Thursday, November 17, 2005


Beer Circus Bonanza

It seems to be good times for beer circuses these days. Not only has the world's first and foremost beer circus, Le Bier Circus in Brussels, just moved into bigger and brighter premises down the road at rue de l'Enseignement no 57. Britain's equivalent seemed really packed when I arrived one wet Friday evening this November.

The address is 282, High Street in Croydon. Not really in the centre of the world, but not more than half an hour away from it either. Trains from London Bridge and Victoria stations in central London may take some 15 minutes to East Croydon station, from where it is a 15 minute walk. There is even something as continental as a tram line from the station.

I still had to add what seemed another 15 minutes before I got served in this busy bar, better stocked with Belgian beers than all other places I have seen in Britain so far. But then the fun could finally start- as there are some real gems on the menu, beers that are difficult to get across even in Belgium.

For those in know, there is not much circus about these venues, neither in Brussels nor in London. The old Bier Circus café at rue de l'Enseignement no 89 took its name from the Koninklijke Circus (the Royal Circus) next door. Don't expect royalties around these great beer bars, but they are quite entertaining anyway.

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