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Mille Colonnes (Aux)
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Taps: 5 / Bottles: 40
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar ]
Rue De Marchienne 6
phone: +32 (0)71 32 05 34
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5
Charleroi was Base Camp for our Wakefield CAMRA 2004 annual Belgium Trip. I had been to the best Beer Bar in Charleroi, Templiers back in November '02 when I was last here, and I was eager to try a few more of Tim Webbs Try Alsos during this visit some 18 months later. This was the first of them.
Mille Colonnes (Thousand Columns) is in the lower part of town, and not that far from the Railway Station (about a 10 minute walk), so it is easily reached if you are just wanting a quick beer whilst in Charleroi between Trains.
From the outside it has a classy look, lots of tall thin windows set amidst stone columns. We visited on a night-time and the interior lighting added much to the ambience of the place, though you could easily walk past thinking that this is a Restaurant.
There are many Bars and Cafés in Charleroi that hover round the 10-25 beer listings, and are not that worthy of BeerFly. Mille Colonnes has around 35, which is not much to write home about usually, but for Charleroi is quite good. It is also towards the better end of the Café spectrum for atmosphere and quality which is why I include it. It makes for a very pleasant place to drink, for once inside, there are many wooden Tables and Chairs, neatly arranged in the open space on the ground floor, but somehow cozily arranged between columns and in the nooks and crannies, or booths around the edge of the ground floor. The front of the Mill Colonne is a large sweeping curved fully windowed exterior. The traditional looking Bar, bedecked in glass, chrome and mirrors, is in front of you as you enter, set back against the wall. Above the Bar, there is a partial first floor, which is totally fabricated from wooden beams and planks and covers only half of the ground floor area. Up the tight flight of wooden stairs that elevates you to the first floor, and yet more wooden tables and chairs, you will find the well appointed Restrooms. The place has plenty of character, which is topped off by the well dressed waiters, whose service is sharp and professional.
The beer list is nothing outstanding, around 35, including a few Trappistes; I had an Orval to start. There are several beers from the big boys, such as CTS Scotch, Leffe, Stella, Ginder Ale and some Campbells Christmas I spotted. In addition there is a small but decent range of beers from the smaller brewers including the rarely seen Roman Brewery. I decided to a quick try Ename (Roman) Blonde as Tim Webb gives it 4 stars out of five and classed it as a competently assembled unfiltered blonde that you could drink all night. I seemed to recall otherwise, so I tried a quick one before leaving. Maybe we had too much to drink that night because I wish that I had not! An average Blond at best, and not a 4* beer, IMVHO. I suddenly remembered whilst I never drank this for some time. Nevertheless, the previous Orval was excellent and well-priced, it definitely benefited from a little cellaring I noted from the freshness date. A small bowl of either cheese cubes, or pretzel like snacks, was offered with each drink free gratis, a nice touch that was commonplace when I first started coming to Belgium but one that seems to be getting rarer.
Not really a place to head for, if youre beer hunting for those rare beers at least. But if you are in Charleroi and passing through, want somewhere else to head as an alternate to the Templiers, or are with that special person and wish to enjoy a quiet cozy chat whilst not completely sacrificing an above average beer range for the night the Mille Colonnes fits the bill perfectly. I enjoyed it, and its worth a visit.
Last Visit: Friday 9th April, 2004.
04-28-2004 03:17:30 |
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Mille Colonnes (Aux) in Charleroi, Belgium