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Taps: 5 / Bottles: 300
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
Rue de l'Enseignement 57
phone: +32 2 218 00 34
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 51 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
A very nice little bar/restaurant. Clean and has belgian beer deco all over. The food is very good and seemed fresh, but a bit on the pricey side and there isn't a a huge selection of things to eat. I found it odd that they wouldn't sell me just an order of fries, many places in Belgium do this, in fact there are whole road side stand that do just that, but hey whatever the beer list is good.
They had some vintage bottles although I don't recall anything super rare there were some interesting less distributed beers on the list. The service is pretty typical of Belgium don't be in a hurry to order and eat b/c it just won't happen. It hasn't been been crowded when I was there, but there were people in it having a good time which promoted a friendly easy going atmosphere. Overall I'd say I would go back, it's not a cheap bar but it's not outrageous either it's right inline with other bars.
05-05-2010 20:24:52 |
More by weissbierdrinker
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
This establishment seems more conducive to dining with beer, rather that loitering for drinks alone. The walls are covered with breweriana, clearly indicative (along with their name) their respect for beer. We were there on a Wednesday night, and it was a bit quiet, making it difficult to ascertain the atmosphere during peak times.
Everything about this place screamed quality. The cleanliness, the order, the multi-lingual menu, the way the server always made sure that glassware was placed on the table with the logo facing the drinker. Impeccable.
Again, it was relatively quiet in there, which made it easy for good service to be rendered. I wonder what it would be like on a busy night? Anyway, our waiter was professional, courteous, and responsive. It took a little while for food to be brought to the table, which was the only major detractor on the Service rating.
A very lovely selection of lambic, abbey, trappist, strong ales, flemish red/browns. Plenty of aged (vintage) brews. A fabulous selection that could keep you engaged for weeks on end.
The food was spectacular. I had a Red Mullet dish prepared with an Orval sauce, which was spectacular. I had it paired with a 2005 Orval, which made the experience almost religious. My wife had a massive piece of vegetable lasagna, which she enjoyed as well. I would definitely recommend their cuisine a la biere!
03-25-2010 01:16:29 |
More by jgasparine
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
The bad: Not what I was expecting, atmosphere-wise. I figured on a dark local bar type place, but instead it's like what you'd get if you took an Applebees, replaced all the walnut veneer with white pine, and took all the crap off the walls. Very bright, very clean, very mainstream-looking.
The good: Pretty much everything else. I got a beef stew that was solid, if not remarkable. My buddy got the ham knuckle, which was perfect. Great beer selection. Decently responsive waiter. If you can get past the terrifying-clown motif, you need to go here for a meal. The beer selection is also excellent.
12-08-2009 18:29:43 |
More by Phanatic
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
United Kingdom (England)
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
The beer selection here is good. If you are in Brussels and looking to try the Westvleteren 8 or 12... this is a great place to find them. They have always had them available when I have stopped by.
The bar area is small... bordering on cramped. It would be, if there were lots of people hanging about. I wouldn't suggest heading here if you are alone and keen to strike a conversation with fellow beer aficionados (Delerium Cafe is the place for that)... I would suggest Bier Circus if you have brought your own company with you. Meet up with a small group, and you will have a nice but small bar to enjoy, with attentive service and knowledgeable staff. Knowledgeable staff that truly love their beer. Take a walk from the bar to the restrooms (downstairs from the dining room, clean facilities), and you will notice that they have lined their walls with tiling made from beer caps. The walls are adorned with vintage beer signs.
The food is what I would consider hearty fare... great to bring your BAC back down after a couple of strong Belgian beers. Not a culinary powerhouse - just good food.
I can't ignore the 800 pound gorilla about this place... there are clowns painted on the windows. It has a clown/circus theme, especially when viewed from outside. I don't like clowns, and lots of people don't like clowns. If you walk around the side of Bier Circus, you can't really see any of the clowns from the bar area, which has its own entrance. It is worth it, if you are in the neighborhood. This is not your classic Brasserie or old wood themed pub. It is contemporary in style - with style being used loosely.
Bier Circus is a good, quiet smoke-free spot to have some great beer. I would consider it to be the opposite of Delerium Cafe in terms of noise, smoke, and overall number of drunken tourists... and while the beer selection is not as large - there are plenty of gems to enjoy.
11-10-2009 15:27:46 |
More by ultrasupergenius
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
Interesting place with one of the most extensive beer list that we came across in our travels through Belgium in June 2009.
