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Taps: 15 / Bottles: 2400
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
Impasse de la Fidélité 4
phone: +32 (0)2 514 44 34
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vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
The most famous aspect of the Delirum Village, is its Delirium Cafe. At the address is also the seperate Delirium Taphouse which is located at street level. No no, that's not it. Look down. That's the Delirium Cafe. Just as you enter down the steps there's a large collection of Delirium bottles to the left. Already there was a large crowd in the early evening, but fortunately there weere still a few seats in the house. Being located below street level, I had the impressio that I was drinking in a cave, so it did a somewhat of a coziness despite its large size and large crowd.
About 14 taps pouring from the L-shaped bar, including beer from Tilquin and Rulles. However, the Delirium Cafe is famous for its stupid large bottle collection and novel-thick menu. There are several menus hanging around the bar, however you may likely to run into a "condensed" paper menu with a smaller bottle selection. Don't fear. Looking through, I wanted to drink some beers I hadn't heard of. Houten Kop was selection, and they have it. The second beer was Ploquette, and they have that too. By now I was joined by a Spainiard at the bar, looking for some dark Belgians to try. I suggested the Gulden Draak, one that he seemed to enjoy a lot. So, my final round I joined him with a more common but delicious Westmalle Dubbel. Sometimes a bar will list a bunch of bottles and be out of half the list, but at Delirium Cafe they had the beers which I requested.
Despite the large crows, multiple bartenders man the bar and are constantly keeping up with requests, opening bottles and pouring into glassware. Don't expect a bunch of brewery branded glassware here, but they have the essential tulips and chalices for starters. Two of my three beers were fresh, my Ploquette tasted like it had seen a better time.
Don't expect much in the way of food besides small snack plates. A bunch of cheese with beer, sure I'll have one. And despite the fame of Delirium Cafe, its prices are in line with the rest of Brussels.
If you're looking for a beer you've never heard before, a trip to Delirium Cafe is obligatory.
05-24-2013 17:43:36 |
More by DoubleJ
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Delirium turned out to be my favorite beer stop in Brussels, and as a bonus it's directly across the alley from the Floris bar (top notch absinthe bar). There were about 30 taps, mostly Belgian strong pale ales and strong dark ales. I didn't find out until later that there was a bottle list in the thousands, that might have made a ~small~ difference in my order. As it were I had a Belgian pale ale called La Gauloise which was pretty good. The atmosphere is good, this is possibly the largest bar I've seen in Belgium. It could easily sit >100 people inside, with plenty of room in front (er, alley) if you want to sit outside. This is a no-brainer in Brussels.
10-19-2008 02:46:53 |
More by TurdFurgison
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Visited here on 3/24/07 on our tour of Belgium. This place is a bit hard to find, the street is not really listed on a map. It's really just an alley off of Rue de Bouchers. Once we found it though, we realized that everyone else found it easily, as it was packed on this Saturday night. Downstairs was a mob scene as that's where you can smoke. We managed to grab some seats upstairs in the non-smoking section. We grabbed a "select" beer list and began to look. The only bad thing about this place is that you have to go back downstairs to order your drink, there's no table service. I ordered a St. Idesbald Tripel and my wife got a Floris Honey. Then four Belgians came in and sat next to us and somehow got a copy of the 2000+ beer catalog to order from. I wish I had seen that first. The decorations in this place is fantastic, as its covered from floor to ceiling with beer collectibles, including a whole stairwell of Delerium Tremens bottles. We decided to have one beer and take off due to the crowd, but this was a fun place. Not my favorite on this trip, but cool nonetheless.
03-29-2007 16:10:02 |
More by morebeergood
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$
We found, or should I say, did not find, the Delirium Cafe very easily. For some reason we could not get onto the street that takes you to it. After circling we inquired with a group of young people and they gave us directions. The first people in Belgium we met outside of hotels that could actually read a map! Many thanks to those good folks!
Once on the right street we came to the Cafe in an instant. Someone outside pointed out that you could only order at the bar. We went inside and down and that is where the action takes place. It was loud and dark and a bit smoky so we opted for an outside seat. The music being played was mostly beach music and oldies from the jukebox.
The beer list contains 14 drafts and a minimum of 2004 beers. The book was monumental and contained all sorts of offerings with the least seeming to be from the US. I cannot see how any beer bar could beat the selection so this one gets the full rating of exceptional. The person who went inside for our beers said the service was good. The prices are the only thing that can get out of control.
I would certainly return to Delirium and see just how big a dent I could put into that massive beer menu!
Visited on September 16, 2006.
