Taps: 5 / Bottles: 300
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 53 | Reviews: 51 | Show All Ratings:
3.08/5 rDev -27%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
We went for dinner thinking we might stick around for drinks afterwards. Not so much.
There was something strangely inhospitable about Bier Circus. It probably had something to do with the lack of atmosphere -- think Applebee's -- or the cold glare of our waiter. For a place with the word "bier" in the title, he seemed awfully hesitant to recommend beers or pairings in English or French.
Other than that, it was merely above average. The food was good, albeit not necessarily good for the dollar. The beer selection is broad, and delicious -- but that's fairly easy to come by in Brussels.
In my opinion? Completely skippable.
06-25-2007 20:51:14 | More by tsmo
3.33/5 rDev -21.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
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
3.58/5 rDev -15.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Bier Circus has a wonderful selection of beers. The number of taps is also good (for Belgium). The bottles are both numerous and high quality. The food is also quite good. In fact, I love going to Bier Circus when I am in town. Unfortuneately, even if I order two beers at a time, I often find myself beerless for 10-15 minutes. The food is well prepared, but there is only one vegetarian option, which is pricey and not very inventive. Go there early, order several beers at a time, and be prepared to wait.
02-28-2008 21:39:43 | More by damjadi
3.6/5 rDev -14.7%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
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
3.61/5 rDev -14.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1 | selection: 5 | $$$
The first and most important thing to note about this place is that it is now NON-SMOKING! That's right, as of January 2007, all Belgian restaurants are non-smoking, and since the very small bar area is not closed off from the restaurant here, it's also NON-SMOKING.
Delightful: an outstanding beer list, in a bar where I don't have to order food, with no smoke? I'll take it! The bar is a small area in the back, also accessible from an alternate entrance, with about seven stools along the bar, and half a dozen or so stools along a back bar where the bartender will wander out and ask if you want something.
Initially, we wanted lunch but were met with an almost complete lack of vegetarian options. We asked about just ordering appetizers in the restaurant part, not realizing the bar existed back there, and the waiter haughtily responded that they were not a fritterie. We apologized, and he huffily pointed back towards the bar, grunting with his head movement. We moved, and were delighted.
Atmosphere: the restaurant is like a little cafe, the bar is small and dimly lit, but with bright lights on the gorgeous glassware selection.
Service: the bartender in back was also somewhat cold, even with the Belgians at the bar who were apparently his buddies. The haughty guy in front glared at us when he came back to fetch drinks. The bartender was sufficiently available, and consistently replenished the salty but junky bar snacks bowl, but scoffed at Ms. Warmstorage's pretty decent French, and decided to mumble in English. But if you've got a strong tolerance for attitude, e.g., you think the service at the Toronado is good, this is otherwise a fantastic place.
A fantastic beer list, with great vintage options, and many of them stored in the glass fronted fridge so you can ogle the bottles. (Though the bartender grunted at us trying to lean in to the bar area to look through the glass, so do it at your own risk.)
Prices were average to slightly high for Belgian bars, though there were a couple of tap specials on a chalkboard in the bar area.
We sat for almost three hours through a big rainstorm, and drank six beers between us, so it was obviously a pretty satisfactory experience, notwithstanding the snarky, cold service. Really, the service mostly just ignores you until it's time to ask you if you want another beer. And the bartender did thank us for the tip, which seemed quite good judging from his wide eyes, though it was just a standard tip (20%) by US standards.
04-12-2007 01:16:27 | More by warmstorage
3.75/5 rDev -11.1%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$$
This place has a very nice selection of beers, but it lacks atmosphere. It's a bit too 'clean', well lit, and doesn't have the typical Belgian bar vibe.
The biggest point of criticism however is that they sell Westvleteren against ridiculous prices. It might be considered a good opportunity for those wanting to try this beer, but clandestine reselling it, especially for 18 euros a bottle, is somewhat unethical.
Also, the bar is located in a part of town that is mostly frequented by the government clerks working there. Especially in the evenings, the neighborhood can be silent and dull.
On the plus side, the staff is friendly and seems knowledgeable.
07-13-2012 15:41:56 | More by sndrspk
3.79/5 rDev -10.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
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
3.81/5 rDev -9.7%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
This establishment is now mainly a restaurant, albeit one with a wonderful beer list. During my last visit I had Girardin oude lambik and oude kriek on cask with dinner, there aren't many better choices you can ask for. The bottle list is good, not what it was previously but I guess it comes and goes.
Lots of beer posters and nice bottles laying around, and if you stop in only for beer there's a bar on one side. It doesn't have an authentic old-world feel to it but for dinner it's a great choice.
10-19-2008 02:13:16 | More by TurdFurgison
United Kingdom (England)
3.83/5 rDev -9.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
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
United Kingdom (England)
3.93/5 rDev -6.9%
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
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Bier Circus in Brussels, Belgium
93 out of 100 based on 53 user ratings.