Written by Franz Hofer
Bruges is Brusselsâ€™ alter ego. Swans floating languidly on canals, quiet cobblestone lanes, and magnificent Flemish architecture add up to a far cry from the gritty bustle of Brussels. But in things beer, the two cities are equals. Bruges boasts a few breweries and dozens of beer cafes, some of them world-class establishments like the ethereal Vlissinghe and the classy De Garre.
Aside from the buzz of conversation, one of the first things youâ€™ll notice when you step inside the Beertje is the myriad glasses hanging above the bar like a forest of stalactites, a sure sign that the place takes the art of beer presentation seriously.
What started as a hundred-strong beer list when the â€œLittle Bearâ€ opened its doors in 1983 quickly evolved into a veritable compendium of beers some three hundred strong â€” one of the most well-rounded lists in Belgium. The selection runs the gamut from Belgian standards to plucky brewers who have taken a page out of the craft beer playbook.
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