As Andreea says, it is right on the tourist path, and there are lots of tourists in it, but you would not describe it as a trap. Well, unless you were commenting on the narrow entrance stairs – seriously dangerous after a couple of strong belgian brews. It’s extremely cosy and welcoming, the kind of place you can while away hours. It has a couple of changing beers on tap, and an extremely long list of beer in bottles.
We stuck to the Christmas specials. Kerstpater (9%) and Gouden Carolus Christmas (10.5%) were on tap, so we started there. The Kerstpater was warming and boozy, although the finish reminded us of lucozade (too sweet?). Gouden Carolus was better, with a nice cherry-chocolate aftertaste. We thought it wasn’t really nice enough to justify the 10.5% strength, but it set us up for the afternoon, and Andreea really liked it.
“Palm Double” was next. We can’t find any reference to it on the Palm website. Bizarrely, it tasted almost exactly like a 4% British bitter, despite being much stronger. On to Pere Noel, by De Ranke. At 7%, this is weak for a Belgian Christmas beer, but was our favourite of the day. It has the same “musty” hop taste as their XX bitter, of which we’re big fans. It’s different and refreshing, while still being Christmassy.
There were various parades going on outside for St Nicholas’s day, and at one point an entire marching band, sousaphone and all, squeezed their way in for a post-march booze up. All of which added to the cosiness. A highly recommended pub.