Hidden away in a quiet corner of a leafy square in a historic area of the old town, ‘t Waagstuck or “The Venture” as I’m pretty sure it’s translated is a tricky place to find but is well worth the effort.
On our first visit, ‘t Waagstuck – (English translated website) provided a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the MAS which is Antwerps iconic museum of sport which is also a short walk away.
The MAS itself is well worth a visit if you are in town if only for the wonderful panoramic views of the city and docklands.
The panorama visit is free and takes you on a winding journey round and round the internal structure, past brilliant photographic displays until you reach the roof top glass walled viewing area (it does have escalators up to the 9th floor and stairs to the final level).
Take in the views then wind your way back down to terra firma and set your sights firmly on a beer in the cool courtyard in summer or warm welcoming bar in colder months.
Crossing the tree-lined square and passing the many tables that seem to be shared by all of the bars in the area you enter ‘t Waagstuck through a squared arch (if there is such a thing), which takes you to a cool, open but enclosed courtyard decked out with tables chairs and benches. Here “normal” folk sat reading papers and drinking coffee in the sun, but as we were on a mission to explore Antwerps best bars and this was supposedly one of them we sensibly opted for a pre-noon beer or two.
Before perusing the menu in-depth which was around 100 beers strong I sensibly set my sights on a bottle of Saison Dupont, a perfect starter beer on a warm summers day methinks and set about soaking up the atmosphere.
This is one of those places that steeped in history, just make you want to sit and ponder all the things that have come and gone over the years and all the folks that have sat here and done the same.
Second beer up was the house special Zeppelin or Zeppelinbier, a rich, dark opulent brew with lashings of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits and molasses, at sprightly 9%abv not exactly summers day drinking but hey, what the hell..
Originally brewed by Proef Brouwerij but now I believe all brewing is done by Brouwerij Van Steenberge who seem to like brewing these exclusive to premises beers, De Garre Triple being another notable example worthy of a mention.