My favorite place in Gent, without question. The selection is very good. The owner is a good guy, and the staff are outstanding. You can’t match the location, on the waterside (obviously). On a sunny day, the terrace is a little bit of paradise. THE place to come in Gent. Oh, and they have free wireless internet, although the staff were not aware of it.
Solid biercafe all around. Two levels located on a canal, it was within 2-3 blocks from our hostel, so we visited twice on the one day we were in town. Beer selection is decent - had some different geuze and lambic, as well as pale ale-like beer brewed specifically for the cafe. Bartenders and servers were great, and my only complaint would be how crowded the place was the entire day.
Charming spot on the water. Visited just after opening but soon filled up quickly. Understandable that it’s popular with a good beer selection and attached restaurant. Service was slow with a ’don’t care’ element. More than likely will be the first stop on any Gent pub crawl.
Boudicca (1231) London, England | August 7, 2011| Updated September 13, 2011
The Waterhuis is usually our first stop on arrival in Gent as it’s a lovely place and has such a good choice of beers. The bottle list runs to eight pages, including two pages of lambics and all the Trappist beers except for the elusive (and, in my view, overrated) Westvleteren. Check out the website for the full list and prices (which are reasonable, particularly for this central location). There’s also an impressive range of beers on tap. They’re listed on a blackboard in the bar and, on our last visit, included Mammelokker (the house beer), Boon Kriek, Gandavum Blond, Klokke Roeland, Bitburger Pils, De Koninck, Augustijn Donker, Augustijn Blond, Manneken Pis Witbier, Bacchus Oud Bruin, Delirium Tremens and Chouffe Houblon. The draft beer of the month was Augustijn Grand Cru.
As the name suggests, the Waterhuis is built on an old beer wharf and it has a long, sunny terrace right next to the canal. There’s also an associated restaurant and jenever house next door. Early on a Thursday evening in June the terrace was packed but it was quiet inside.
There’s a narrow L-shaped brick bar topped with railway sleepers, brass dispensers and an array of glasses to be matched with every beer, as is the norm in Belgium. There are stools at the bar, two bench tables by the front window, three tables overlooking the canal (if you peer through the spiky plants on the windowsill) and a small raised area at the far end with a barrel table and two chairs. There’s also an upstairs room which is less atmospheric but commands a similarly good view. The toilets, which are crammed into a small space to the right of the entrance door, are less than salubrious but the Waterhuis can be forgiven this as it’s otherwise so charming.
Unfortunately though, service can be patchy. There were four staff there on the Thursday and none were overly welcoming. On the other hand, when we visited on the Friday evening and secured a table on the terrace, hoping to dine al fresco, we’d missed last orders for food but the waitress was very helpful. She procured some snacks and nibbles for us - cheese, sausage, bread and ham platters – and suggested that we bring some chips from a recommended friterij just over the bridge.
(Last visited 10 June 2011).
Fin (1146) Merton, Oxfordshire, England, England | December 10, 2007
Along with the Hop Duvel Cafe, this bar was easily my favourite in Gent. Situated in a lovely location by the riverside, cosy in winter and no doubt quite lovely in sumer months. Small bar, always quite busy when we went (which must have been 4-5 times) a very interesting range of beers if not as extensive as some bars. I really liked both house beers especially the Gandavum Dry hopped one. Very good and friendly service, good prices as well. A top notch bar in the centre for definite.
Have visited this bar a number of times over the years, most recently in November 2010.
Popped in for a couple at 1am on a Saturday night/Sunday morning and actually managed to get a couple of seats at the bar (the place is always crowded).
Headed straight to the bottled menu which has around 100 options (4 or so on draft).
The bottled menu doesn’t contain much in the way of rareities.
The layout of this bar is akin to an English/Irish pub with various artifacts and ols books strewn around and is table service.
However as we were sat around the bar we proffered from a much faster bar service and didn’t go thirsty (top tip, as on previous visits the table service can be somewhat slow - normally due to the fact the bar is jam packed!)
As is our tradition on a Ghent visit, we piled into the Dreupelkot next door for good night Jenevers :P
While at a very touristy spot, you cannot quickly grow tired of the viewpoint that the terrace of the waterhuis offers on Gent’s canals. It seems to be hard to find a place inside, where it’s surprisingly small although spread on two floors. In terms of beer list, the selection may be one of the best in town although there a quite a few places on par. What may give it the nudge may be its 3 house beers, the Klokke Roeland Belgianesque barley wine and Gandavum hoppy blonde ale being the ones definitely worth trying for the rare visitor. The service was less than stellar, the young man serving us seeming totally uninterested in anything except getting paid. That really hurt the experience. They sell bottles to go at the parent Beer and Ginhouse right across the canal.
GT (672) San Diego, California | December 23, 2012
Went here in 2011 with Travlr and had a blast. Probably best beer bar in Gent even though all of them are awesome. Beautiful terrace, right next to the canal and house boats. Beautiful area at night. Great cheese and spicy mustard to pair with the beers. Interesting hanging garden ambiance. Big bottle list and decent number of taps. Lots of fun. Local hangout.
Visited twice during a long weekend over New Year (08-09). On the first visit we had to go upstairs because the small groundfloor bar was full.
Service up there was poor; the lad forgot our order and then only brought 3 beers, forgetting my on tap Gulden Draak Vintage. The lovely cheese platter we also ordered came only after reminding him. On leaving I found him downstairs texting someone instead of doing his job, very annoying. Everyone upstairs seemed to be tourists, no Flemish spoken at all, just French and English. The view from the windows however are great, the room and furniture all wooden and rickety.
The second visit was quieter and we found seats downstairs, the bar is very pleasant and again wood is the main stuff used throughout. The staff were more attentive and my on tap NIce Chouffe was in fine order. Everyone in the place on this occasion appeared to be local apart from us.
The bar is part of a business that has four distinct parts, this bar, Chez-Leontine, which is a posh looking Flemish eating house next door. Next door to that is ’t Dreupelkot, purely a Jenever Bar with 215 to choose from and lastly across the river on Kraanlei is their Beer and Jenever shop, which I also used to buy some rare beers before heading home.
In short, a good choice of well kept beers, pleasant atmosphere and surroundings, hope the staff are the ones we encounted second!
I really loved the decor there, with beams covered in dried hops garlands, the brown cafe feel, the location and the view of the canal. An excellent selection of beers, with the Gandavum Dry Hopping on tap, their house beer. Snacks are available. Visited Nov. 2006.