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Taps: 15 / Bottles: 2400
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
Impasse de la Fidélité 4
phone: +32 2 514 44 34
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 128 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Went to Delirium during first trip to Brussels with my wife. We first arrived early afternoon and had the place to ourselves. The bartender was very good and suggested a St. Bernardus tripel, which I tried and enjoyed. My wife had a delirium tremens. We went back at night to the Hoppy Loft after eating dinner. It happened to be National IPA day so I enjoyed a sampler of three IIPA's they had on tap from Anderson Valley, Mikkeller and one other I can't remember. They have a fantastic selection of American Micros as well as beers from all over the world. The beer list comes in two thick binders for US and rest of the world, each over an inch thick. The bar itself covers the entire block with separate tequila, rum, vodka and absinthe bars, in addition to beer bars focusing on Abbey beers (over 100), Belgians and micros. Over 2400 beers in total, very impressive!
08-03-2012 21:11:55 |
More by Timmckee03
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
This is probably the most famous beer bar in Brussels. This comes with it's disadvantages. I wouldn't call it a 'tourist trap' directly, but it has some features of it.
Let's start on the positive side. The menu here is pretty good. All the (Belgian) beers you expect are on there. The first downside, however, is the list of prices behind the beers. Yes, this place is overpriced.
Another problem is the atmosphere. Not of the bar itself, but rather of the usual clientele, which exists of tourists and (foreign) students. Especially when the night, and the beer consumption, progresses, the atmosphere might get somewhat grim, with drunken students and tourists harassing girls or picking fights with other guys in or in front of this bar.
Some staff here is capable of informing you about your choices, but of others you expect they haven't been hired for their knowledge of beer. Finally, the service is comparable to that of most bars and restaurants in this tourist district: unfriendly, inconsiderate, and clearly not hoping for recurring visitors. If you're a tourist and want to see and taste the best Brussels has to offer, there are other beer bars to consider.
07-13-2012 15:57:11 |
More by sndrspk
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | $
Read reviews, came in expecting grungy, but worthy, tap house. It met those expectations, as it is a bit dark, stale, and blasting American rock tunes (place seems to cater to US tourists).
Best part: prices. Can get pint of some wonderful Belgian whites for 4€ each. Also has delirium tremens for cheap, which is the most interesting beer I have enjoyed in a while.
Downsides: bartenders (depending on the dude/time of day) can be rude. My barkeep berated this poor Spaniard because he didn't know how to explain what he wanted in English. :(
Overall: go and grab a few quality brews if you are in Brussels. If you focus on the beer, it will be worthwhile.
06-21-2012 18:26:32 |
More by getlonely
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
If your motto has anything to do with working hard for what's important, then this is your kinda bar. A bit of a scavenger hunt through the tight and competitive market alleys of Brussels, the procession through the cafes and stores turned into more of a tug-of-war as everyone who works a store pulls you into their establishment kicking and screaming. But a narrow find is marked by pink elephants, faded blue signs, and fountains of children peeing on stuff (what' that all about Belgium?)
The first attempt to quench the thirst lead down a semi-circular staircase that's lined with tiles of actual Delirium Tremens bottles that are mortared into the wall of the stair- cool stuff indeed. The broad bar anchors the back of the spacious room with low-lying ceilings. This is a much larger beer bar than is normal for Belgium but it turns out still inadequate as well over a hundred patrons filled the space even on Friday afternoon. But the smoky and crowded space denied a seat at the bar or any of the tables, so it's upstairs we go.
Here, the large bar stretches all along the right-hand side of the room with a large copper brew kettle that sculpturally decorates the middle of the room. Picnic tables and an industrial looking beer delivery seems to be a fusion of biergardens and advanced homebrewing. A vast difference from the beer propaganda and trinket riddled decor of downstairs.
Here, we are greeted with a beer menu that's basically as thick as the King James Bible that boasts over two thousand beer options. Of all the places in Belgium that could use quicker service, this is not one. On page three the attentive waitress is eager awaiting my order- "Delirium Tremens please."
No food for us, only a few glasses of beer then on our merry way. Three beers and five euros later, we feel like we took advantage of their hospitality and quality beers as the price is extremely reasonable (maybe unreasonably low). But the stop at this famous bier house is well worth the effort. Happy we came, but the bars size and semi-maddening crowd makes the bar much less personable, charming, and traditional than many smaller cafes around Belgium.
05-21-2012 17:51:01 |
More by BEERchitect
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$
We just returned from our honeymoon trip to Paris and Brussells. Thought I would add a few comments to the many varied reviews here on BA.
