Belgium > Gent
Rastacouere (651) Montreal, Quebec | November 7, 2011
46 AMBIANCE 2/5 SERVICE 4/10 SELECTION 8/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 5/10 OVERALL 9/20
Very weird brewpub in the South of Gent center boldly limiting its output to beers without hops. They’re brewed elsewhere for the bottling. Obviously an important project, this spacey old industrial building has seen massive investments and seems to be a collection of ideas that lack focus. An seating area above the fermenting vessels, a small water canal travelling on the brewery’s floor, a sofa area, a garden area, there’s a bit of everything and what was lacking on our visit was the service. We waited about 15 minutes before someone came to see us. As for the beers, I only tried the inferno and it was a pretty simplistic strong Golden ale... that would have been better with hops. A lot of interesting ideas, but all over the place both in the glass and in the place.
Boudicca (617) London, England | August 28, 2011
60 AMBIANCE 2/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 5/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 6/10 OVERALL 15/20
Gent’s only brewpub is down a cobbled street by an industrial canal. It has the smell and feel of a newly opened place that’s not quite ready for business. The pub is inside the brewery, with a metal platform above the brewing kit and a small pebble-filled drainage channel running through the brick floor presenting a mini-obstacle course for anyone not too steady on their feet. It’s clinically white, except for the trendy grey bar and a slate tiled conservatory between there and the toilets – worth seeing for the unusual men’s urinals alone. There’s a small courtyard with bamboos and a few tables outside at the front. When we visited half the room was cordoned off and filled with soft toys, furniture and a pair of stylised brown and white ducks sitting atop the grand piano under a crystal chandelier. I wondered if it was in preparation for a charity function. Finished looking at this, and bored with trying to see renaissance pornography in the beer mats (align them carefully and view through a glass), I turned my attention to the huge modern painting of people from an indeterminate era sitting drinking around small tables. Two women at the front were covering their faces and there was a bald chap wearing a lascivious grin, no shirt over his hairy chest and a blond woman in a pink strapless dress on his arm. An infamous politician perhaps? So - lots of puzzles to occupy the mind, and a bit of history too. Gruut flavours its beers with herbs and spices (“gruut”) instead of hops, as did some local brewers in mediaeval times. A gruut was also a coin and it’s from these that the brewery gets its name and logo. I’m all for maintaining loca traditions but sadly the beers were rather dull. Hops had been used in one but not to great effect. The “Gruut Gazette” is the menu and food comes on square white plates, in keeping with the general feel of style over substance but with odd incongruities, like the slightly tacky anthropomorphic ceramic pig sitting in a barrel next to an elegant glass vase where a solitary black fish meanders through floaty orange fronds. This sums it up – Gruut is neither one thing nor the other. I like the idea and always welcome new brewpubs but this one still has to find its identity. (Last visited 10 June 2011).
nate2g (550) Boomtown! / Waikato, New Zealand | March 22, 2011
60 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 8/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 6/10 OVERALL 12/20
Dunno, I kinda felt like I could be in just about any modern brewpub in the world sitting here. Don’t get me wrong, the old building is lovely, and big money has obviously been poured into this place. I walked in from the rainy outside and the owner (i think) was nice enough to greet me. Beers were clean, if not ground breaking, and were safe interpretations of their respective styles. I imagine it’s more geared towards the wider market. Was happy to move on elsewhere.
Tim Webb (192) Cambridge, England | August 8, 2009
70 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 9/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 14/20
Seriously worrying that Joris and I rate this one exactly the same. We must both be wrong. There is something distinctly off beat about this converted gaslight production plant. You can sit on top of the brewing kit. And race plastic ducks down the indoor rivulet. Easiest directions I can think of are that when you reach the city end of Brabantdam (as in Trappistenhuis and grotty red light district) take Kortedagsteeg across the canal bridge and it is on your left.
baxterfish (182) , England | June 10, 2013
46 AMBIANCE 1/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 5/15 FOOD 8/10 VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 10/20
Not a big fan of this place - like drinking in a buildng site. The Gruut beers are a bit dull as well. Food on the other hand was very good.
Borresteijn (166) Amsterdam, Netherlands | April 28, 2013
52 AMBIANCE 2/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 7/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 10/20
Visited on a Friday evening. Spartan looking brewpub, not much decoration except for the brewkettles and a little stream of water running through the floor. Also relatively empty in terms of clientele. Tried a taster of 4 beers for €6,50. Beers were all decent, but not very exciting. Service was OK. You can eat here as well, mostly one-pot dishes, but we didn’t try the food. Wouldn’t go back again.
AndySnow (138) Stockholm, Sweden | November 14, 2013
60 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 8/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 13/20
The interior is a bit impersonal, but at the same time kind of nice. Brewing equipment lingers the serving area. Might not be the most exciting brewpub in the world, or brewery if they prefer that, but worth a quick visit while strolling through the city.
tderoeck (134) Gent, Belgium | July 5, 2011| Updated July 13, 2012
68 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 9/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 15/20
Update 22/11/11: Had stoverij (meat and beer stew) with fries and a salad. Decent good food, enjoyed my lunch here. Just doubting whether they make the stew themselves. Also: the tables and chairs are rearranged and they got new lamps, so it’s a bit more cosy, but it still has that industrial feel to it.<br/<
The brewery feels a bit cold to me, probably because of the tables and chairs arranged as if in a school cafeteria. All in line and pretty full for the surface. Although I’ve never seen all tables and chairs in use. The beer selection is of course limited to their own beers, by now a selection of 5. You can get small samples if you want to try all of the beers. Annick is always doing some small talk if she is the one serving. Other waiters are more detached. Often you need some patience before being served, even if the place is completely empty. It’s nice to get a look at the brewing installation.
Mathieu87 (124) Ganshoren, Belgium | July 28, 2011| Updated April 2, 2012
62 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 7/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 14/20
Nice place to have a beer.
Sat outside. Bit too much outside the atmosphere of the city...
People are friendly, but not more than that.
Had a Gruut Blond, weird, refreshing, but nice.
Bart (108) Brussels, Belgium | July 20, 2010
64 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 9/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 13/20
NIce old-styled place, with cossy terrass. Good beer and service. You can sit on top of the installation, although it might be quiet hot there if they are boiling.
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