We ran into Urbain Coutteau, the brains and the brawn behind Struise, at De Dolle Brouwers, and he took us back to the schoolhouse for an amazing tasting session with three of his beer interns, Robin, Arnaud and Carl. He generously shared some Earthmonk from the cask, as well as a bottle of Dirty Horse that was older than 5 of the 7 people drinking it! His store selection includes most of the Struise range, and some interesting others, such as De Molen. We also brewed a batch of Pipedream with him and his students at Alvinne the next day. An unforgettable experience! P.S. If you want to know what Urbain looks like, check a bottle of Tjeeses (the Belgian label).
"Life sucks....but not here!"
I think this is where I rate the webshop, since it’s listed under the "mail order beer" section. I ordered some Pannepot before the site went down. I don’t have access to the new site anymore (if it’s even around anymore) but my experience was positive. Pricing is pretty good on the bottles, at least compared to the US, but the shipping of course ruins it. I was shocked when the box arrived in a plastic crate that the bottles would be delivered to the store in. The bottles were clinking together all the way from Belgium but I guess that never bothered any of the customs officials or the postal workers since the box made it just fine. Of course the documentation all says "yeast samples". Beyond that I haven’t had much contact with the Struise guys. I met Urbain at Borefts and had some email contact with him and Carlo about visiting the school while we were staying in Watou. Unfortunately it didn’t work out and we weren’t able to tour the school house. Next time.
Fin (1086) Merton, Oxfordshire, England, England | March 28, 2017
We visited here on Saturday 25th March 2017, the we being me, Loz and Ian (Harrisoni on RB). Despite our many, many trips to Belgium over quite a number of years this was our first visit here as the opening times have never really worked out for us. As I have described in my other ratings for places nearby It is quite easy to get here, if heading over from the UK, then get off the E40 Mway at Veurne and head down the N8 in the general direction of Ypres and Poperinge, once you hit Oostvleteren turn left at the traffic lights and the old school house is immediately on your RH side. I have to say there is very little signage that screams out brewery or tap room though.
We had a flying visit as we were heading back to the UK on the 16:20 Eurotunnel and never arrived here until gone 2pm. You enter via a narrow passageway off of the street; this opens out into an open area where much of the brewing equipment is including large wooden Bourbon or Whisky casks waiting to be filled with the next Struise beer. The old school building/tap room is at the rear of the yard and as you enter there is a small corridor off to the left that acts as a bottle shop with a limited amount of their own beers here for sale (mostly the rarer stuff by the looks of things. Beyond this is the Tap Room, it a reasonable sized square room with a bank of taps ahead (27 I’m told) what looks like the old green original school chalk boards off to the RH side have been reused to explain brewing processes with diagrams and text. There are lots of pictures on the far wall that have been photo-shopped/doctored, so famous images, celebrities; historical characters are seen with a Struise beer in hand, some are quite amusing.
Carlo met us, we’d met Carlo before and chatted to him at beer festivals gone by, but Ian knew him really well and got a big hug and free beer thrust into his hand, as did Loz (I was Des, so no beer for me) I took myself off into the bottleshop and picked a few interesting bottles to take away with me. By the time that we left a few more folk were now coming in and Carlo was doing the explaining to the beer novices about the many beers that they had on offer. I would say that this is a must visit if in the area, we’ll definitely be back again if we can just get it to work in with our plans for a future visit over here.
Theydon_Bois (1029) Hazlemere, the lower Xhitlerns, England | October 24, 2012| Updated April 1, 2013
Visited on Saturday 20th October at around 3pm. We hit the tail end of an organised coach visit so had to wait 15 or so minutes in a queue to purchase beer.
Beers are simlpy laid out in crates down the corridor of the former school.
No real rareties on this visit, perhaps with the exception of Kabert which you don’t see in too many places (well not in the UK anyway).
The tasting room had a cool vibe and is in an old classroom where you sit at wooden school desks on rickety old chairs. At the front of the room are some large blackboards with brewing information chalked up on them.
We chatted to Carlo in the tasting room who explained a few brewing methods to us between serving beers. Some good stuff on tap (15 cl pours for between E1 and E3) that I’d not had before including Bompon, Black Damnation VII, Rio Reserva and AA.
Urbain popped by on our visit and found time to make a joke with us.
Looking forward to my next visit already!
Really cool place. The guys who run Stuise are great and one of them is usually present. They have something like 15-20 beers on tap for tasters and the value is fantastic. You can also buy bottles there for takeaway and, again, the value is great. In terms of atmosphere, this place is literally an old school, and it has that feel. In the colder months the place can feel a bit sterile and drafty, but I would imagine that it’s beautiful in the summer. Definitely worth a visit.
F***ing AWESOME!!!!! This place is GREAT! First of all: this is more of a tap-room by the brewery, than a bottle shop - you can get on tap about 20 of their (constantly rotating) beers. And these beers are fantastic!!! This place is well worth of a special visit. It’s really that good.
Not much more to add. 10 or more Struise beers on tap, often new and experimental ones, bottles to buy. Yeah. We rented bikes in Poperinge and rode the 11 km or so to get here. Good idea if you are looking for a way.
Not sure how to review this place. Pretty much Urbain treats you like a long lost brother and you get to try the most badass beers ever made with the creator himself. So if that sounds pretty awesome to you, then I would recommend dropping by the schoolhouse and set aside a few days to volunteer over at Deca and also chill-out on Struise Farm with the crew. It is very difficult to even buy some of the beers that are sitting around because Urbain will just give them to you. That’s pretty decent value I’d say.
We visited for the first time in April 2011. Not the easiest place to get to, but I assure you it is worth it. It is surreally set in an old abandoned school. We were greeted by the very generous Carlo in a school classroom. We spent the rest of the day chatting and trying the impressive selection of De Struise beers on offer, with the particular highlight being the Double Black from a decanter, via keg. We also had a guest appearance from Urbain, who was very busy brewing at the time. They also stock an impressive selection of De Molen, Brewdog, Southern Tier and Mikkeller amongst others. We also met quite a few like-minded beer enthusiasts. The best beer destination ever? Quite possibly….
chibuck (557) Chicago, Illinois | March 31, 2011| Updated August 31, 2013
Glad the Brothers finally made this change and allowed for breweries to be reviewed... Located in very very small town on a non-descript street in Oostvleteren. This is the epitome of small town rural Europe. The school house opens at 2 so plan accordingly. The school house contains its new brewing equipment moving in, a class room, and an office. When you first walk in lined against the wall are tons of De Struise beer and rare De Molen ticks for sale, great prices. Below the beers are display shelfs showing off tons of rare beers they have been brought. The atmosphere is nostalgic and awesome, if not a touch too cold on the day we were there... As we walked in we were greeted by Carlo, one of the owners and the main entertainer of guests. He lead us back to the office where we met Urbain and shared a Mikkeller Jackie Brown. Urbain had some work to do and sent us on a trip to Westvletern with beerpirates to pick up his order of 3 crates of Westy 12! Westvletern is 6km away, located in farm country, beautiful... After we got back form Westy we spent a good 3 hours in the classroom with Carlo tasting every De Struise beer they had. The whole time Carlo provided great insight on how they came up with the beer, name, bottle designs, and general brewing knowledge like how they referment the beer to carbonate it when bottled. Towards the end Urbain showed up and spent plenty of time with us. Additionally, Urbain told us about a excellent bed and breakfast right down the road which was a perfect place to stay.
Bottom line if you’re in Belgium you have to go here and hit up both De Struise and Westy. It is immensely informative, incredibly company and conversation with two very smart people, and great drinks.