We’ve got one more bar to report on from our recent trip to Antwerp, as well as some final thoughts on the city.
Paters Vaetje is next to the cathedral. It’s a friendly place and has a nice but manageable selection of beers. It’s obviously popular with tourists but there were also plenty of younger locals there on our visit.
First, we went for Dikke Mathile. We’re not ashamed to admit that its comparative weakness was the attraction. It turned out to be a pleasantly sweet and fruity Amber, with a beautiful art nouveau inspired glass featuring a naked lady (tee hee).
Next, a matching pair, Boerken and Boerinneken, both 9.5%, from Den Ouden Advocaat, although brewed by someone else on their behalf. Boerinneken was a golden yellow triple which managed to be intensely sweet, bitter and sour all at once. There were all sorts of flavours popping out one after another, including orange, caraway and toffee (it tasted darker than it looked). Very complex. Boerken, the dark one, was also impressive, although less complex, reminding us of chocolate covered pretzels.
So, what did we make of Antwerp? We want to live there. It’s not as twee (nor as touristy) as Bruges, but much less grotty than Brussels, and there are nice looking bars everywhere. The only real disappointment was De Koninck, which, although a great institution, was not, as promised by various sources, any more brilliant in Antwerp than anywhere else.