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Taps: 8 / Bottles: 600
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
phone: +32 (0)3 232 45 38
Known for their vast selection of cellared beers.
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I have been to quite a few beer bars, but none have had the selection and service of the Kulminator. I brought a colleague who did not know good beer and he was not shunned (might have helped that I chose the beers) but the selection was incredibly especially with the vintages! Dirk and his wife (I am terribly sorry I did not catch the name) were wonderful and gave perfect advice on what beers to take as well as enlightening conversation concerning the direction of beer in Europe. I sampled only de Struise and de Dolle, but the vintages were honestly better than I've ever tasted and I will return ASAP. If you are in the area this is a must visit, a venerable aged beer destination!
11-29-2011 23:40:35 |
More by skimoore
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Oh my. Took some time to find this place as the streets in Antwerp are not straight and my map was horrible. Once I got in, I went for the secret menu and ordered an '06. Didn't believe it was the best beer, but could see why people thought that (I have since had more recent vintages and enjoy it more and more). The beers kept coming and they were all great. Soon one of the locals came by and we struck up a conversation. He knew the man behind the bar (Dirk) and was quite friendly. Claimed to be an ex brewer for one of the Trappist monasteries. This man showed me his picture on the wall, so I believed him.
It was nice to have someone to talk to since I was there by myself.
Everyone was very friendly, including Dirk and his coworker. They even offered me a beer that shares my name (Elliot) which I was excited to take home and is one of those I may cellar until I get married/have child/retire/die.
Don't remember the walk home, but must have learned the streets by then. Can't say enough about this place and will go back at some point in my life.
10-11-2011 03:32:42 |
More by RuckusDu
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$$$
As I planned a visit to Antwerpen, I'd been advised to go to the Kulminator by a waiter at the Delirium, in Brussels. He told us to give a try to their old aged Belgian brews, what we did. The theme for the afternoon then was "Trappist beers through the ages".
The place itself is more than charming. The atmosphere of the bar, the candles in the Deus and Bush de Nuit bottles, the classical music, everything there is an invitation to take your time and even to go back in it ! The bartenders are an old couple who showed a lot of amusement to our interest in their beers. The woman spoke a bit of French which was quite helpful.
After half an hour (at least) devoted to read the catalog, we ordered 3 Chimays from 1986, 2000 & 2005, and also a Rochefort from 2003 and a Westvleteren from 2004. Useless to say how glad we were !
We were also authorized to buy some bottles to bring back with us (oerbiers special reserva, old westvleterens, including a red cap ! , pannepots vintage, etc.) - It cost me an arm, but whatever...
Definitively the best beer place I've ever experienced. Antwerpen is not precisely close to my home. But I promised to the woman I would come back !
09-24-2011 22:29:51 |
More by Fux
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$$
Visited the Belgian city of Antwerpen as part of a veritable beer-cation and hastily sought this place out. It was very close to the hostel we stayed at. I loved the decor - lots of clutter, old furniture and beer paraphernalia.... overhead cases with all the beer glasses inside...Outdoor seating was available, but for once on the trip I preferred the indoors. I wish I had a basement decked out like this. Old world music at a low volume added very much to the atmosphere. The menu was comprised of several binders of aged rarities. The stock in the cooler was quite a sight to see through it's little window. I had to get the Westvleteren 12 while I was there. Also had Rodenbach & several varieties of Gouden Carolus on tap. An old couple runs the place. They were pleasant but not overly outgoing. It was quite alright. We remained in awe and kept to ourselves taking it all in. The very small crowd seemed like tourists as well, overhearing conversations about beer geekery. It is Beer Traveler's #8/150 best places to drink beer after all!
