La Brasserie Surréaliste, the most original restaurant annex impressive beer temple in Belgium, immediately impresses with its grandiose volumes and quirky décor and of course with its range of handmade and artisanal brewed beers.
Text and pictures WOWwatchers unless mentioned otherwise
As soon as we enter the impressive Art Deco industrial building dating back to 1932, we feel partly in the patio of a Venetian hotel, with its ancient mirrors, five majestic chandeliers pink velvet sofas, marble tables and lush green vegetation. We decide to have our aperitif here, like most of the other guests. We go for a Pornstar cocktail without alcohol and of course one of the typical beer cocktails, as this is the place in Brussels to try some of the most amazing (limited edition) beer or beer based drinks. We try the Timut Surrealiste a combination of gin and beer that tastes very sour. Too sour according to our taste but a few minutes later the bar tender realizes he forgot to add the sugary syrup.
La Brasserie Surréaliste was created in the fall of 2022 by brothers Édouard and Charles Grison. Since 2018, the thirty-somethings have been artisanally brewing their own beer from their garage. Their first brews are the starting point of their bold dream to create a surreal landmark around beer in their beloved city, Brussels. Today, La Brasserie Surréaliste is 1,500 square meters of surreal pleasure featuring a bar, restaurant, microbrewery, beer shop, and gallery, unveiling since a few months a new surreal decor and a very first collection of barrel-aged beers.
‘The Hand’ for instance refers to the artisanal work of the brewer. This exceptional collection is the opposite of an industrial product; the production steps are longer. Indeed, these beers are developed from complex associations, then aged in barrels for several months, varying from 6 to 18 months, unlike a classic beer fermented in stainless steel tanks for only 4 weeks. It is during these long months that the beer matures and the woody and tannic side of the barrel adds to the beer and adds a layer of complexity to it. Finally, they are bottled by hand.
‘Desire’, meanwhile, evokes the precious and highly desirable liquids that these ‘refined’ beers in the future represent. The collection is limited and is only available in certain city wine shops, a selection of starred restaurants, and of course, in their own beer shop which is open every evening.
Once we cross the majestic glass doors after the patio, we enter an extraordinary space where industrial architecture unexpectedly fuses with neo-Gothic elements. As we prepare to sit at one of the tables or settle at the meter-long bar, it becomes hard to imagine that a brewery with a 10HL installation is located in the basement. In terms of interior Charles regularily adds new touches of freshness to the interior. La Brasserie Surréaliste is the unexpected alliance of the complementary talents of the two passionate brothers. One lives for antiques, the other for beer. The result is a destination whose name, Brasserie Surréaliste, is not as far-fetched as it may seem. When we go to the toilet, we are greeted by a white life-size horse. Instagram picture, check!
The Ribeye was just a piece of meat on a plate. We found the side dishes rather expensive as vegetables and potatoes were charged extra. Roasted carrots, 14 Euros. Pommes grenailles, 12 Euros.
But this place truly is a holy temple for all beer lovers. Some of the beer to pay attention to
– Gose Sour Ale (11€) A Gose-style beer made from wheat, slightly tart with a hint of Guérande salt, which has been aged for 6 months in Viognier barrels. The minerality marries perfectly with the oak tannins, giving the beer a complex tart touch that remains very refreshing.
– Plum Farmhouse Ale (15€) A blend of a tart wheat beer and a saison beer aged for 6 months in Pinot Noir barrels. The addition of plums brings sublime stone fruit aromas that harmonize with the gentle acidity and light tannins of the oak.
More info: Place du Nouveau Marché aux Grains 23, 1000 Brussels, from Wednesday till Sunday, 17h-00h00