Showing posts from October, 2014

Respect Beer, Honor Lambic

Brussels, capital of Belgium. This often overlooked destination, situated just between its more popular cousins Amsterdam and Paris, is where I find myself on my wandering beer journey. The de facto capital city of the EU has quite an underrated amount to offer in terms of culture and variety, not to mention some of the world's most excellent beer cafes and historical breweries, hence it's no accident that I find myself trekking here.

Brussels is also the capitol of Lambics, the only beer in the world still fermented by wild yeast and bacteria, and until the mid-19th century was the only type of beer that you would find made here, being home to at least 100 producers at its peak.

Lambic beer has been produced since the 16th century and quite differently from that of your typical beer. While most beer in this day and age is fermented from specialized strains of brewing yeast that's added to the wort after brewing, Lambic beer ferments from wild airborne yeast and bacteria …

The Kulminator: Perhaps the Greatest Beer Cafe on Planet Earth

The Place

The Kulminator isn't exactly in Antwerp's bustling, touristy city center. Nor is it that easy to spot at night once you get close (the street signage has no lighting). There's not much space to sit once you step inside and there's hardly any room to actually approach the bar unobstructed due to the random, dusty clutter. Many of the tables inside the bar seem to be reserved as record keeping office desks with loose papers and office supplies messily strewn across them, and many of the corners of the cafe having accumulations of over-sized, spent, novelty Belgian beer bottles collecting dust. There's at least one cat who wanders the cafe as if it's her own and the service is quite remarkably slow. By the time you sit down it becomes quite obvious that the proprietors of the establishment aren't spending too much energy on what you might call 'aesthetic upkeep'.

With that said, wandering into this setting was one of the most memorable and ch…