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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
This is the place to go in Europe if youre looking for fine beer. The place is located not too far from the train station and just behind the alley with all the stores. This is quite a small café with a nice terrace behind. The bar is full of beer as well as the chamber behind. The menu is the size of a phone book and products are listed by year. I saw some Chimay from 1981, Liefman Kriek from 1974, Rodenbach Alexander They pretty much have everything that you would like to try. The prices are usually reasonable (Rodenbach Alexander for 4 euros, De Dolle still natch 1999 for 3.50 euros ) and the service is great. This is a must if you go to Belgium.
06-29-2004 20:13:19 |
More by Phyl21ca
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
Went to Europe for the first time. We were based in Brussels and tried to conquer the country of Belgium in the short eight days of our stay. That was our first mistake. On day six it was raining a bit so we took a train to Antwerp. If we didn't make a habit of walking 10 miles a day we would have never found the Kulminator. We saw the yellow sign on the building so we checked it out. The place had another 15 minutes til it opened and the only reason we waited was that it had a nice old bar look to it and we saw a lot of beer inside. Poor planning. That was our second and biggest mistake. We had no clue what we were in for.
My freinds and I had spent the last five days running around looking for St. Sixtus. 6,8 or 12, it didn't matter. We had only read about this beer and everywhere else we stopped had none. Not only did the Kulminator have St. Sixtus, it was available from 10 different years! The five of us each ordered a different beer each time and after four rounds we were able to sample nearly 20 of the most incredible grogs on the planet. The atmosphere ( ancient and cluttered), the dog and cat (on the bar, on your table), the beer list ( as big as a phone book) and the owners, Dirk and Leen make this the best bar that I have ever visited.
If you are anywhere in Europe that has a train going to Antwerp, get on it and look this place up. If you're making a first appearance in Europe, learn from our mistakes and put this in your 'must see' planner. WOW! WOW! WOW!
If things work out, next year we'll be in Paris. Yea, I know, the Eifel Tower, the Louve, Notre Dame. Big deal. All I know is that 3 hours away on the bullet train is the most talked about beer establishment in all the world. Guess what's gonna be on page 1 of my ' things to do' list.
06-18-2004 19:05:49 |
More by cro250klr
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
GO HERE! And bring lots of cash with you, for you will want to try many things....
Well, I told the man that this is my favourite place in the universe. It might just be true, actually, because I just felt so happy there. I went here twice during my Belgium trip with my boyfriend.
The atmosphere is beautiful, dark with lots of old woodwork, some hops hanging from the ceiling like garland, a few stools at the bar and more tables. There seems to be a glass for every beer, or at least every brewery, and tons of coasters and signs on the walls (I like the lit-up Oerbier man). There's lots of clutter behind the bar, a dog and an orange kitty, and classical music (well Irish music on St. Patty's day), making the place feel very homey.
The husband and wife owners were so nice and really knew their stuff. Great beer list, pretty much whatever you wanted, they had, and at good prices. We ordered between the 2 nites 1980 Oerbier, 1982 and 1996 Stille Nacht, Boone Kriek Mariage Parfait, 1983? Thomas Hardy's, Westy 6, 1986? Chimay blue, I forget if there was anything else. We had some good conversations with the owners and some regulars about De Dolle, how we went to Essen instead of Esen to try to find and visit the brewery, they had a good laugh at that. Very kind, these people. We ordered a cheese plate- Gouda, there was sooo much! and it came with some great bread and great spicy mustard. I felt so relaxed in this place and I didn't want to leave. I highly recommend this bar to anyone going anywhere near Antwerp.
03-25-2004 17:29:50 |
More by erica
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5
What a great boozer. Not "in your face" at all, not noisy, not pushy. Just a solid quiet establishment with a friendly clientel and an enormous beer selection.
It's not that hard to find... just walk south from Groenplatz down Nationale Straat and then look to turn left down Flemincksveld. Allow 10 minutes walking time from the Cathedral.
And when you get there, there are round wooden tables and comfy chairs with cushions lots of newspapers to read. And if you like your beer matured, this is the place. There are lots of improbably old ones there in a separate cold-room visible from the saloon.
02-17-2004 18:26:02 |
More by downes51
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
First off, let me say that half the fun of the Kulminator is finding the damn place, and going there when they are open!
Hidden on a small street called Vleminckveld, which is about 10-15 blocks off of the main Ruebens square, and down the royal streets a bit. When we first visited here we found out that it opened on 8pm on Mondays, so we waited, and than we were let in by the nice old Dutch lady who works here with her husband. We were greeted, sat down, and the "tomes" were placed in front of us. This place had so many beers, it was not even funny. You want it, they got it. Vintages going back to the 70's and prior, stuff from dead breweries, dead beers, imports, even some aged Unibroue from Quebec! The prices were right, and the service was always fast and friendly. The worst thing about coming to the Kulminator, is when you have to leave! Oh, and come with deep pockets, as it is impossible to have "a beer or two" at the Kulminator!
