This year, however, there were other options. Just a long block away from the madness was Beer Street, a 50 meter long bar with 46 taps set up at the back end of the Stock Exchange building. A smaller selection was available here, but it was less crowded and there were no worries about proper glass etiquette, all beers served in generic festival glasses. You still had to line up, as there seemed to be only 2 kiosks selling tokens, but then we discovered the Beer & Food part of the festival while looking for Kiosk #3. Inside the beautifully restored Stock Exchange building a Belgian Beer Cafe had been set up, offering tasting trays of 3 different beers paired with gourmet appetizers. What a marvelous idea! Not only that, but the delicious selections changed every hour throughout the day!
We tried the Malheur (6%, golden, subtly hopped honey beer) with prosciutto wrapped capers & cream cheese, Buffalo Bitter (8.5%, sharp, tart, hoppy) accompanied by a blue Gorgonzola style cheese and finally, a Stella Artois (generic 5% lager) paired with some chocolate mousse. Right away the chocolate made the beer taste better, but with hints of wood, as if the beer had been aged in oak. Wow! We did come back for different selections throughout our weekend's activities.
something new and different again and again! But, alas, all good things come to and end and soon it was Sunday. Surrealism was born in Belgium and is somehow fused into many aspects of Belgian life and society, and certainly the Belgian beer world can seem downright surreal at times, especially on those late nights when you wander from beer bar to cafe, well beyond a decent bed time, until you find yourself, once again, back at the Delirium Cafe wondering what comes next.