10-20-2006 21:27:59 |
More by GCBrewingCo
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
Ah, the Delirium Cafe. As my last trip to Belgium was headquartered in Brussels, this became our loca, nightcap spot. The bar is located down a small alley, that also has the Janekin Pis in it. In fact the artist that made the Janekin Pis quite likes the Delirium Cafe, and apparantly drinks here quite often. So, a few nice pink elephant sings are outside this place, and than there are two big doors. As you open the doors there is a seating area (all tables) that may serve as a private room, or some extra space when the place gets too crowded. Of all of the times I was here (5+) there was nobody up in these seats. Some old steps lead down into the cellar, which is the main part of the cafe. There are quite a few tables which are actually converted old oak casks, and quite a few seats (20?) at the bar. The decor is neat, with some pink elephants hanging from the ceilings, various old clocks and neon signs, original trays, and many reproduction posters from several now closed Belgian breweries. At the bar there is the lists for beer, water, and genever. The genevr list is 500 strong, and the water list is 100 strong. The beer list, is 2004+, as you should well know by now. The list is well layed out and seperated by region and country. The prices on main Belgian beers, and popular imports is pricey, but understandable for the area (think of the rent this place probably pays!), but the vintage beer prices, and prices of obscure imports is crazy! 50euros plus for many of the aged beers, and like 10 euros for a Red Dog! No thanks!!! The selection, being 2004+ is all encompassing, and the tap selection (all Huyghe brewery) is a nice line up of Floris beers, both Deliriums, Radar, Campus, and a few others...
The quality of all of the beers I purchased was excellent, with all of them being poured properly. However, the tap beer was served a bit on the cold side. The service was awesome. Francois and KALLEY both speak excellent English and are nice to talk to. They are quick to grab you a beer, light up your ciagarette, find a rare genever, and so on. The clientele is a good mix of locals and tourists, with the owner hanging out most days, and some drunken irishmen, and germans completing the line-up. The food available is only cheese and pate plates, mainly...but the Bruxells cheese was good, albeit salty, and the bread that it came with was also awesome. I also had some Westvleteren 12 pate that was nice, the owner even ran out to a night shop to get me some bread to go with it, since they were out of bread (it was like 3 am too!)...There are many food shops near-by as well, if you are in the need of a more substantial meal to fill you up before a big session of Belgian beers!
The restrooms are clean, and their is a cigarette machine, and some pinball machines by the bar as well. Oh yeah, the jukebox they have cranking out music, is it a good volume level (not too loud!) and I heard a lot of good tunes when I was there (old cure, madness, u2, coldplay, blur, Jacques brel, frank sinatra, etc....)
So in the end, does it live up to the hype? Well, yes and no.
The layout of the bar is awesome, if a bit contrived, and the clientele, while touristy, remian very interesting. The service and bartenders are excellent and friendly, and many of the Belgian classic beers are not too pricey for a bar right off of the Grand Palace! The vintage beers are insanely priced, and some imports are too, but just stay away from them...come here for a nice night cap and some good conversation with interesting people. and don't forget to have a Cactus genever while you are here. It is a damn good local liquer that a lot of the delirium cafe regulars and workers seem to love....
Hi Pierre, Francois, and Cale...we hope to see you again soon!
If I were living in Brussels, this would be my local....and if you are planning a trip to Belgium/Brussels I think that you may like having this new cafe as your local too! Do not miss!
03-30-2004 22:31:38 |
More by francisweizen
United Kingdom (England)
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$
Re-visited Dec 2011:
Stayed upstairs in the 'draught bar', really impressed, large area and fairly quiet during our early afternoon session. Plenty of Christmas beers to hit and others (15 in all I think), printed list unlike the mega-book below in the bottle/tap room. Enjoyed it upstairs more than down!
Although my overall score is high, I shall not be returning on a weekend evening again. The place was heaving with humanity, all in their twenties, loud and smoking, all 2,000 of them (well maybe a few less).
Dark and full, two deep at the bar, no chance of seeing the beer list, or anything else really. So when I managed to squeeze up to the end of the bar, I just asked for one of the draught beers I could see. The 12% Bush (Amber) was however very good, and was poured without due haste or speed, all the staff looked knackered, but tried to look interested and smile, it was afterall 22.30 on a Friday night.
If you are over 50 (like me and the other 5 people in my party), this is most likely, not for you. If you are 20 or 30 something, this could well be your beer heaven.
10-24-2006 10:53:58 |
More by BlackHaddock
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Delirium Cafe - visited twice on my first day in Brussels, located about 2 blocks from my hotel
So many things to say about this place....unfortunately you can smoke, which is really a travesty in my opinion, but its Europe, and every seems to smoke so...
The service was odd and definitely pretentious - i'm fairly certain they knowingly served me a bottle of Fantome Saint Rochs that they felt was "off". I could be wrong, but i'm pretty sure i'm not.
