We may boast several hundreds different types of beer, more than any other country in the world probably, but still that doesn’t seem to be enough. Brewers of all types regularly create new tastes, try out different combinations of hops or herbs, or like Moortgat, experiment with barrels.
Duvel (literally Devil) is a strong blond beer which is very popular. In recent years the brewery has released a triple hop version, with a different combination of hops each year and a really unique taste for each of the beers. Some bars today offer up to four different types of triple hop Duvel, and later this year, in April or May, depending on the evolution of the maturation, a barrel aged variety will be released. The oak barrels which are used previously stored bourbon, so the new variety will have a completely new set of aromas and tastes.
One of the really authentic bars in town is called ‘Oud Arsenaal’ (Old Arsenal) and is situated in the Maria Pijpelinckxstraat. In case you didn’t know: Maria Pijpelinckx was Rubens’ mother, so it shouldn’t surprise you you can find this bar in the neighbourhood of the Rubens House Museum.
It has been a bar ever since 1924 and the building itself dates back to early 19th century. The starting date of the bar can still be read in the inscription above the door. The shop front has these orange-brown coloured ceramic tiles and probably the interior dates back to 1932. In that year a permit was granted to enlarge the café and at that moment the art-deco interior was installed, with its brown and yellow floor tiles, and its walls covered with wooden benches, mirrors and wooden wainscoting.
When you enter the cafe, you make a trip through time, going back nearly a hundred years. In 2009 a search was held to look for really authentic public bars and ‘Oud Arsenaal’ was selected as one of the top-locations.
And another reason to go there: Steph, the landlord, has a really impressive choice of fine beers from all over the country and that at very affordable prices.
Maria Pijpelinckxstraat 14
Sat-Sun: 07:30 – 19:30
Saturdays and Sundays a market (Vogeltjesmarkt) is being held in the immediate neighbourhood, that explains the early opening hours.