Monday, October 24, 2005


Belgian Beer Cafés: ´t Kroegske, Emelgem (Izegem)

't Kroegske- the Little Café - is one of Belgium's top five beer cafés. Run by genuine beer lovers Danny and Nadine it offers 450 different beers according to Tim Webb's beer bible. No Stellas in sight, thank you. Perfectionism also take the form of prohibiting cigar and pmoke and allowing a maximum of 5 beers per person. This is a place where quality beers should be enjoyed without the interruption of smoke, drunken people or crying babies, for that sake. It is a genuine Craft Beer Temple, where the hymns take the form of Celtic folk music, discreetly played in the background.

The menu is beautifully decorated (though as usual in Belgium there are hidden gems- you will have to ask for their special aged beer menu). There is food on the menu as well. They even have an informative web site with all the necessary details as well as nice pictures,

So what is the catch, you may ask. Well, it can be summed up in one word: Availability.
't Kroegske is a weekend-only hobby business, open 19-01 on Fridays & Saturdays and 17-22 on Sundays.

Emelgem is not exactly the centre of the world. But neither is it completely out of reach of Belgium's excellent train service. It should take you a maximum of 15 minutes walk getting to and from the station of Izegem on the Brugge- Kortrijk line. Emelgem is just at the other side of the river from Izegem, which does not have a lot on offer except for this little café.

There are quite a few attractions nearby, though. Touring this part of West-Vlaanderen 't Kroegske is a natural last call before returning to Brugge, Brussels or Antwerpen. On Saturdays and Sundays you can start at De Dolle Brouwers in Esen, continuing on to Ingelmunster (van Honsebrouck or the Alvinne picobrewery) or Roeselare for some unfiltered tastings of Rodenbach. Westvleteren (avoid Fridays when everything is closed), Ieper, Watou and, well, Brugge, are all close by too.

There are few excuses for not making a pilgrimage to this beer temple.

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