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Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik / Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan
Active Beers: 9
Beer Ratings: 769
Beer Avg: 3.8
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
phone: +32 (0)50 33 26 97
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
Finding De Halve Maan was a great part of the fun. For this, I set my bearings, put away my map, and followed the smell of malt. Through red brick alleyways upon stone cobbled pavement we traversed as all the while that wonderful aroma grew more pungent. At long last we came upon a rather funny scene.
Before us stood a wide courtyard behind which rose an attractive brick brewery more akin to a late 19th century American or British brewery than to those I have typically witnessed in Belgium. Its entry way and windows, however, were ornately dressed to the point of approaching Disney Land. I began to worry that we had stumbled into a tourist trap.
In the far corner of the courtyard, near the entryway, a narrow bar topped with the familiar Bruges Zot tap handles rested upon the cobbles. On the left and the right were well set tables covered in neat white table clothes. The sun shown over our heads for the first time since our arrival in Belgium, a country whose climate bests Seattle's as the world's most miserable.
Then something odd started happening, the waiters and waitresses started scurrying about, rapidly moving tables to create a lane down the center of the courtyard. Out of nowhere a small blue tractor hauling a cart drove right down the aisle, nearly hitting several dining guests and stopped below a large window. The window swung open. A shoot slid down. Heaps of hot, moist spent malt began pouring into the cart on their way to a local dairy farmer no doubt. The smell was enticing to say the least and it was time for a beer. More importantly, however, we confirmed that we had not tripped into a tourist trap at all. This was real live working brewery, and if that meant that the customer's lunch had to be disturbed for few moments to continue the work of the brewery, so be it.
We drank the Bruges Zot, the Bok, and the Dubel. I recall drinking a wit as well but I did not takes notes on it so perhaps I'm wrong. Our lunch was quite good. I enjoyed a healthy heaping of Vlaamse Stovery with fries and salad. It wasn't the best I had in Belgium but it was adequate. My companions ate a bouillabaisse of sorts and a wonderful salad. The food was above average and a value by Bruges standards. The beers were as they always are from this brewery - clean, pleasing, appropriate to their styles, but not exceptional.
The one problem we encountered was service. The servers were stressed and rude and that was only on the rare occasion that they were present. We waited and waited to order our beers, waited for twenty minutes or more to get them, waited again to order, waited for what seemed like forever to get our lunch and to order another round, etc... They were busy and it would have been forgivable had the staff been apologetic but instead they pointed their noses in the air and acted as if the long delays were somehow of our own making.
Overall: What would have been an above average meal at a great price and some decent beers in a absolutely top notch setting was turned sour by absolutely dismal service. Don't go unless you have a lot of time on your hands or are able to go when it is slow.
07-26-2010 16:41:56 |
More by DaPeculierDane
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | $$
Went here for a tour (which was great). We were served a Zot Blonde at the end of the tour, which was nice. We enjoyed the beer enough that we wanted to stay for lunch.
Outside in the courtyard, the atmosphere is fantastic- you feel like you're back in the old-world. But inside the atmosphere is quite sterile. Not much character in there. So it seems most appropriate to give it an above-average rating on Atmosphere overall.
The beer is decent. And the place was generally kept clean... but the tables weren't. They were littered with crumbs from other patrons. Never got to observe the quality of other facets of their operation; so a slightly above-average rating is fitting, I suppose.
We asked the bartender about lunch, and she suggested that we take any open table and that a server would be right over. We found a table and waited for 25 minutes, and nobody ever came over to help us. So we got up and left. Absolutely awful service.
A good selection of their house beers could be found on the menu. Nothing more. Not bad, although we never got past the first beer given with the tour.
03-24-2010 21:15:01 |
More by jgasparine
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | $
We visited in September 2009. We tried to have lunch before the tour, but failed--we sat down on the outdoor patio, looked at menu, picked out food, and waited. We tried valiantly to make eye contact with the waitress, to no avail. After 15-20 minutes we went inside, my husband really wanted a beer but I needed food desperately. I asked at the bar if I should order food at the bar or at a table, and was told to sit down and a waitress would be along. My husband ordered his beer, and I went across the street to get a sandwich. We then took the tour, which was pleasant but not particularly informative (well, if you knew nothing about brewing beer, you'd probably learn something). We got to go up on the roof for some great views of the city, which was cool. The tour comes with a complimentary glass of Brugse Zot, which is an enjoyable beer but not outstanding. I would not go here just for the beer or food, but if you are looking to kill some time and want to take a tour then it's fine.
10-11-2009 20:48:27 |
More by skberke
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | $$
We went to de Halve Maan on our day in Bruges, 14JUL09. The brewery is very easy to find, off a main square, and the place seems to be very popular. You walk through an alley to find the brewery's outdoor patio area that was very crowded when we arrived around lunchtime on a weekday afternoon. Tickets for the brewery tour are located inside the main cafe area indoors at the bar. We made it just in time for the 2PM tour.
The tour took us through various portions of the brewery, which occupies a couple buildings, and is the only remaining brewery in the Bruges city center. They explain the brewing process, as well as take you to the roof of the building which offers great views of the entire city. The tour dropped us off at the cafe, where we were treated to a Brugse Zot Blonde on tap. They explained that the beer at the brewery was unfiltered and how it differs from the beer that is commercially sold in bottles which is filtered.
