16 September 2007


Not to be confused with the excellent restaurant of the same name in Ghent, ' t Pakhuis in Antwerp is the city's only brewpub, and I paid a visit on Friday. The décor is in the northern European faux-industrial style of brewery-pub-restaurant, all mezzanines and glass and steel. There are three beers in the repertoire. Antwerps Blond is a cloudy wheatbeer, similar to a German weiss. It's fruity with a hint of dry spice, though a little watery overall. The same problem affects Antwerps Bruin which offers a curious mix of sour Flemish red flavours and caramel notes on top. The latter comes out more as it warms and improves it considerably. Finally, there's Nen Bangelijke, a deceptively powerful clear golden ale. While the strength, colour and glass all resemble the typical Belgian golden ales, the flavour in no way does. This is warm and bitter rather than fruity, and carries overtones of almonds in the aftertaste. Very tasty indeed.

Like any brewpub, 't Pakhuis is one of those places that it's nice to have, just for something different. I wouldn't recommend beating a path to it on arrival in Antwerp, however. Go look at some Rubenses instead.

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