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Taps: 5 / Bottles: 300
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
Rue de l'Enseignement 57
phone: +32 2 218 00 34
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 51 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by DaPeculierDane:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
Best Meal in Belgium Period. (and that includes several other meals at Michelen rated restaurants and a $400 Euro boondoggle dropped at the vomitously overrated tourist trap hell-hole that is Den Dyver in Bruges)
Sorry to vent. I'll get to Den Dyver, the worst restaurant I've ever been to later but for now we are talking about a wonderful establishment called Bier Circus. What a pleasure Bier Circus was. After a long day touring Namur, hiking around the Citadel, and drinking Wallonian ales Elaina and I returned to Brussels for a fine meal and exceptional beer at this famed establishment. We went late and were quickly seated in a half-booth along the wall. Prompt and professional service allowed us to rapidly order a bottle of the 1989 Cantillon Cuvee du Van, bottled solely for Bier Circus (a nearly perfect lambic) and our mutual favorite La Moneuse.
We were provided with hors d'oeuvres of rye bread topped with herbed cream cheese, sliced radishes, and cucumbers and then set about conversing with the French businessman at the next table. He had brought his own full baguette to enjoy with his meal, which initially made me nervous about the quality of this establishment but those anxieties would soon subside.
After enjoying our aperitif I ordered a steak au poivre only it wasn't a steak au poivre. It was a steak au Duvel. What I received was beyond belief. A choice and generously portioned tenderloin came medium rare, pan seared, and coated in crushed green peppercorns in a thick Duvel based pan sauce. My mouth still waters at the thought of it. Elaina ordered lamb dish cooked in Geuze with goat cheese that was nearly as good. Both were served with some of the best fries we had in Belgium.
Following dinner I drank a concoction based on La Chouffe, La Chouffe coffee liquor, and some other nonsense. Following this we retired to the bar where we enjoyed some other specialty beers made solely for Bier Circus and three fine offerings, including an outstanding stout, from Houfbrouwerijke. Service was excellent throughout our stay. The beer list was better than nearly any other place in Brussels but would have earned a visit based on the Cantillon alone.
Prices were higher than at most bars but beyond a doubt, Bier Circus was worth the extra dime. On the down side, Bier Circus really didn't have much going for it in the way of atmosphere. It was obviously popular with the tourists and expats and could count on a steady crowd so they packed em in and packed em out and let the beer and food, rather than the ambiance, keep em happy. I really couldn't complain.
11-11-2009 03:09:51 |
More by DaPeculierDane
More User Reviews:
10-18-2013 04:04:11 |
More by phingdong
United Kingdom (England)
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75 | $$
I remember Bier Circus when its was just a small retail unit with a couple or bar stools and a table that required a degree in geography to locate. The educated and wide ranging beer list has always been the draw here but the days of spag bol or nothing (although it's great) are long gone.
Beer draws people in but the food is now making them stay. The cuisine has improved with every visit and the meatballs, meatloaf, fish stew and carbonnade are and look fantastic. (The crowning achievement has always been the Chimay Chocolate Mouse tho).
A Brussels institution and while it maintains its gravitas, the atmosphere still sometimes leaves something to be desired. Service, however, is impeccable, friendly and jovial.
The only down side is the limited opening hours but its worth the wait.
05-13-2013 11:59:05 |
More by snuffy
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
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.
Pictures at http://pintsizedrevelations.blogspot.com/2013/01/le-bier-circus-brussels-belgium.html.
01-19-2013 16:09:09 |
More by FightingEntropy
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $
I saw this recommended both on BA and in the Good Beer Guide to Belgium, so I sought it out when in Brussels on business. I was not disappointed.
The bar was easy to find, and as noted by others, was located in a somewhat dull, bureaucratic office neighborhood. Still, it is an easy walk from major tourist sites like the Musee des Beaux Arts, Royal Palace, etc. and I was looking for excellent beer selection, not a rocking place to make new friends.
Atmosphere was neat, modern, friendly and informal. Very open and airy, not a typical wooden pub feel. I went for a late dinner and there were only a few other customers; a mix of beer geeks like me and a few groups of locals who didn't seem to realize how special the place was.
Food menu was limited, but what they had was original, fresh and delicious, and included several dishes made with fine beers. I had meatloaf (made with apples, raisins and Orval cheese) served with potato salad. It was very tasty and more than I could eat.
