Right next to the De Cam brewery, which I have never seen open. No matter, the geuze and lambic are here, and in flights from a variety of lambic producers. Staff is friendly and efficient. A must-stop for lambic lovers.
We stopped on the way into Brussels coming from Westvleteren and it took quite a while to get here. This was just after tourist season so all the roads were being worked on and out in the country there aren’t as many easily available detours. It was pretty ridiculous really just how many streets were closed. Once we arrived in Gooik though it was a quaint little town with some charm, but as it turns out is also kind of hill billy. This is the West Virginia of Belgium. Parking in the middle of the day was no problem at all.
Inside the cafe is an interesting scene. Lots of decorations everywhere. There is also a museum upstairs. There was one customer just leaving when we showed up but aside from that we were the only ones besides the (what I think were) husband and wife team that do the cooking and serving. Between the three of us we got a glass of each of the three beers offered. The gueuze is always nice, the kriek was a bit cough syrup-like but still good, and the young lambic was not very pleasant at all. I’d love to be able to get a case of the gueuze whenever I wanted but alas my memories of this place will have to do. They also sell verticals and vintages of the gueuze but we didn’t do that. I think all three of us ordered the same thing, which was the beef stew that was pretty good.
I’d definitely stop in again to load up on some bottles or maybe just to explore the country side again. The service was friendly and the prices were pretty reasonable.
Stopped here on the way to Brussels. Nice little cafe next to the brewery. Just a couple of people working the bar inside. Quick friendly service and the food was pretty decent (had the beef stew). There was kriekenlambik and gueze were very nice, but the unblended young lambic on my visit was terrible. A nice place to visit, but it’s definitely a bit out of the way.
A little note to start with. The brewery De Cam and the bistro De Cam Volkscafe are two separate entities. Located just in front of each other but two different entities. The brewery (blending only) is a one man operation and the blender/owner has 0% involvement in the bistro located in front of his brewery. He just sells most of his production to the bistro because it is convenient. That being said the brewery itself is rarely opened because this is just a part-time job for the blender/owner. I was lucky enough to be there during a special day in Belgium during which many breweries opened their doors. But when visiting De Cam you are 99% certain you won’t have access to the brewery. Still, the bistro is worth the detour. De Cam beer on tap at extra cheap price. A free “museum” on the second (and I use the term “museum” loosely). Good sandwiches with local products. Nice patio. Great service. My recommendation would be to visit on a Sunday so you can hit de Grote Dorst before.
Visited on a Sunday afternoon. Quite a large place, quite vintage feel, lots of old artisanal furniture, farmhouse atmosphere. They have a nice menu of slow cooked food, the stew was quite nice. Service was excellent, very nice friendly staff. Prices are great. The beer list has some nice Belgian beers on it and beers from the de Cam blendery across the parking lot. Really nice place, will return.
Good beer place in the center of Gooik. Nice atmosphere that could pass for an old farm and friendly service. 3 De Cam beers available with a nice selection of other Belgian beers.
Hearty menu of typical Belgian flair, very decent prices. Possibility to visit the museum upstairs; one on local musical instruments, and the other, well the door was locked.
Would definitely go back, especially since I live about 15 min away.
kermis (372) Where the wild whales are, Netherlands | September 19, 2016
Fairly oldschool (typical Belgian) café located right opposite of De Cam. We visited on a Sunday afternoon as would most to visit De Cam. A pretty nice day so we sat on the fairly busy outside terrace for food and drinks. Of course De Cam is available at reasonable prices along with some other Belgian classics. Food was ok, nothing special, though the dessert was pretty awesome - a huge chunk of chocolate cake with coffee. Friendly and helpful staff and overall a nice enough place to have lunch before De Cam itself opens.
What would it be like to live in Gooik, where one of the hubs of civic life is a lambic blender whose grounds feature a community center, a museum, and a cafe? Not bad, I would think. The cafe looks old, with its breweriana and clientele, but it feels new and polished. Besides the De Cam lambic and kriekenlambic on cask, gueuze is available, or a tasting of all three. We were unlucky on our visit, as the lambic and gueuze were out the man hadn’t delivered any for more than a month, over the holidays. But they still had the kriek in fine condition, intense and fruitier as it warmed. Nice how they serve it in those old-school earthenware-type mugs. Bottled selections included Boon, Lindemans, Cantillon, Girardin, plus a few Trappists and standards. Most of the old guys were just drinking Jupiler, oh well. Planning to come back for the lambic and to get a tour of those blenders.
Popped in with my wife in 2005 for a quick lambic in this fairly new looking peoples’ pub. Good lambic, served as it should be in a stone mug. De Cam products and also other lambics available. Nice place to visit in quiet Gooik.