I went to Beer Mania while in Brussels in June with my husband. Our mission was to find the Westvleteren 12 while in Belgium and we were delighted to find it here. There is an excellent selection of Belgian beers. We sat in the back and tried the Westvleteren 12 and talked to Nasser. The whole store is available to taste so sit at the back tables and take your time. It was a pleasure talking to Nasser and free with our purchase - marriage advice! While others complain of the high prices, I look at it as a small price to pay for exceptional beers that I can’t get where I’m from or that are rare period.
The selection of belgian beers is unmatched in Brussels (having lived there for many years, it is much better than the beer stores near the grand place) and Nasser the owner is very helpful. The only slight downside is the cost of some beers, e.g., Westvleteren, and aged Chimay, however, those beers are not available elsewhere.The fact that you can enjoy the beer in the back makes the experience even better.
eManu (41) Kuala Lumpur & Brussels, Belgium | September 24, 2009
With more than 400 different Belgian beers in stock, and you will not find the usual beer here. You will only find Belgian beers, with a large stock Lambics and lots of very large bottle, many Deus, the rare Westvleteren and even vantage beers like 1995 Chimay Blue. The owner is very nice and helpfull, he even created his own beer the "Mea Culpa" and its very speacial and unique glass. At the back of the shop the is a bar and what a better way to taste the beer.
fly (270) austin, Tejas, Texas | September 15, 2009
The only problem I found with this store is that they didn’t give me the beers, I had limited space to pack beers and 750’s weigh a lot.
I had high hopes for this place, which drove me to walk considerable distances to check it out. The location is well off the beaten path, in a somewhat sketchy neighborhood, a good 30 minute walk from the main tourist area in Brussels (a good and bad thing). Once there, one will find a decent sized shop with some fairly standard Belgian brews, and, unfortunately, a good amount of empty shelves. It only took me a few minutes to peruse the stock and determine that there wasn’t a single bottle on the shelves that I hadn’t seen somewhere closer to the city center and for a cheaper price. I asked the guy behind the counter if there was another room or something, but, alas, there was not. I also asked if he had the "good stuff" behind the counter somewhere, to which his reply was "I have some vintage Chimays and I have Millennium Gueuze, that’s all." Of course, he was asking 150 Euro for the Millennium, a laughable price. There is a small area towards the back of the store for drinking what you buy, but I didn’t stick around long enough to enjoy a brew. Overall, the trek to this store proved to be a major disappointment. Bier Tempel had a much better selection in Brussels.
This is the beer place in Brussels I kept coming back to. Here you could try beer in the back in a café setting, and buy beer you liked to go, so it was something of a one stop shop. Pricing on bottles and selection were quite good, perhaps due to being a bit off the typical tourist track (i.e. where Beer Planet is).
Passed thru “Little Congo” on the way to a clean, well-lit store with all the beers I expected, and a few I didn’t (to include 1 house brew). It’s a combo bottle shop and café many beers are available for tasting @ tables in the back in a café setting…you can even get frites and other snacks. Nasser, the proprietor, is an Iranian-born Christian (which I found interesting). He was very pleasant, but his recommendations for never really turned out great…but I was the only one in my party with that opinion.
Prices on bottles to-go were pretty good (€3 for most bottles), but there was some gouging on other stuff. $199 plus the cost of beer to send a case home €12 for a bottle of anything Westvleteren and €69 for a bottle of the house beer (Mea Culpa), its signature glass, and a packet of chocolates. So while pricing on bottles was good, pricing on other stuff seemed out-of-whack.
I visited here a few times – I liked the shop, it was convenient to where I was staying, I liked the owner, and I liked the try-while-you-buy option.
What a great place. Huge selection with some great lambics. Best of all is that you can buy beer of the shelves for beer store prices and proceed to drink them in the back with bar-like service and a bar kind of atmosphere. Drank a bunch of beers like this while here. Very fun. Oh, and I got my Fantome glass here, which was the only one I saw in all of 2 weeks beer touring in Europe.