How to taste beers at bierotheque Le Barboteur in Brussels

We all love a good beer once in a while, right? Me and my friends go to dedicated beer bars regularly to try new beers. Festivals, bars, and abroad. We go everywhere to try a new beer. The past year and a half I tried over 300 unique beers. Some of them in a cozy but awesome place in Brussels: Le Barboteur.

What is Le Barboteur?

You might’ve never heard of this place. So what is it? It’s a small bar in Brussels on the Avenue Louis Bertrand. Not just a regular bar though, a Beerotheque. A fancy name for a beer dedicated bar.

It’s located on a square with lots of other bars and a nice view. A perfect place to sit on a sunny day.

What to taste at Le Barboteur

It’s a Beerotheque, so obviously you would go for beers. In the bar, you can find a big shelf with bottles. It’s possible to buy these and bring them home with you. Which is ideal for tourists that want to bring more specialized Belgian beers home. We have more to offer than Stella, Jupiler, and West-Vleteren you know.

The boss of the place is a great guy. He loves to help you pick a beer you will like. He can also tell you more about the brewer, the taste, and the ingredients used.

A tasting at Le Barboteur

One of the frequent visitors of Le Barboteur is a friend of mine on Twitter. He decided to organize a beer-tasting and was so kind to invite me. With a group of ten, we went in and learned so much.

The beers we tasted:

  • IPA de Papa: a local and brilliant IPA.
  • Jours de Récolte: a refreshing beer that’s ideal for hot summer days.
  • Mooie Nel IPA: Balanced beer with a hint of caramel.
  • Saison Vignon: a bit of peach in a subtle beer.
  • Weird Weather IPA:  a fruity beer with smooth mouthfeel.
  • Big Ol’ Mama: This one has hints of chocolate and whisky.

How to taste beer… apparently

Tasting beers isn’t as easy as I thought. I learned that at Le Barboteur. I came in as a newbie and left as a semi-pro.

Step 1: Pour the beer into a glass

Whether you bought it in a can, a bottle, or a keg. Pour it out into a glass. Some beers ask for specialized glasses. So make sure you have the right one for your beer.

Step 2: Take a look at the color en density

Next step is to observe the color of the beer and how it foams. I won’t act like I’m a pouring specialist. My friends still laugh with my pour/poor technique. Next thing I will do is ask the guy at Le Barboteur for a course on beer-pouring.

Step 3: Smell the beer

Don’t drink yet. Take a smell first. It tells you a lot about the beer. Personally, I enjoy the smell of an IPA the most.

Step 4: Swallow the beer after tasting it

You can finally take a sip. Let the beer rest in your mouth for a second. And then swallow it. Unlike at a wine-tasting, you are allowed to. Swallowing the beer is part of the taste and mouth-feel. I learned that after five beers it becomes increasingly harder to discuss the tastes.

Are you going to bring Le Barboteur a visit? Let me know what beers you want to try, or have tried!

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