The place seemed to get more packed as we were drinking our beer so we left after I picked up a glass, otherwise I would have stayed and tried the Straffe Hendrik, but luckily they had that on tap at the cafe across the street (which I prefer over the Zot).
Definitely worth seeking out if you're in Bruges, might be better to avoid the midday crowd though. Still, we enjoyed the tour.
07-31-2009 21:23:55 |
More by bernardus
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
My wife, father and law and his wife all went to this place on our last day in Brugge (our only full day that is). Review from notes and my memory which will not likely fade for this place. We went on June 10th, 2009.
Atmosphere: Great with hundreds of (apparently) empty bottles of beer with an emphasis on Belgian and Europeans but I did spot a few American beer bottles (Rolling Rock was one), a long wooden bar and seating with tables for about 150. The setting could not be better, within the brewery for Brugse Zot and (currently) two other beers. Very nice old style copper taps.
Quality: Great in that all beer was served in the appropriate glassware, the same glass being provided for Brugse Zot and Brugse Zot Brune and a seperate glass provided for the tripel, Staffe Hendrik. Very nice place mats and covered silverware were also provided with the "De Halve Maan" logo on them.
Service: Very good with a willing bartender, kind waitress.
Selection: I was aware of only the three beers available but frankly I did not even seek out any other beers. Selection was as good as it needs to be.
Food: Just fine. People in my party had a beer cheese soup (A bit thin by our standards) and possibly a salad (but my memory is not great for the food there....I was focused on the beer!)
Value: My only recollection is that the value was just fine.
06-30-2009 17:59:31 |
More by adamette
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Bruges is an amazing beer city, and there are several great places to visit; De Halve Maan is certainly one of them. The main reason for visiting this place is the tour. Make sure to do the tour in English, and if possible get the guide named Matilda. She is hilarious and let there be no doubt: she loves beer!
The Brugse Zot beer is a great way to end the tour and the beer soup can be recommended! When you pay to do the tour - I think it was 5 , which could've been a student discount - you get one beer included.
03-31-2009 11:15:52 |
More by einar85
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$
I stopped by the Half Moon at about 11:30 AM. I wasn't really interested in the tour, but I had enjoyed several Zots while in Brugge, so I was hoping to pick up a few t-shirts, large bottles, and maybe a few other goodies they had for sale. Well, after 10 minutes of watching the staff drink coffee, ignore me, drink more coffee, put on and then remove a necktie, and then acknowledge and wait on the people that came in after me, I left empty-handed. Sad. The place was barely half full. I can't imagine the service during a full on rush. Love the Zot though, especially when drinking it elsewhere!
11-24-2008 22:52:54 |
More by i13tony
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $
We meant to visit this place on our first day in Brugge, but didn't make it here until the last day. The brewery is only open from 11a-4pm, so you really have to plan to make this part of your itinerary. With that said, we arrived just before the last tour of the day was heading out and opted to enjoy a couple of beers outside in the courtyard instead of doing the tour. It was a beautiful afternoon, and the thought of relaxing with a couple of unfiltered Zots was much more inviting than shuffling around the brewery with a bunch of tourists listening to someone explain what wort is in Dutch. Yes, this is the only place you can get the beers unfiltered. I ordered a double, which I didn't see on tap anywhere else around town, and it was very good. The courtyard was a bit crowded, and there were huge bins of spent grain from the day's brewing sitting near the stairs. As we settled in, a forlkift arrived pushing people left and right to retrieve the bins. It seemed like an odd time to do this, with everyone sitting outside, but it was highly entertaining to watch. A nice place, worth going for the unfiltered beers.
10-07-2008 19:33:34 |
More by LauraAndrew
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
The only family run brewery remaining in Bruges.
About a 20-25 minute walk from the center square of Bruges, this place will not jump out at you. Keep an eye out for a metal sign of a Half Moon on a red brick window and follow the short entrance ally way to the front.
We were hungry so before buying our tickets for the tour we sat down and had some delicious shrimp croquets and 3 Brugse Zot blond. The tour costs 5 E, and you get a ticket for a free beer that the bar afterward. Most tour is pretty uninformative to the beer geek, a lot of basic brewing talk and descriptions of ingredients, but learning the actual history of such a brewery is priceless and is to be soaked in. The guide takes you up 80 something stairs throughout the tour and eventually you end up on the roof of the brouwerij with an incredible view of Bruges.
The Brugse Zot beers are not bottled nor filtered at this location. The beers served at the bar are as brewery fresh as it gets, unfiltered. It really is a beautiful place. I bought a t shirt for support.
Beer geeks, there is no excuse not to hit this place whilst in Bruges, take a cab if you dont fee like walking, but it is a great walk...
05-05-2008 16:11:39 |
More by ATPete
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $$
Visited De Halve Maan in June 2006 with a new Aussie friend I had just met down at one of the hostels. My main objective for Brugge was to drink some incredible beers and tour this brewery. Done and done. The tour is informative, rather long, and overall incredible. Some rather sketchy stair cases, great views from the roof give a good perspective of the town, and the guides are great. Lots of history, and afterwards a great beer served in their Brugse Zot tall stemmed glass. I want to head back to Brugge asap and spend more time in this beautiful place.
01-05-2008 18:22:30 |
More by kleffman
Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik / Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan in Brugge, Belgium