Belgium pubs

L’Ultime Atome

caveoftrolls.jpg Andreea recommended this place which we checked out at lunchtime today. We had a few nibbles and tried three beers each, all of which were good, and a couple of which were great.

The photo is of Cuvee de Trolls — the 20th beer Andreea ever reviewed, back in February 2006. It looks great, and has a lovely glass (frosted, like the one Babar comes in). The beer itself was decent, if not mindblowing.

The highlight of the session was “Poperings Hommelbier”. Poperinge is the Belgian hop growing region, and “hommel” is the local word for hops. And how. Like the little guide to Belgian beer we picked up says, “this beer has about twice the bitterness of other Belgian beers”. The first thing we were reminded of was an English IPA.

  • Ale? Check.
  • Pale? Check.
  • Bitter? Check.
  • Strong? 7.5%.

For all that, though, it’s not quite in the same territory. For a start, there’s the distinct sugar taste and aroma which you get in a lot of Belgian beer. There’s also not much in the way of flowery hop aroma, which you’d expect in an IPA. Nonetheless, an interesting and refreshingly bitter beer which we’d recommend heartily.

We also tried Hoegaarden Grand Cru, Ara Bier and Moinette Blonde.

Had a slight hangover by 5pm. Urgh.

PS – Spotted some “bootleg” Westvleteren in one of the main touristy beer shops in the centre of town.  They weren’t making a big show of it but it wasn’t hidden either.  6.25EUR a bottle. Didn’t have the 12 though.


L’Ultime Atome is at 14 Rue Saint-Boniface, Brussels 1050. There are a number of interesting bars and restaurants in that area, including lots of African places. We may do a Google Map when we get back if we can be bothered.

4 replies on “L’Ultime Atome”

Dialling the Monkphone is not the issue. Travelling to the middle of nowhere sans car is. They had the 12 when we went back. We got one of each. Sorry, monks.

Then again, how do we know it isn’t fake? All you’d need to do is keep the tops and then stamp them on a bottle of anything in a plain bottle.

Yeah! Sticking it to the man (of God).

Regarding the possibility of counterfeit St. Sixtus, I return to the fact that this is Belgium. They are not, in my experience, the most devious of races, and there seems to me to be a huge risk that a customer will recognise that the product is not what it says it is. Sounds like some serious “quality control research” is in order…

You’ll be pleased to hear they do the Hommelbier nice and cheap at Quinn’s in Camden. They were also doing it in the Crown Tavern, Clerkenwell not long ago but I haven’t noticed it in the fridge recently.

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