Service was excellent. The waiter was friendly, English-speaking and obviously a beer-lover himself. I ordered three bottled beers I'd never had before, De Dolle Arabier, De Ranke Guldenberg and De Dolle Oerbier Special Reserve. Prices were very reasonable and the entire evening cost me ~30 Euros.
I thought the beer selection was good but it did not blow me away. There were plenty of Belgians on the menu that are common in the US and not exciting, but a few were truly rare and outstanding.
Overall, I highly recommend this establishment based on location, service, selection and food. You can't go wrong.
10-26-2012 21:56:22 |
More by Radome
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$$
This place has a very nice selection of beers, but it lacks atmosphere. It's a bit too 'clean', well lit, and doesn't have the typical Belgian bar vibe.
The biggest point of criticism however is that they sell Westvleteren against ridiculous prices. It might be considered a good opportunity for those wanting to try this beer, but clandestine reselling it, especially for 18 euros a bottle, is somewhat unethical.
Also, the bar is located in a part of town that is mostly frequented by the government clerks working there. Especially in the evenings, the neighborhood can be silent and dull.
On the plus side, the staff is friendly and seems knowledgeable.
07-13-2012 15:41:56 |
More by sndrspk
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$$
I'm in town on business and had a chance to visit the Bier Circus tonight; here are my thoughts..
The place is located in an interesting spot...a bit of a business district in the center of brussels. It was easy enough to get to off of the metro (get off the Madou stop on the No. 2 line). It was fine for me but I wouldn't recommend my girlfriend walking there on a cold winter evening.
Fantastic selection; prices are reasonable - most beers are around 3 and 4 euros. There are some vintage beers that will run you 35.
I had the Trappist Achel and an Alpaide - the Achel was good...the Alpaide was great (and recommended by the bartender). I haven't seen either available in the US so they were both a treat.
Extremely limited, which brings down my rating. However, I had the Spaghetti Bolognaise made with the Chimay Red - it was fantastic.
Bartender's english was decent and he was very nice and accommodating..it may help that he was drinking a beer while tending.
I'd definitely recommend this place...
01-31-2012 22:25:44 |
More by Jbino34
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The Bier Circus was a good place to check out overall if you are in Brussels. I went mid-afternoon on a weekday so there wasn't much of a crowd. We pretty much had the place to ourselves.
The atmosphere was relaxed with a lot of neat beer signs and paraphenalia on the walls.
We were able to try some vintage geuzes (1999 and 2000). I also had a a chimay on tap.
This place had a decent beer selection (de dolle, de struisse, etc) and reasonable prices. It was a good choice for a relaxing place to try a couple good belgian beers if you're in Brussels.
03-16-2011 03:28:59 |
More by Chincino
United Kingdom (England)
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
My sixth time to Brussels, but my first visit to here: it not opening at weekends being the main reason. So it was a cold and windy Thursday evening in October 2010 I finally made it.
Nothing special about it to be honest, a basic bar with a few clown bits hanging around and on the windows. The place was half empty and we had no problems finding a table with two chairs to sit on.
On tap they had Bink Blond, La Chouffe Houblin and Chimay Tripel as their regular beers. The two guests being Nieuwhuys Alpaide and Saison de Cazeau, we tried them all (sharing) before having a 0.75cl bottle of Lupulus.
We ate a mixed cheese and cold meat platter with gurkins etc, just what we wanted to accompany the beers.
An agreeable sort of place and one I'd use again if in that area of the city. It is a fair walk from any other reconised beery bar in Brussels, but is just about worth the effort to get out too.
11-18-2010 08:50:17 |
More by BlackHaddock
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
Nice location on a little side street near the hostel I was staying in. About 10 minutes walk from the center. Atmosphere is OK if a little strange. Beer themed with some clown dolls around. Nice rotating beer list. Food selection was very limited. Ordered a spaghetti bolognese in Chimay Blue sauce. It was ok, but I couldn't taste any beer... could have been just any bolognese. Great beer selection. Music was good - indie rock and some classic rock. Not a lot of people eating in the joint but the bar was pretty crowded. I was one of 4 people in the dining room. The columns are decorated with various little bottle caps. The focus is definitely on the beer. Nice little place but a bit overrated.
Eat elsewhere and then come here for the beer later.
11-05-2010 20:32:17 |
More by BucBasil
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Bier Circus in Brussels, Belgium
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