Belgian Beer Board


Started by Jay, January 10, 2024, 12:40:57 PM

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Hi everyone

This Friday we're venturing to Porto in Northern Portugal for my birthday weekend.

It should be a fun packed three days, filled with bars, food (sampling Cachorrinhos and Francesinha) and hopefully a visit to one of the many Port Houses for a tasting and a tour.

There's no rest for the wicked as we're both straight back in work the day after we fly home  :( but a full report will follow asap.

Jay 🇵🇹


Hi Jay,

Portugal won't disappoint for a moment. Such a great country!
This is on our to do list too. We visited Portugal twice and were immediately in love with that country and the people.
There is not that many local quality beers, but the wines and portwines will replace with great enjoyments, including the wonderful Portuguese gastronomy.
Have a great and safe trip Jay & Linda!
"Beer, if drank with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit, and promotes health."
–- Thomas Jefferson

John B

It's been about a dozen years or so since I was in Porto. Beautiful city for sure, but yes as far as beery destinations there wasn't much at all to speak of back then. Hopefully that's changed since my visit.

Two things that I know you won't have a hard time finding are places to drink their famous wine, and coffee shops. I remember standing on one street in front of a coffee shop, which was right next door to another coffee shop, which was across the street from a coffee shop, which was across the intersection from another coffee shop. Four coffee shops within spitting distance of each other, lol.

Oh yeah, and codfish. It's everywhere.

Have fun Jay, looking forward to your impressions of Porrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrto (that's how I used to pronounce it to my Portuguese girlfriend at the time).

Saúde! - John


Thanks guys  t_u

We've visited Portugal twice (about 10 years ago) and on both occasions it was to the Algarve region at he very bottom of the country whereas Porto is at the top (near the Spanish border area of Galicia) it's long been a dream destination for Linda.

We're sure to be spoil for choice regarding delicious Portuguese cuisine and a visit to a Port house is definitely a must do.

The beer scene seems to have improved greatly since your last visit John with many craft beer bars listed (there's even a Gulden Draak Bierhuis  B_FLAG ) so all tastes will be catered for

It should prove to be a memorable beery birthday surrounded by some beautiful sights

Jay t_u


Hi Jay,

I've had 11 Portuguese beers- Coral, Super Bock, Sagres, etc.

All very bland lager-types, so I hope that you discover some
better brews if possible!

Portugal is more sun, food and wine than beer.




I only put one beer pub specialized in Belgian beers on the worldwide Belgian beer pub map


They have a great beer list!
For example: Page 15

Not sure why they handle two prices though ?

Anyway, this really seems a wonderful Belgian beer pub to me, Van Steenberge tied!!

"Beer, if drank with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit, and promotes health."
–- Thomas Jefferson


Hi everyone

Back from a properly amazing birthday weekend in beautiful Porto.

The weather wasn't the best but that did nothing to dampen what a truly wonderful time we had, it's fair to say that beer wise it blew our expectations...far more beery (and a lot cheaper) than our last trip away to Hamburg.

A full report will follow soon, if you think Porto is all about wine and Port then be prepared to be blown away 🍻🇵🇹

Jay  t_u


Hi Jay,
Glad you are back home safe  t_u
Not one hair on my head thought about it that your trip to Porto would be a disappointment  t_u
I've seen the pix on Fb and I can already expect a wonderful report !!!!
Cheers Jay !
"Beer, if drank with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit, and promotes health."
–- Thomas Jefferson


Ok folks, here we go...

It's time for my birthday trip to Porto and after setting off early on our 2 hour flight we arrived in Northern Portugal, a 30 minute taxi ride later and we arrived at our hilltop hotel - The Moon and Sun.
After a speedy check in we ventured out to a sunny, dry and breezy Porto, seeing as it was only  11am we decided to first visit the Bolhão market for a bite to eat and a couple of well earned coffee's.

Refreshed and it's time for a bit of exploring which leads us to the harbour area and the mightily impressive Ponte Luis bridge, this was the most picturesque area for our first drink, nothing special as this area was geared up for the tourists so a Super Bock it was, lovely for sitting in the crisp cold sunshine with the hustle and bustle happening around.

With such an impressive iron structure looming high above us we decided to walk up the very steep, cobbled, ancient backstreets to the bridge above and walk across with stunning views of the Duaro River well below.