The beer selection is ridiculous, as previously described. There is a book - the cantillon, de struise, and fantome lists are pretty nuts. the "normal" beer menu is fairly pedestrian, so definitely ask for the bible.
the atmosphere is hurting - terrible music (mostly 1980's/1990's circa USA), smoke, and lots of males. the area is interesting - tons of restaurants in the area, but most are notorious tourist traps. i was harassed many times with intriguing lines such as "hey sir, want something good to eat?". No, its 4pm, F off - your restaurant looks terrible.
anyways, back to the beer - its definitely a must-see, but i'm hoping to find some more low-key spots tomorrow. if not, there's always amsterdam in a few days.
05-28-2010 21:15:37 |
More by dirtylou
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Visited on 8-18-08
My second beer bar in Belgium didn't disappoint...much... Though prepared I was still a touch overwhelmed by the phone book sized beer menu. It was well laid out and easy to order from. Unfortunately, (and this was the disappointing part) they were "temporarily out" of the first three beers I ordered. I was in luck with my fourth pick and it turned out to be an absolute diamond - De Cam Oude Geuze. The pluses on the menu included more than 400 Belgian beers and many oddities from Holland and Germany. The down side was that the other half of menu was dominated by rubbish lagers from around the globe, and I suspected that many of these bottles were very, very old. My suspicions were quickly proven correct.
After receiving my first beer, an Aussie, a Russian, and a west African walked into the bar. They excitingly ordered some crap lager from West Africa. Delerium was able to serve up the rare beer, complete with an expiration date from more than two years prior. The expats were not pleased but were refunded their Euros and soon found another beer more to their liking.
Though this sounds bad, I would still strongly recommend Delerium because after all, with hundreds of beers worth trying including many rarities, who really cares if they're out of one or two that you would like? Believe me, you'll find something else worth drinking.
Atmosphere wise Delerium is a winner. A beer geek will never tire of checking out the beer junk that clutters every square inch of the place. It's dark and cellared with a hip fell despite its aged and somewhat run down appearance.
Service was reasonably quick and fairly knowledgeable about beer. Prices were reasonable.
09-11-2009 01:51:47 |
More by DaPeculierDane
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
So i met up with some flemish now friends of mine at another bar in Brussels. I told them that yeah, Delirium is a touristy bar, but we should go. The flemish are nice people so they agreed. We stayed for one beer. the atmosphere here is as if you were in the US, younger Americans everywhere getting drunk off their ass off of 1 Duvel. I loved being in the compnay of the Flemish because we really good just have a good chuckle about the rowdiness of the American crowd. the prices here for a touristy place IMO are pretty cheap. You can get 750s for under 4 euros and they are good beers too. Of course they also serve the shit liek Campus and they really don't ahve 2000 beers. It is an okay bar but all of thier good stuff on thier menu can be found at other places.
08-03-2011 08:09:37 |
More by crossovert
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Stopped by this (in)famous place late one night in Brussels. This place has a reputation of having an amazing selection but not the best atmosphere and it pretty much lived up to both of those descriptions. I was told to avoid this place but the sheer amount of beers available forced me to visit.
The atmosphere isn't very pleasant at all. It's crawling with tourists, douches and jocks. When walking in there is a long bar on the right that has all of the taps and lines behind it. This looks very cool and is probably the best part of vibe of this place. They had a lot of beers on draft but many of them were those cloying sweet fruit beers that are popular in Brussels right now. I did order a Rulles Trpel which as damn good. When I inquired about the bottle list they told me I had to go to a separate bar downstairs.
Upon walking down the stairs I saw a small bar straight ahead in a small room that was completely packed with tourists and was very loud. They had a lot of antique Belgian serving trays all over the ceiling which was pretty cool and tables made out of barrels but other than that it was just a very large space which was very noisy.
The service at the upstairs bar was mediocre but much better downstairs. The bartender secured the bottle list for me(they only have one copy of it) and was patient, answering questions while I spent at least a half hour looking over it in amazement.
The selection is astonishing. I mean the bottle list is as thick as a phone book with every Belgian beer you could think of, except for some crazy rarities and Westy. They have Westy there but it's not on the menu and I'm not sure if they will sell it to you. I already bought a bunch of bottles while in Brugges so I was looking for something different. In addition to all of the Belgians, they actually had some American and German beers which is a very rare site in Belgium. I ordered a Pannepot Grand Reserva, 3 Fonteinen Schaarbeekse Kriek and a few different Fantomes. The bartender was excited that someone in there was actually taking there time looking over things and ordering beers he liked that he spent a bunch of time talking to me about Belgian beers and wanted to know what was available from there in the States and asked me about breweries in Pennsylvania. I have to say that this was one of the coolest conversations I've ever had with a bartender. This place gets a lot of flack for it being overcrowded and touristy(which are true) as well as having poor service but I had a great experience.
If you're in the area it's a must stop just based on the selection. Even if you want to avoid tourists and hate large crowds I still recommend visiting and dealing with these issues. It's well worth it.
10-12-2009 02:21:57 |
More by corby112
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Delirium Café in Brussels, Belgium