I spent one year living in the city of Antwerp as part of a study abroad initiative. I visited many pubs and bars and loved the big differences between Britain’s chains and Belgium’s independents. The homely feel and differences between each public house made every experience completely different even when drinking the same beer.
However, there was one pub that I discovered early on that I revisited over and over. Bier Central was where I had one of my first beers and the very last before I headed back to the UK.
Situated just outside of the central station Bier Central is perfectly situated as the only Belgian pub down the strip.
Belgium is famed for its’ national beers and Bier Central leaves no stone unturned. Holding over 300 bottled beers and 27 on tap there is plenty of selection to keep any frequent punter occupied for a very long time
The décor is mostly wooden with stools and benches to sit. It feels more like a trip back in time rather than a modern day public house. Dark on the inside with dimmed lamps, there is a softer atmosphere which relaxes the mood.
The menu is more like a small book and can actually be bought for around five Euros. A real collector’s item, especially if you have time to tick off quite a few different beverages.
Ranging from classic Belgian ales to some lagers and stouts, there is a good selection for everyone who loves beer. When I arrived, I was not a fan at all of any sort of darker beer but after I left I was, stumbling, and in love with everything I tried.
A couple of my favourite beers were Barbar Bok which comes in at 8%, Rochefort which is 11.3% and Seefbier, a local favourite, is 6.5%. Strong beers are the norm in Belgium and if just because you can sink 6 pints of fosters on a Friday night doesn’t mean you are any match for these.
Many of the breweries that these beers come from are hundreds of years old. Some date back to a time where monks used to brew beer and fund their monastery through the sales. This is the case with the Rochefort brewery which dates back to 1595.
The pub serves great pub food like cheese boards, meat boards, burgers and the region classic, burgundy beef stew.
If you want a quiet place to go and have a couple of beers with your friends, or want to head out to discover Belgium’s amazing beer history, then Bier Central is the best pub in the city of Antwerp.