I found the coolest bar in Ghent, but first let me tell you how I got here…
An Unexpected Love Story with Belgium
I love Belgium.
My first visit was to a small city called Mechelen to visit some friends. That’s where my unexpected love story with Belgium began.
You see, I never considered visiting Belgium. There was nothing there screaming for me to travel there right now.
That’s the beauty of Belgium, though. It’s not littered with tourists like many other summer European destinations are. Belgium does it’s own thing quietly and with no desire to shout from the rooftops how special it is. Only people who visit Belgium understand that they’ve been missing out.
Belgium is simple. Shops close early and don’t open at all on Sundays. People, cars, bikes, and trains move a little slower because there’s no need to rush.
Belgium Beer Culture
It’s perfectly acceptable to sit at a bar and have a beer at 11am any day of the week. In fact, if you visit on a sunny Saturday, it will feel like all of Belgium is outside having a beer with friends.
Belgium beer, in my opinion, is the superior beer country. Sorry Germany! Belgians aren’t stuck on cultural traditions in their beer brewing. They want to experiment with their brewing process and ingredients and the result is extraordinary.
Beer is so engrained in Belgium culture, that they even have a beer festival in Bruges.
Belgians also believe beer drinking should be fun. Every single Belgian brewery has their own beer glass. Bars will serve you the bottle and that beer’s specific glass, with the glass’ design facing towards you. Beer serving is as much of an art as beer brewing.
Review of Dulle Griet: The Coolest Bar in Ghent
One Thursday evening, I felt a need for a spontaneous weekend getaway and booked a hotel in Ghent. I texted my friends living in Belgium and asked for recommendations to fill my time. They recommended an Indian restaurant, which they claimed to be the best in Belgium, and a bar called Dulle Griet.
What’s so special about a bar, I asked? They advised me to order the bar’s special.
Pub De Dulle Griet serves more than 500 beers, the largest offering in Ghent.
They are well-known, though, for their drink Max Van Het Huis. It comes in two varieties–blonde and dark, both with 7.5% alcohol content. I enjoyed the blonde beer. What makes it special though?
The beer glass. Just look at the size of it!
It costs a lot to have a beer glass of that size, so you can’t just get it for free. Every Max drinker must offer up a shoe to the bartenders in exchange for their beer. When the bartender receives the glass in its original condition, you receive your shoe back. They store all the shoes in a basket at the top of the ceiling.
The decor of the pub is eclectic. Take a look around and you will surely laugh at the sights. The decor will put you in a drinking and socializing mood if you’re not already!
Good to Know Before You Go: Dull Griet
Of course, there is the option to buy the beer glass as a souvenir or repayment if you accidentally break it. The beer glass costs 90 euro.
Pub De Dulle Griet accepts cash only for all purchases.
Check their hours before you go. Visit their website here.
Would you go to this pub? Comment below your favorite pub in the world!