Arrived at about 7pm and the place was empty. We were keen for both dinner a long session of beer drinking and a good night after a day of walking around. The back bar was where most of the atmosphere and most of the customers were. So sitting in the restaurant mostly alone we felt a bit like we were inconveniencing them and generally got poor and infrequent service. They at no time did staff engaged in any conversation about the best beers to have with our meals despite us asking. After 3 beers in 2 hours (and not for the lack of trying to find staff for another) we gave up and went else where. The food was ok though the serves were small. Overall not a place we would recommend or revisit. But then again if wanted a place that I knew had one of the largest beer menu's in town I could be tempted.
07-20-2009 12:20:34 |
More by Labtested
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
I know the name and theme are a bit off-putting, but it's a pun on the nearby theater, le Cirque Royal. But unless this place is doing a huge pre-theater trade, I'm not sure how well used it is. Since the move to the new location I've never seen it full. On my latest visit the night before last, we were one of three parties in the dining room. Speaking of which, it's a bit overlit and bland, although it's not quite the hotel-lobby horror suggested by the photo on its website. The mod ambience works a bit better in the smaller dimensions of the bar area. That said, the point is the beer list, which is as carefully chosen as it is extensive. The selection is especially strong in lambics and I had an oud one from Girardin, which generated a few cheerful words of conversation from the server. There were also good choices in hard-to-find Flemish reds (oud bruins -- in fact why *do* we call them "red" in English?) and the Ichtegem I ordered worked well with my dish of kidneys cooked with Duchesse de Bourgogne. (The beer is a little more restrained and less tart than the Duchesse, but identifiably of the style). The meal, and dessert of chocolate mousse recognizably enriched by some Chimay, was, I'm struggling for just the right word... good. Not great. My dining companions reported the same. Ultimately I'd call it a defensible second or third choice for a beer hunter looking to eat well. I wouldn't call it a good choice either for fine dining or down-home comfort food (and the kitchen doesn't seem to have a strong idea which way to go with it), well below the standard at other beer-specialist places in town like Restobieres or In 't Spinnekopke (which I'm somewhat surprised got a lower grade from me than here), salvaged by a nice list to sample.
01-10-2009 11:49:17 |
More by ManforallSaisons
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Tim Webb described Bier Circus as one of those places trying to take its focus off the beer list in Good Beer Guide: Belgium, and the truth of that statement reduced the enjoyment of my visit to what is otherwise a great stop on my beer tour.
We visited at nearly 10pm on a Friday night, to find a large ¾ empty dining room in front, and a tiny bar area in back. When the host found out we weren't having dinner, we were herded into the tiny, packed, sweltering bar area.
Once packed into the back, the experience started to improve. Ambience is quite modern, and the smoke-free environment was greatly appreciated. The bottle list was quite long, and offered a few hard to find gems. It was the only place in Belgium where I saw the Buffalo Belgian Stout, which was a beer on my list.
The wait-staff was attentive and helpful (there were 3 bartenders behind a packed bar), although did not seem especially beer savvy when I asked them questions. I asked about the availability of De Struise beers, and got what to me was a strange answer about how they don't stock De Struise because they are not "real brewers" and are "bad people." Not sure what to make of that.
I would recommend Beer Circus...the food looked pretty good and in hindsight I wish we would have eaten there...might have improved my impression of the place.
10-24-2008 15:40:40 |
More by BeerBelcher
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
This establishment is now mainly a restaurant, albeit one with a wonderful beer list. During my last visit I had Girardin oude lambik and oude kriek on cask with dinner, there aren't many better choices you can ask for. The bottle list is good, not what it was previously but I guess it comes and goes.
Lots of beer posters and nice bottles laying around, and if you stop in only for beer there's a bar on one side. It doesn't have an authentic old-world feel to it but for dinner it's a great choice.
10-19-2008 02:13:16 |
More by TurdFurgison
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I had been waiting to check out the Bier Circus for awhile but the few times I tried to visit in the past they were not open, even during the posted hours so I have now learned to call ahead.
My wife and I just visited this past weekend for dinner and drinks and had a very nice time. When we arrived around 6:30 or so there was plenty of room inside to sit for dinner and also outside but we chose to sit inside.
The bottle selection was pretty extensive, including some vintage lambics. The draft selection was also pretty good although not very extensive. I had 2 beers that were new to me and I think both were house beers. The first was a draft called Circus Bio and the 2nd was a bottle of their very own Cantillon gueuze which was excellent.
The food was very good as well. My wife and i shared a shrimp and cheese croquette combo appetizer and then I had the beef and beer stew with frites which was very good and reasonably priced. My wife had the chicken supreme which was in a kriek sauce which was also very good.
I definitely suggest coming here for dinner and drinks. It is about a 5 to 10 minute walk from the heart of the tourist area in Brussels so it is not as crowded as the bars and restaurants right in the center of it all which is good.
08-17-2008 19:51:40 |
More by ggaughan
Bier Circus in Brussels, Belgium
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