We decided that Brussels was going to be our relaxing leg of the trip so we set our alarm for 10am which was the latest time both of us had woken up in weeks! We took our time getting ready went to this little café and got waffles. I got a chocolate and banana waffle and cappuccinoand Kris got a chocolate waffle and hot chocolate. They were so rich but delicious! Then we walked to a brewery called Cantillon Brewery which is the last traditional brewery left in Brussels .It was a self guided tour that they gave you a little introduction and booklet to give you more information. This brewery was very different from all the other tours I've been to, mostly because it was a family run brewery that makes lambic beers. Lambic beers are so unique because they are created by spontaneous fermentation. They take much longer to make and as a result are lest cost effective (hence why they are so rare). I don't remember all the details but lambics are what Brussels is known for and they are a very sour beer. They only make the gueze in the winter because they need the cold air to help the fermentation and they make a fruit-infused beer in the summer months so that they can use fresh fruit from Belgium. After the tour we got to taste both kinds of beer (the traditional lambic, a cherry beer and a raspberry beer) which was really cool. I don't know if I could drink more than one glass of each because of how different they taste and the sourness can be overwhelming but it was definitely an interesting experience.
After the brewery we started on our mission to find food which ended up being quite the task. Like France, most of the restaurants are closed from like 3-7pm so its hard to find non-touristy places to eat during that time. We ended up at this Thai restaurant that had a lunch special for 8.50 euros and was very good. Usually we would have tried some food that was more specific to the region we were in but the food in Brussels (aside from chocolate, beer and waffles) was not appealing and asian food is always good no matter what country you are in :)
After lunch we walked to see the mannequin-pis which Brussels is very famous for. The statue was really small but just funny that so many people were taking pictures with a fountain of a little boy peeing. Then we just walked around the surrounding streets and bought some souvenirs. We didn't really feel like going into any more museums or shops so we headed back to the hostel and took a short nap. Then we woke up and went to a bar called Delirium which is a kind of Belgium beer.This bar/pub holds the 2004 Guinness world record for the most beers sold in one location which was over 2,000 at that time. On the ground floor they sold 27 different beers on tap and they had around 10 downstairs plus hundreds/thousands of bottled beer. We tried a few different kinds of beer (keeping to our pact not to try the same beer twice) and I personally enjoyed watching the bartenders. They had quite the system down when it came to pouring the beer and I was amazed at how they knew where all the glasses and taps were! We went downstairs for a change in scenery and that's where we met this Irish guy who had been there for a music festival that was going on a few days before we arrived. We talked to him for a bit then decided we wanted a snack so we got some Fritesaka fries. We had to pay 50 cents extra for ketchup and it was the sweetest ketchup I've ever tasted (I almost understand why the locals like mayo on their fries). They were very delicious though and we got used to the ketchup, although I cannot wait to have some American Heinz ketchup in a few days!
We just headed back to the hostel with our fries, packed a few things up and checked in for our flight online. It was around midnight when we decided to read our books then call it an early night since we had to get up before 6am the next day to get to the airport.
We compiled a list of all the beers we tried in Brussels between the two of us along with our initial reactions to them. Here they are:
-Jupiler-a light belgium beer, tastes sort of like amstel light or carlsburg
-Maes-another light belgium beer
Strongbow Cider-cider…what more can we say?
-Brugs (Blanche de Bruges)-served with a lemon, very good, slightly fruity
-Grimbergen blonde-delicious, light, blonde, wheat beer
-Vedett-light beer, okay but not great
-Pecheresse-peach beer, fruity, sweet, good.
-Westmalle Trappist Triple-9% ABV so strong but very good. Slight apricot aftertaste
-Framboise-very berry, very sweet
-Rudenbach-sour, but good. Amber in color.
-Palm-smooth, easy to drink, light beer
-Cantillon Gueze-from the brewery, light in color, sour, cider-like, "strange after taste"
-Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus-from the brewery, raspberry sour beer
-Cantillon Kriek-from the brewery, cherry sour beer
-Hoegaarden-delicious as usual
-Kriek-another berry beer. Sweet and smooth, not sour, hence not true limbic beer
-Delerium Tremons-very good as usual
-Pater Lieventriple-good, wheaty, mild apricot taste
-Campus-"your typical light beer", probably similar to bud, coors or miller light in terms of belgium beers
-Floris white-light version of hoegaarden, a little fruitier, apple taste to it.