(Visited July 2012) A beer geek’s first visit to Brussels must obviously include a visit to the Cantillon Brewery. This is a great place to learn everything about brewing lambic beers, with a tour around the whole brewery. Don’t complain about the musty smell, the lack of cleaning and the spiders. They’re all included in the price. End the tour by sampling some of their excellent beers. The welcome and service is great, but since the whole show is run by the van Roy family that’s no surprise. Many of the beers are available for buying as well. It’s a 20 minute walk from the Grand Place, but easily accessible from the tube station Clemenceau. Do not miss this place.
teorn88 (109) Rimini, Italy | January 3, 2013| Updated November 7, 2016
New rating from November 2016: COnfirm what I wrote in 2012, this place is phenomenal and transmits heritage and history. It was not overly crowded on a Saturday afternoon, which made for a pleasant surprise. We bagged a table straight away, queued 5 minutes for take away bottle and settled on few bottles and draft from the bar list. Shame they now need to apply limits to per-person quantity on most bottle (all except Gueuze), but the list for on sit consumption is otherwordly; besides the regulars, they serve several one offs (Haute Densite, Iris Grand Cru, Carignan, Aunis, 50N4E), plus several Zwanze vintages (spanning 2012 to 2016) and other seasonal (LPF, LPG, Mam, FF). Our 2.5h here was once again time well spent, and this time being by car we made sure to load on bottle for the winter.
Original rating from December 2012: This is a temple, not a museum. And lambic is the idol. This place transmits history (and mold and dust) readily upon first entrance. The ambiance is cozy and familiar. Nice people to have a chat and the Cantillon/Van Roy family is open and friendly. They have all the regular Cantillons available, plus the Faro. When I visited they also still had the Zwanze 2012 in bottles to try. Cheese and jams tend to end quickly and they only restock every 2 months, so they’re not always available. The visit to the brewery is well worth the fee. This place is a must see for every beer lover.
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.
If you love lambics you have to come here. You can walk through the brewery/museum and really get a good understanding of the slightly different brewing process of lambics. Also sitting after the tour and taste some of the Cantillon lambics and eat some Cheese is a unique experience.
Quando si entra in questo birrificio si incontra un mondo parallelo dove la birra, anzi il lambic, è il re da più di 100 anni. Un impianto che in molti mi avevano descritto ma non avrei mai pensato sarebbe stato così unico. Le pareti trasudano odore acre e muffe (dovute proprio ai molti anni passati dall’apertura e agli impianti rimasti pressapoco gli stessi) e proprio in queste stanze vengono lavorati i vari ingredienti e imbottigliate. Incredibile anche la cantina , dove ci saranno stati 200-300 barili con lambic ad invecchiare. Un must per chi visita Bruxelles e il Belgio in generale.
Have visited this place several times - and I just LOVE this place, the beers, the passion, the history and atmosphere...
It is a great experience to walk around at this old place. Sometimes I feel a bit frustrated though, because I think it at times can be a bit difficult finding out it what I am allowed to taste or buy, ( for instance, the signs gives you a price for 6 bottles of beers, but you can only buy limited numbers ( less than 6) bottles.. )
But anyway, this lovely place will still be a place I would like to visit every time I am in Brussels :-)
A dream come true. I made it to Brasserie Cantillon.
Upon entering, I discover a few open lambics nestled in their baskets atop upright barrels. Behind the lambic pouring station is a chalk menu of available beers listed three or even four times lower than U.S. prices (assuming you are fortunate enough to find Cantillon here in the U.S.). Fou’ Foune, Vigneronne, Lou Pepe Kriek, Mamouche, Saint-Gilloise, Classic Gueuze, Rosé de Gambrinus, and more. What a list!
For six euros, you can take a tour of the brewery / museum. Barrels upon barrels, brewing equipment, crates, kegs, etc. Bottles that look as though they are from a different era, caked with a thick, dense layer of dust and cobwebs. This is where it all happens.
Service was simply outstanding. After taking a self-paced, self-guided tour, I was able to enjoy a few glasses of lambic with Jean. We chatted at length about beer, which was awesome and surreal. After approximately a half hour of various Cantillon related topics, Jean disappeared to get "something very special". He reappeared with a sample of an experimental 9.7% unblended 30 month lambic. Truly a once in a lifetime experience and opportunity right there.
I only spent two days in Brussels, but I made sure to spend a fair portion of each day at Brasserie Cantillon. I’m so glad I did. The best brewery in the world.
tryonqc (12) Québec, Quebec | October 13, 2012| Updated July 11, 2014
This is a must-see even if you don’t like sour beers it is worth it!
Very welcoming and historic place where you can take a tour of the brewery on your own for 6euro (gives you a paper guide and 2 beer tastings)
Too bad guided tours have to be booked weeks in advance because they are very informative about the actual brewing process and their beer style. You can always do a tour on your own with the pamphlet.
There is a little "bar" where you can taste most of the beers for 2euros/glass which also sell "exclusive bottle" for around 10-14euros for on-site consumption only. They sell their regular line up for on the go purchase.
JCB (288) Durham, North Carolina | October 8, 2012
My first stop off the Eurostar on a recent daytrip. Fun to finally visit this, the axis mundi of lambics. Cramped and musty, seems perfect. Nice to see the proper workings of a well-seasoned brewery and to chat about fermentation processes with the sometimes prickly staff. But it’s a great deal for a tour, a few samples, and the prices on to-go bottles were very reasonable.