Bier Central we headed on to Billie’s Bier Kafétaria where I was able to sample the delights of Rodenbach Alexander. On Nitro! It was soft and fruity like a tasty desert.
At this stage my phone had died and so I had to enlist Patrick’s help with the beertography. We also sampled Excuse Me While I Kiss My Stout from Hedonis. Which was only gorgeous. Billie’s is a cool spot.
Next stop was The Corner House on Nationalstraat. This is run by another Irish man, Alan and his partner. It’s very much in the Belgian tradition of a Brown Bar (Beer cafe) though. For something different I tried a Ginger Tipple which seemed to be produced in tiny batches. Patrick plumped for the 11% version, I was far more sensible and had the far more sessionable 8% Tipple! A really nice Ginger Beer, I was informed below that it is fermented with natural honey and some lime.
I finished the day, as I had started, with a beer from De Koninck, Tripel D’Anvers. Go hard, then go home as they say. I may have left out a couple of beers along the way for the sake of brevity. Patrick tells me that you’re not really supposed to order pints, to drink like the locals it’s all ‘pintjes’ or 250 ml pours. Pity I didn’t know that at the start of the evening! Be sure to check out these pubs when in Antwerp. I had a great time. Sláinte!