09-13-2011 02:53:04 |
More by Neorebel
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$
People from Antwerp are generally considered to be fiercely proud of their city, sometimes moving towards xenophobic arrogance. A well-known idiom “Aentwaerpe Stad en de rest parking” (“Antwerp’s a city among cities, all the others are parking lots”) pretty much sums up perfectly how they jokingly portray themselves to the outside world. Although it depends on the neighborhood, it’s usually quite tongue-in-cheek, as is the case in the progressive, primarily student-inhabited area where the mother of all beer bars in Antwerp is to be found. Owner Dirk finds it almost impossible to crack a smile, but once you get past his ever-present deep frown you will find a cheeky bartender with a heart of gold. Hidden in a backwards street near the famous Joker comedy club, you enter one of only two or three bars in Belgium that qualify as Heaven on Earth for beer lovers. Although Delirium in Brussels (2000 bottles) and Vaudrée in Liège (1000 bottles) might have the Kulminator (600) quite thoroughly beaten in sheer numbers, it manages to distinguish itself in its gourmet approach, which is quite unusual to Belgium. The beers go hand in hand with an elaborate, but quite pricy selection of snacks. From a big slab of cheese to sausages, ham and pickled onions, you won’t go hungry providing you have some money to spare. The beer list also caters towards a distinctly gourmet crowd as some bottles literally go back decades. Despite many having tried to accomplish something similar, I still think the Kulminator is quite possibly the only bar in Belgium that takes beer as seriously as it does. The beer aficionado will struggle to point out faults in this bar’s selection, from Struise to the occasional Westvleteren if they managed to get their hands on a few crates of the precious trappist brew. The tap selection can be a tad hit and miss, as is the case with most of anything in Antwerp, and the most interesting beers are usually gone quickly. Although most of it is reasonably priced, an evening at the Kulminator can get quite costly in a hurry if you don’t watch your budget. The charming messy interior, baroque and medieval-style music make for an unforgettable experience each and every time you swing the door open and nearly knock various bits and bobs from the shelves. Can’t recommend it enough.
09-03-2011 18:50:07 |
More by Dennoman
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$$
The Kulminator is a staple in the Antwerp beer culture. What once started as a wine bar, has turned into one of the greatest beer bars in the world. They have a very impressive cellar, and beer menu. Some of the beers go back decades.
They have a little outside area. A big glass window, so you can look into a small part of the cellar, and a cluttered interior. The owners are a man and wife, who live above. The man, Dirk can be a bit moody. The lady is always nice, and attentive, sometimes just real busy.
This is a must of you visit Antwerp, however you're bound to hear and see more tourists then anywhere else in Antwerp. It has definitely turned into a tourist attraction, but non the less, It is still a great bar.
07-18-2011 15:08:58 |
More by CRooney5787
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
This is one of the beer meccas of the world and rightfully so. The selection is superb with rare and old vintages of so many beers. They do not have a lot of taps( I think they have like 6 or so) but the bottle list will blow your freakin mind. The Bar is a small quaint spot with a rustic vibe to it. They also have some cards and a few board games to help pass the time while sipping some amazing beers. I love this bar and hope to visit it once again before I pass.
Make sure you check out the Kulminator you will not be disappointed.
03-29-2011 22:20:39 |
More by Cmack15
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
I absolutely loved this place. This may be my favorite beer bar I visited in Belgium during my week there. The place offered a very extensive beer selection with a lot of rare and vintage beers including a 2000 De Struisse Geuze. The list is incorporated into a huge book and it is very tough to decide on which beers to try. We tried Black Damnation 3 which was on tap and also had Black Damnation four from a bottle. The atmosphere was great and was filled with locals and tourists alike. They had a selection of board games so we were able to relax and play a game of scrabble while we enjoyed our beers. The rare Westvleteren was even available here. I definitely hope to go back to the Kulminator someday and recommend checking it out if you get the opportunity.
03-15-2011 09:36:33 |
More by Chincino
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
what looks like hundreds of beers are presented in a thick book, including multiple vintages, going back, in some cases, several decades. I think they had 6 or so consecutive years of Rochefort. almost exclusively Belgian beers. draft Liefmans Kriek is exclusive here, we're told. so, excellent selection.
there is a cellar, with very small square footage (meters?) but tall and skinny (they climb a ladder), and you can look down into it through a little window. everything is jumbled, very dusty, hand-labelled, and perhaps not terribly well-organized -- in other words, very charming.
the little old couple who works it have rather strained English but try hard. it may take a little while to get you your beer if they have to dig around in their dusty cellar for it. very nice. they serve only some nuts and cheese for snacks. there is a neat ritual for serving lambics like my framboise boon: they have little baskets that they serve some bottles in, to hold them at the correct angle.
01-15-2011 13:10:32 |
More by beerpirates
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
This is a must stop! The atmosphere is your grandfathers 50 year old collection of stuff crammed in to a small space. Fantastic really. Not everything is always available FYI. I recently spent 3 days in Antwerp and was here every night. There is just so much to try and always someone different to talk to. Lots of travelers roll through this place. It was raining a lot when we went (Oct.) so we didn't get to enjoy the little outdoor space they have but it looked great. Hours could be spent pouring over the beer list...be prepared to stay for a while!
12-14-2010 01:56:48 |
More by redsfeather
Kulminator in Antwerpen, Belgium