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Beer in Bruges: Three Great Spots On Your Cruise

14 February 2013

The City of Bruges

You've got the day in Bruges, arguably the greatest beer city in the world. A cruise is all about relaxing; you won't want to rush around trying to do everything. You want to pick a spot, sit back and take in the atmosphere. So where's good to head for a beer? We've picked three of our favourites. It's enough for a short tour around the city, or just pick one and soak it up. Either way, they're all great locations, so you can't go wrong.

Staminee De Garre


Generally open from midday, this hole in the wall is tricky to find. It's down a narrow alley, in fact it's supposedly the smallest street in Bruges and you can easily just walk right by it if you don't look out, as it just looks a bit like a door to a house. However, find it and you're in for a treat. It's a treasure trove of ales and is an authentic Belgian delight.

Its charm comes from its off the beaten path location and secretive feel. It's small and cosy with a local, friendly vibe. Despite being off one of Bruges' busiest streets, most people don't even know it's there. Highly recommended.

We Recommend: Tripel de Garre (11.5%). This house draft beer is rarely found anywhere else. It's brewed especially for this bar and it has a seductive aroma and a silky, orange body with a refreshing, creamy taste. You wouldn't think we were talking about a beer with vocabulary like that, but that's just how good it is.

Bierbrasserie Cambrinus


With a pleasant tavern-like wooden interior, Bierbrasserie Cambrinus (Aka the King of Beers) is a lovely place to sit for a drink. It's not too small, so it's not packed with people and likewise it isn't oversized, so it has plenty of character.

The beer menu in this place is like an encyclopedia. It's simply stuffed with exciting beers and it's incredibly heavy. On our last visit they claimed over 400 beers, which is quite possibly the biggest selection in Bruges. They have tables down the left side of the pub, which on busy days require a reservation. Though, we recommend simply pulling up a stool and chatting with the bartender about what beer they have, whilst enjoying the surroundings.

We Recommend: Rochefort 10 (11.3%). A simply divine, special dark Belgian beer. It has a lively, fruity and almost sour taste that fizzes on the tongue. It'll also only take one bottle to get you merry.



We admit it, 2be sounds like some sort of student pop club and the website is a retro blast from the past. But don't be put off, this is a gem of a spot. It does have a decent range of beers — many displayed on the now famous "beer wall" outside — but 2be goes beyond that. It has one of our favourite spots to sit in the whole city. If you go through the bar to the outside balcony and around the corner, they've got a long table beside the canal. It's secluded, it's beautiful and it's free of crowds. You can sup your beer and watch the canal tours float by.

On top of that, it also has a great range of table beers which are the perfect size for sharing and also a bit of a fun novelty to try.

We Recommend: Tripel Karmeliet (8.4%). A gorgeous, golden abbey beer, with touches of vanilla and citrus. Despite its strength, it's a real thirst-quencher in the hot sun and 2be has the huge 750ml bottles to share.

Bonus: 2be bottle shop

And it doesn't end there. On your way out of 2be, before you reach the main street, look left and check out the shop. You can stock up on a few bottles to take back on the ship (just make sure your cruise line allows it first, as many don't) or simply for some to take back home.

What cruise should you take?

We've picked two crackers to visit Bruges in 2013. One at the end of April with a good chance of sun, and one in October where the cold nights will be drawing in. Bruges is beautiful all year-round and the seasons really bring it out differently, so whether lazing out in the sun or enjoying a cosy pub by the fire, you'll still fall in love with it. These two short breaks both cruise from (and back to) Southampton, so no faffing about at the airport. Let's take a look:

3 Night Bruges & Guernsey Break on P&O Azura

Cruising at the end of April to Zeebrugge (a short ride from Bruges) and coming back via Guernsey, this is a great short break and has a last minute price to boot. P&O's Azura is a wonderful ship with plenty of amenities, including the highly regarded Sindhu restaurant and their fine wine bar, The Glasshouse. You can grab an inside cabin for just £239 per person, which is a steal really to get on such a lovely ship. Given the time of year though, it might be worth a treat to take a balcony cabin, which come in at just £369 pp.

Paris & Bruges on Independence of the Seas

Visiting Bruges in October and coming back via Paris make this one a great romantic break. Perfect for anniversaries or birthdays, you get two of the most romantic cities in the world for one. Insides will go from £339 pp and it'll come a few months after Independence gets her upgrade, which will include ship-wide Wi-Fi, as well as their brand new Cupcake Cupboard. What could be better?

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