The Delirium Cafe is every bit a tourist destination. They boast 2400 beers. I cannot say they had them all in stock, they had what I ordered. The bartender was alittle aloof but efficient and not rude. The place was full but not packed, it was 3PM. Several servers were there but I'm not sure where they were serving, as I didn't see them actually wait on anyone. But when I asked one a question she was very nice.
Smoking is not permited in Belgium bars anymore, so I'm not sure why a recent review bemoaned the smokey room. I happen to think the hundreds of old and new beer signs and trays lining the ceiling and walls were cool.
We took our second beer outside and sat by Janneken Piz. It's just as small as Manneken Piz but female. In the 20 minutes or so we sat at least 100 people came to view the squatting pisser. Most didn't bother to go into the bar, but just left after taking a photo.
All in all we enjoyed our visit and will go again if ever we return to Brussells
05-19-2012 01:24:45 |
More by libertysttav
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$
A - If you mind cigarette smoke, Belgium might not be the place for you. On the other hand, the bar is two places that are both ideal. Upstairs, in the "Delirium Tap House" are not only a huge selection of beers on tap, but it has a feel like a swank hipster bar. It's almost new-bohemian in feel. The decorations seem too new and ad-hoc; it's not quite the right personality for me. Downstairs is the most awesome place in the world for me. It's dark, it's dank, it's acrid with cigarette smoke (I don't smoke, but it just doesn't seem like a right and proper bar without it), and the serving trays on the ceiling and paraphanelia on the walls all seem appropriate and downright exemplary.
Q - If anyone gives the Quality or Selection at this place less than a 5, it seems silly. They are in the Guinness Book for a reason! Selection unmatched by anywhere else. And the quality matches. They know how to serve all styles; they know what you want from the most obscure descriptions.
S - In spite of the fact that their beer service is impeccable when you do get served, they are amazingly busy every single night and only wait from behind the bar. No wait staff as of my last visit (May 2009; also visited: Feb 07, May 07, Dec 07, Feb 08, Apr 08, May 08, Sep 08), so service can be difficult to get, though once you are helped, they are always very knowledgable and courteous.
S - 2400 beers in bottles last time I was there. Upstairs, they had a mind-numbing number on tap. They need a 6.0 or higher for the grading on this.
F - They have traditional Belgian pub snacks, but I don't think I've ever bothered. It's all about the beer!
V - Their price for Delirium on tap is simply absurdly low and can't be beat for value. Many of their bottled selections are the cheapest you'll find in most bars. They have such quantity available that I'm pretty sure their profit is a foregone conclusion just from the smallest of margins.
02-27-2012 04:46:53 |
More by zee3are0
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
I was there in september 2010.Taking into a count that i live in Argentina,where it would be impossible to find a bar that dispenses more than 6 draft beers,the first impression was ...wow ! where am i? this bar is incredible !.I saw more than 50 beer taps coming down from the roof of the dispensing bar.There were too much people,most of them tourists.I have drunk a draft Delirium Tremens that was very tasty, my wife ordered a Framboise Lindemans bottle, she enjoyed it , i took a sip but i didn´t like it.
The place is at the end of a narrow dead alley where at the end lies the manneken pis(girl version), it is behind some kind of old iron bars.The only thing we didn´t like was that the majority of the clients were too young people, so the place is a bit noisy .We were there right after dinner and didn´t stay there for too long, so we didn´t see many drunkards.
01-30-2012 03:20:33 |
More by Tebuken
vibe: 1 | quality: 5 | service: 1 | selection: 5 | $$$
Given the ongoing number of over-the-top/rave reviews here for the Delirium Cafe, I think it's important to keep a contrary, alternative view in the mix for balance, so I'm updating mine to provide it. Most of the raves seem to come from young American guys who like nothing better than getting wasted while packed elbow to elbow with a bunch of other tourists. Typical of them is the guy below who thought the highlight of his night at Delirium was when an extremely drunk kid fell face first down the staircase. If you're a more mature, seasoned traveler who doesn't find stupid behavior like that amusing, Brussels has many more atmospheric, interesting, and unusual cafes to discover. Spend your time seeking them out rather than wasting it surrounded by drunken tourists in Delirium.
Nothing has changed since I wrote the following in late 2008:
First, a little background. I've traveled throughout Belgium on nine(now ten) trips starting in 1998 and have been to most of the great beer cafes. I've spent over three months total in Brussels alone, have a number of friends there, and know it pretty well.
