Travlr (2621) Charlotte , North Carolina | July 30, 2010| Updated May 8, 2011
The center of the geuze universe. Best to visit during the brewing season, which runs from November to March. Open brewing days at the beginning and end of the season are also interesting, but they get very crowded. The tour includes one beer (often a draught lambic), but you can sample many more if you like, and purchase bottles for consumption on premises or take away. Jean Van Roy really knows what he’s doing.addendum: with an apparent new policy of not offering beers like the Zwanze (for fear that it will end up on e-bay,unquestionably an evil act), I’ll have to downgrade my rating of this previously pleasant place to drink.
3fourths (1556) Boulder, Colorado | June 20, 2006| Updated December 21, 2012
A dream come true. I was beside myself as I walked the self-guided tour. Really hard to believe that this is the actually brewery for all of those wonderful lambics and geuze they put out... it had a charm to it like a preserved frontier cabin, even felt like it was set up and somewhat of a facade, but man, it’s the real brewery. Had to get a shirt and a few bottles while I was there... arrived at around 9am to do the tour and tried some good (although young) samples of their standard fare: geuze, kriek, iris, as well as a small sample of the kriekenlambik which was to be offered at the Weekend of Spontaneous Fermentation the next day. My hopes were high to get some rare bottles, but the only thing found was Cuvee des Championes. Still, a wonderful visit, a place to bring folks to visit with you when over again.
t0rin0 (1529) Do Not Resuscitate, California | September 11, 2013
Place rating number 600.
Visited multiple times in October 2012 along with womencantsail, chinoskillzian, 77ships, and boozecamel (on BA, not sure if he’s on RB).
This is like the ark of the covenant, where all hype generates from. Even if you can’t get the rarest of loons here you just have to go if you’re a fan of lambic, or if you’re just getting into it and everything you know about beer is from the trade forums. I was mostly just excited that our dumpy hotel (Hotel Barry) was close by and I could walk back and forth with cases of beer. They do a good job of preserving all the old equipment, barrels, and processes for the sake of tradition. They even make (really) good lambic using that old stuff. The tour is self guided which is nice if you’re into taking your time and taking pictures. They were still in the process of expanding when we visited. The good news is that they’ll be expanding production by at least a third once they can fill the new area with barrels. You can waste an hour just wandering and looking at the barrels, but more realistically you’ll snap a few pictures and go to the tasting area to drink some beer.
While their base lambic isn’t quite as awesome as Girardin and their gueuze isn’t quite as amazing as Drie Fonteinen their fruit lambics can’t be beat. St Lamvinus is in my top 5 beers of all time (out of almost 11k at this point) and the Lou Pepe Kriek, regular kriek, and Rose are equally awesome. Prices are cheap here too. Fou Foune bottles were 8 euro a piece. Gueuze bottles were 5 euro a piece. While the bottles are great for taking home, when you’re here try some of the other stuff like the base lambic, the faro, and anything else they may be pouring.
It’s not a very pretty neighborhood so be careful about wandering at night after drinking too much Cantillon. It is pretty close to a train station but more importantly it’s close to Moeder Lambic who serves at least a half a dozen Cantillon beers on tap at all times. Really cool place over all. Can’t wait to go back eventually.
Sort of the mecca of lambic, for me, anyway. In a pretty crappy neighborhood, but once inside, it’s a bit of a sanctuary. The self guided tour is worth it just to see how small the brewery really is and how antiquated a lot of the equipment is. The beers at the bar depend on the season, but gueuze, kriek, Rose de Gambrinus, lambik, and faro are always available. Pours are pretty cheap (just a couple of euro each). Tons of bottles and merchandise available to go, too. Friendly service and a great atmosphere.
Visited on Saturday afternoon and situated around 10 mins from Midi in the back streets. A must for fans of a sour beer.
Had a selection from the bottle plus you could buy a bottle of more limited releases to drink in.
The staff are strict and won’t bend the rules.
Crowds ebb and flow as tours start, can have lovely moments of tranquility amongst the bustle. A must visit
Wonderful place; feels worlds away although it’s just a short walk from Brussels Zuid/Midi railway station and 20-30 minutes from the Grand Place.
The Cantillon Brewery is a mecca for gueuze and lambic lovers. It’s close to the centre of Brussels in a rather seedy area but step inside and you’re transported back in time to an authentic, old fashioned brewery where not much has changed in a hundred years. For a small fee you can have a self-guided tour, with a tasting included at the end. You get a little booklet packed with information and there are numbered stops around the brewery where you can read all about it. Alternatively, you can just sit in the bar area - a wood panelled alcove with a small pot bellied stove and pendant lampshades ingeniously fashioned out of old bottles - and enjoy a bottle or two served in a wicker basket. There’s also a desk set up like a stall at a country fair where you can buy bottles of beer and souvenirs such as t-shirts and the like. The staff are always very welcoming and friendly and the prices are usually lower than anywhere else. Last time we were there it was shortly after Zwanze Day 2011 so, naturally, we had the Zwanze, made from pinot grapes from the Loire this year and more expensive than the usual bottles but still a snip at E14.
(Last visited 27 September 2011).
nate2g (1159) Boomtown!, Australia | March 17, 2010| Updated March 23, 2011
Visited early in the morning just after opening and was welcomed with that beautiful and unique Cantillon character. It was nice to wander the brewery without needing a personal guide and to soak up the historic atmosphere. At the end you can sample of a few of the wares in bottles, and also the lambik and faro from the barrel. There is also merchandise that can be purchased from the counter. Lovely family. A truly remarkable experience.
Fin (1044) Merton, Oxfordshire, England, England | September 3, 2008
Visited here late July 2008. We actually arrived on a Saturday morning before the brewery was open. The tour (self conducted) is fab, probably about as traditional or as authentic as you’re likely to get, and much like De Dolle in that respect. Jean Paul showed us the Fume Foune casks (spelt wrong I expect) and removed the slot of wood on the top of the cask so we could marvel at the fermentation going on and the huge amount of apricots sat in that lambic. I had an amusing conversation with Jean Paul whereupon I wanted to try the Faro which I notice was there for tasting on the blackboard, he woud’nt let me have one and insisted that I try his other Lambics, I obviously hadn’t made it clear to him that I wanted to try the Faro as it apopears difficult to get anywhere else, and besides Jean Paul just spoke of the superiority of the other products. Managed to get a bottle of the Lou Pepe Geuze despite it not offially being on sale, I cheekily eariwgged another conversation whereupon another Brit had come to get just that beer.
This is truly a great brewery and wonderful experience.
Visited on Saturday 1st December 2012 (Zwanze Day). I had a quick hour between Eurostar and the train to Brugge so hot footed it to Cantillon for a quick Faro from the bottle and stocked up on a few bottles. Had a chat with one of the brewers and purchased a few bottles to go. Would have done the tour had time permitted.
Setting is the old brewery, no frills, apart from the new area which is smart although a little out of keeping with the rest of it!
Took a number of bottles away at the best price you’ll pay for them!
Well worth a visit anytime you’re in Brussels.
Certainly one of the world’s ’must-visit’ beer locations. The tour is quite unique in that after an introduction to the brewery by one of the staff you are on your own to wander around the brewery by yourself. The cafe is simple with a range of five or so Cantillon beers in bottle. On our visit we had the classic gueuze, the framboise and the Zwanze 2011. You can buy a nice range of bottles to take away (pretty much the entire normal Cantillon range plus a few specials), and the prices are likely the best you will ever find for Cantillon. The brewery is only a short (appx. 5-10 minute) walk from the Midi Station, so there is really no excuse to not come here if you are visiting Brussels.