Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Update: Moeder Lambic Fontainas Set for Fall Opening.

It's an unlikely spot, sandwiched between an all-day laundromat and a pornographic comic book shop. Maybe not where you'd expect to find one of Belgium's — and therefore the world's — top beer cafés. Yet there it will be.

I first wrote about Moeder Lambic Fontainas back in January. After the usual delays, an army of workmen have finally descended to busy themselves with rebuilding and painting and cleaning and installing. When it's finished, the location at Place Fontainas 10 will offer 40 taps and five or six handpumps (mostly reserved for lambic), plus a selection of 75 cL bottles that will only bother with stuff that ages well. One of the few 33 cL bottles – and probably the largest brewery represented – will be Orval. Otherwise the emphasis is on small craft brewing and sheer quality. Considering that philosophy and a focus on draft beer, no place like this has ever existed in Belgium.

Pictured here we see partners Jean Hummler, Andy Mengal and Nassim Dessicy in front of the facade, which is still mostly graffiti and shambles. Not for long. And that incredible awning, the only redeeming feature from the old front, will remain. Beneath it will be tables for sipping in the shade. Eventually those tables will spill out to Place Fontainas itself, when the city shuts off the street to traffic in a few years. Theoretically.

Those of you who use Facebook (shh!) can see more updates and photos here, including an artists' rendering here. Presumably the two identical girls sipping coffee will have company by the time the place opens in October.

Did I mention that? It's cross-your-fingers, knock-on-wood, seriously hopefully definitely supposed to open in October. Unfortunately not in time to help those attending Belgian Beer Weekend on the Grand Place to find something better to drink (ouch!), but still in plenty of time to find a rhythm before Christmas. There are also plans for a party of some sort a day or two before the Zythos Beer Festival next March.

Now: I'd suggest that the top beer specialist cafés in Belgium are, in no order, Moeder Lambic in Saint-Gilles, the Brugs Beertje in Bruges, the Kulminator in Antwerp, and Delirium in Brussels. Strictly in terms of destinations most visited by geeks.

I'd also suggest that come October there will be another place to round out a clear Top 5 — and it will be another Moeder Lambic.


  1. I need to start working on an excuse now...

    And maybe for the Belgian Beer Weekend too, regardless of the ouches!

  2. Ah, we shouldn't be too hard on the BBW. The nice thing about smaller fests like that is that you can forget about ticking and stick with one or two beers that you already know and love. Plus, it's on the Grand Place. Hard to beat that.

  3. Joe, is that the place that you and Kelly took us to in Bruges? From what I recall, it was great.

  4. Yeah Tom, that was the Brugs Beertje.

  5. Yahooo !!! I am all over that like a bag o chips !

  6. Restobière in Marolles is the best joint for beer and Brussels nosh

  7. vic can you just drink in restobieres or do you have to eat