11-06-2003 18:34:22 |
More by francisweizen
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4
I have found the meeca of beer. On 2 visits to the Kulminator i found it impossible to leave the bar. Simply too many hard to find beers and too many old vinatge bottles. Impossible to get through in only a few hours.
The old, long wooden tables and the thick wooden beams around the bar made for a cozy atmosphere. I found Leen to be an exceptional host and she seems to enjoy serving people who show an enthusiasm for beer and ask lots of questions.
On day 1 i ran into Keith from the D.C. area. We had a lenghty chat about beer and managed to do a little sampling. The highlight was a vertical tasting of Chimay 2003, 1991 and 1981. Where else could you possibly do this? The selection is simply outstanding and extremely hard to match.
On day 2 i ran into a fellow Canadian, this time a brewmaster from Labatt in Toronto. He walked over to my table and said, "i noticed that you enjoy your beer. I'm just ordering a Hoegaarden Grand Cru 1987, would you like a sample?" And that was the start of another several hours of drinking and good conversation. Along the way we also sipped on Traquiar House Ale 1984, Julius 1997, Stille Nacht 2000 and Oerbier Verjaardagsbier 1980.
It seems to be the type of place where good beer also involves good conversation with other beer lovers. THAT is what makes me feel at home at the Kulminator. It was more than just a place to sit down, have one and then leave. This is the type of bar that i could easily spend 12 hours in trying new beers, talking about beer with other patrons and simply enjoying life. I guess the Chimay 1981 & Chimay 1991 plus the Thomas Hardy 1984 and the Hoegaarden 1987 also helped sway my opinion. Top notch. My Favorite beer bar thus far...in the world!
10-29-2003 09:44:22 |
More by Popsinc
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
A world classic bier bar. With an enormous bier list that encompasses many vintages of biers from Belgium, Holland, and the UK, the Kulminator is in an elite class. The environment is inviting with dark wood, bier memorabilia, big tables, modest bar area, and classical music. The Kulminator is convenient to all visitors to Antwerp. Dirk & Leen are gracious, knowledgable hosts, that never grow weary of the ever growing numbers of bier traveler passing through their doors. They serve tasty cheeses and meats to satisfy most people's craving for solids. I have spent more time in this bar than any other in Belgium, and always look forward to the next 4-5 hour visit!
10-19-2003 19:13:58 |
More by wbthink
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5
This is a wonderful bar, quite worthy of it's reputation. Very classy environment. Tile floor, wood bar, plain, rustic wood tables, classical music. The vintage beer cellar is it's strongest point, and can take many happy hours of pouring over. One warning: the first few times I was there it was during the twenty four hours of beer in Antwerp (which is no longer held) and the place can get totally overwhelmed if there are too many customers, taking a long time to get waited on, as Dirk and Leen do everything themselves. But go during a slow time and you will have one of the most amazing beer experiences in the world.
10-04-2003 13:55:04 |
More by saltydog
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5
My only visit here was in October 2000, well before I knew anything useful about Belgian beer. I had just ridden my bike in from Brussels, and was pleasantly surprised to find that the place was small and cozy, much like 't Brugs Beertje in Brugge and Le Bier Circus in Brussels.
The number of taps is small by American standards, but the real treasure trove here is the immense number of bottled beers in the cellar. I was a bit bewildered by it all, and ended up accepting the offer of a guy at the bar who bought me a Triple Karmeliet...but who then proceeded to tell me a sob story of his unrequited love for an American woman, and things went downhill from there.
I very much look forward to visiting here again, knowing what I do now about Belgian beer. A beer lover's visit to Belgium wouldn't be complete without a stop here.
08-24-2003 03:07:19 |
More by WaywardSeaman
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
Kulminator has been around since the late 70's and is nearly worth a trip to Belgium on its own, and a must stop if you are in Antwerp. Although it's small inside, it boasts some 700+ beers available to the public (hundreds of which are vintages) and thousands of bottles of surplus in the private cellar and cool rooms dating back to the 1970's. And, you'll find about 6+ beers on tap ... everything else is in the bottle. I found the beer to be cheap to very reasonable in price, ranging from new beers to obsolete to vintage. Ah ... and 1982 Stille Nacht, first year, with a collectors label that the owner of the Kulm soaked off and mounted on a coaster for me ... for a mere $4+ US.Hell yeah!!
Atmosphere-wise it's quite warm, charming and extremely inviting. The owners will warm up to you after they've seen your face a few times and engaged in some conversation. Same goes for the two dogs and two cats that hang out all day. Note that like most beer bars and cafes in Europe, this place can get a bit smoky. Food-wise, there's really no food, but they do offer meat (aka SPAM) and cheese plates to much on. Best time to hit this place is in the late afternoon ... less smoke, less people.
By far one of the best beer bars in Belgium, and a contender for one of the best in the world.
12-26-2002 19:35:47 |
More by Todd
Kulminator in Antwerpen, Belgium