I don't review many overseas beer cafes and pubs because it would take way to much of my time. I'm doing the Delirium Cafe to hopefully spare new visitors to Brussels from thinking, because of all the A+ reviews here, that they've found "beer nirvana" and wasting their limited time there. I can tell from what they say that many of the rave reviews are from first time visitors to Belgium who spent, at best, only 1-2 days in Brussels and were easily impressed due to the novelty and newness of the whole experience. There are much better options to be had.
The Delirium Cafe is a classic tourist trap.It's interior resembles any number of somewhat shabby college bars in North America. It has no special atmosphere or uniqueness and is usually full of foreign tourists. The impasse(dead end alley) it's on is right off the ultimate tourist armpit of Brussels, the Rue des Bouchers, which is a narrow pedestrian street lined with 20+ phoney, overpriced, rip-off, tourist restaurants. These places are patronized by the throngs that spend all their time near the Grand Place and who think they're having an authentic Brussels experience at those restaurants. Those same tourists also fill the Delirium Cafe. Yes, it has a huge beer list, but many are standard, generic macros from other countries and they're often out of the better Belgians. My friends from Brussels never would go there and it only required one visit for me to understand why.
Last summer I convinced my Belgian friend Marc to check it out with me late one afternoon, just to satisfy my curiosity. We had a couple beers, were very unimpressed with the place, and decided to go to one of the numerous cafes we know that are well away from the tourist hordes. We paused outside the door and had a final look at the beer list on display. Thinking we had just arrived, a drunken young American in his mid-twenties came over to us, gushing about the number of beers the Delirium had and how it was "the best bar in the world!" What he didn't realize was that one of the reasons we were leaving was because the place was full of people like him.
The "biggest beer list in the world" isn't enough to get me there again. I really dislike it's location - Brussel's tourist armpit as I said above. There are plenty of other great cafes in Brussels that have excellent beer lists, much better atmospheres, and keep me very happy with interesting and unusual choices -- without being surrounded by tourists and hearing English spoken as if I was in the US.
My best advice is to get Tim Webb's guide(for overall Belgian beer info.), Joe Stange and Yvan de Baet's, Around Brussels In 80 Beers(for the best cafes/restaurants), a good street map(not the city center tourist maps), and walk and/or use the subway and trams to go to cafes that take a little time and effort to find. Places away from the touristy Grand Place. In the process you'll discover the real Brussels. The tourists won't be there but you'll meet the locals and you might run into some fellow travelers, which is good.
01-09-2012 19:11:58 |
More by Tut
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$
What a cool place. Didnt get to spend as much time here as i would have liked to, but we had a blast.
Went with my fiance, and 4 other non beer geeks, and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely. It was a Saturday night, so the entire place was packed beyond belief, but we managed to scout a a table after standing around for about twenty minutes or so.
Wish there would have been servers as we had to make our way to the main bar everytime we needed refills. Not a huge deal though. Highlight was an extremely drunk dude fall face first down the huge staircase... He got up and brushed himself off like nothing happened though, so no harm no foul.
Even managed to grab a stuffed pink elephant to bring back as a souvenir. Would have liked to check it out when it wasnt as busy, but a great time nonetheless.
12-30-2011 06:06:35 |
More by lloyd83
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
If my reviews aren't obvious enough, I happen to really love Belgian beer. However, this may be fueled not only due to the abundant selection and quality of brews that are available in Belgium, but perhaps due to my own personal love of the country itself. As of this writing, I've visited Belgium twice in my life, and was always very well treated with the old fashioned Flemish/French hospitality that is quite present in the city of Brussels. This bar, in my view, is a prime example of great things that Belgium has to offer beyond their beer.
The atmosphere of Delirium Café is fantastic. I literally sat in here for several hours when I could have been site-seeing around Brussels. There are beer trays and signs hanging on the walls and ceiling, and hundreds of tables all around. The decorations, especially on the upper part of the bar, are incredible. Stained glass and northern African decor all around.
The overall vibe was pretty packed as well, and people serving beer were definitely in a rush. As a matter of fact, the main bartender when I first arrived was entirely drunk! Well, didn't stop me from appreciating the selection of beers, which was immense. I have no idea how many beers they have here, but it never seems to end. I was extremely overwhelmed and simply stuck to ordering a lot of Delirium Nocturnums for the night. Expensive at times, but the beer was too good to complain. However, me and others shared different beers, and quality was excellent every time.
By the end, we felt warmed up from the cold, rainy weather outside and in a complete state of euphoria. Delirium Café is fun, hospitable, and one of the true meccas for beer enthusiasts everywhere. It's an exemplary establishment that champions the greatness of beer, and also a great example of the wonderful aspects of the tight-knit community that Belgium contains.
11-12-2011 22:14:38 |
More by magictacosinus
Delirium Café in Brussels, Belgium
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