Fin (941) Merton, Oxfordshire, England, England | June 30, 2016
We visited Vooruit Thursday 30th June 2016. We had initially gone to the Gruut Brewpub but found that it was closed and completely gutted so not sure what has happened to that place. Vooruit is about a 8-10 mins walk from the centre of town. It is south of the centre and once you are on the correct road you won’t miss it as it is a very large striking building (it’s a theatre) with its name emblazoned across the top.
Inside this is a very large Café/bar with a lovely mix of ages and clientele. It has a huge area of tiled floor, there is lots of seating with simple wooden chairs and wooden marble topped tables but what struck me most was the overwhelming feeling of spaciousness, there is lots here, you certainly are not going to feel crammed in. Both the front and the rear of this place have very tall ceilings with a lower ceiling in the central area where the bar is located. As Ruth mentions in her review, the supporting columns leading to the main bar area are great, to the unsophisticated like me they look Greek or Roman with each column having two figures holding them up. A large amount of glass at the front of this building allows lots and lots of natural light to flood in, however I suspect that it must be a bugger to keep warm on a chilly winters day.
I counted eight beers on tap, and quite a decent bottle selection, I was easily able to find a beer that I’d not had before, I also noted that Dupont feature heavily here with a few rarities. I found the service to be pretty speedy also the prices were very, very good for Gent. Also as others have mentioned there is free WiFi. We really liked this place it was well worth the stroll.
Famed concert hall with a venerable history of socialist activism and politics behind it; not a beer place per se, but they do commission this Triomfbier by Dupont and seem to focus on organic beers, the pioneer of which was indeed Dupont, at least in Belgium. In summer, their roof terrace is transformed into an outdoors café where I could spend hours. Pleasant enough place to have a beer, both inside in winter (when it is often very crowded) and outside in summer, worth a visit.
[1997-2015] The roomy, sometimes chilly café area of this now multifunctional and once godless temple of Flemish Socialism conjures up the splendour of Viennese coffee houses, transported into more sober North Sea climes. This is basically the place where people of all walks of life congregate before or after concerts, parties and readings, but also the only place to get Dupont’s great new subtly smoked Vooruit anniversary beer on draught, along with a nice range of partly "organic" beers and many interesting other finds by smaller breweries. Not all bar staff have the same level of pouring skills, self-service mentality is written large. True-to-their-origin democratic prices, also for soups of the day and snacks. Usually occupied by students using it as their living room/study and soaking up the free WiFi.
Been there a few times allready, but it’s been quite some time. Last time was a few months ago, when during the interval of a try-out of a Belgian comedian. So service then was rather slow, because 200+ people tried to order a drink in less then 5 minutes time. Their homebeer is really intersting though!
Update: good prices, chill place.
Very easy to find, the concert hall with which this place is affiliated is very high & has “Vooruit” written on it on the side. Place looks like a cafeteria in not the most flattering way, looks a bit rundown it is clearly old and feels like it could use a renovation. It is clean & from where I sat you can look into the kitchen so they have nothing to hide. The whole place smelled of spaghetti so it is very canteen like in a not flattering way. There were lots of people eating basic dishes, it looks a bit depressing to me. If you are not eating you need to order at the bar which seems to take a very long time. It didn’t seem like we would ever get service in here unless if we specifically were to request it. Luckily the music selection was impeccable, they were playing the entire discography of Beach House who I think are an incredible band. Given that this part of the concert hall, I think that it is safe to assume that music selection is always interesting here. They had plenty of Dupont offerings including one that is made specifically for them which turned out to be a smoked saison & was spectacular. Other than the Dupont beers the beer list mostly has the usual suspects. Prices seemed pretty average to me. I would suggest to pop in & try the house beer and move on.
Sat outside, a place that remind me of huge stairs. Not a huge selection, but decent enough, and being able to sit in an outside lounge in the sun is worth a bit. Not necessarily worth a visit by itself, there are far better places in Gent, but if you happen to pass by worth a quick visit.
Nice beer list, not excessive but interesting. Always a lot of Dupont beers along other biological beers. Some "regular" ones as Maes and Grimbergen for the boring people. Good food at reasonable prices. But everything is self-service. You go to the bar to place your order, pay and get your drinks. Then you wait until your "beeper" goes off and you go get your plate at the kitchen counter. Always nice to go for lunch on a work day.
MESSAGE FOR FOREIGNERS VISITING GENT: if you read this, you’re probably planning a visit to Belgium, and Gent in particular. I’m always interested to get to know other ratebeerians, and if you come from an interesting country, we can maybe to an in person beer trade? Contact me!