After taking many pictures and videos we decided to head back in the direction of our hotel and on route decided upon a "proper" beer so popped into the Craft Beer House, a Belgian Strong Ale and an IPA were chosen (both from Portuguese breweries) and both delicious in own unique way.

After stopping back at the hotel it was time to visit a bar high on our list and hopefully some food as well, so a short stroll and we arrived at the craft beer bar Catraio.
Our first choice was one from Portuguese brewery Doris Corvos - To The Other Side (8% DIPA) and a Puhaste - Colours of Abundance (12% Chocolate and Cherry Imperial Stout) then it was upstairs to the rooftop bar for a pop up BBQ from El Japa and chose a Portuguese sausage chilli and charcoal roasted chicken tacos, both properly delicious.

Delicious food

After a couple more beers (plus some to take away and a fantastic Catraio hoodie) it was time to head back to our hotel (we have been up since 3am) however whilst walking back along the beautifully yellow lit backstreets and just 2 corners from home I noticed a display of Belgian beers in an innocent looking bar window...inside we went.
A lively packed bar and served the most friendly and cheerful barmaid my first choice a St Bernardus 12, a beer that needs no introduction and priced at just 6€. Sitting in the low leather chairs this was proving to be the most perfect end to an amazing first day but just one last beer for the road so a Filou was chosen at 5€ before heading back for a well earned sleep.

Day two to follow 🇵🇹


Hi Jay,
Amazing report as usual.
Already published on the main page!!!
The strange thing is that the abbreviation PT doesn't give the Portuguese flag here inside the forum and main page when consulting on PC.
OTOH, the flag greatly shows up when consulting with my smartphone ??? I don't have any clue how to solve this.
Waiting for the next ......... Thanks  t_u  t_u  t_u  t_u  t_u  :appauding-1:
"Beer, if drank with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit, and promotes health."
–- Thomas Jefferson


Day 2 folks

Today was the day to tick off the "to do" list - for me food and Linda a bar.
So kicking things off with my foodie must and it all centres around my foodie hero, the late Mr Anthony Bourdain and in particular a Cachorrinhos sandwich he ate at Gazela in his final TV series Parts Unknown and also another sandwich - the Francesinha which he also ate.

So it was Gazela time and we entered the tiled one  room cafe and it was packed, not a table free BUT we were told that we could sit at the bar (this is what I wanted anyway, just as Anthony did) so our first order was two rich espressos (just a euro each) then it was time for our first taste of a Cachorrinho (or hotdog as they call it) a baguette filled with both Salsicha and Linguica sausages and Flamengo cheese then grilled and brushed with Piri Piri butter then cut into bite size pieces (of course I bought lots of the sausages, cheese and sauce to bring home)

After a glass of Super Bock it was time for sandwich number two - the Fanceschina with a portion of crispy fries...this mighty sandwich consists of toasted bread with a filling of grilled steak, ham and sausage then richly covered with cheese and grilled then topped with a fried egg then a rich tomato and beer sauce is poured over - so rich, so filling, so delicious.
It's moments like this that we'll both treasure forever, lifelong memories

Anthony Bourdain (with the grey hair)

After shopping and sight seeing it was time for Linda's "must do bar" and this was a bar I knew nothing about, so it was a 20 minute taxi ride around the bay to the Matosinhos area of town, this was a much flatter coastal resort (a change to the steep hills of Porto) and the bar in question was Hop Trip - this was a colourful bar adorned with flags from all around the world.

Beer consists of 15 taps and a couple of fridges crammed with bottles and cans, our first choice a tropical Little Rain by Spanish brewery Under Pressure with Linda opting for an American Blonde Ale - both wonderful

Next was a Phantasm 11% Triple NEIPA from Lupum brewery and for me a Pyramid Scheme 11% Barley Wine from Portuguese brewery Dois Corvos (btw all the beers we had from tap are the smaller option, half pint measure)

After that it was time for something a bit lighter in the form of a Fruit Crush (raspberry, peach and Tonka bean sour) from Dois Corvos and a Hasta La Vista Baby (Double Black Whisky IPA) then it was time to pay the fridges a visit

It was during this session that the two owners and their two Golden Retriever dogs walked in (one of the dogs feature on the bars logo) and were greeted with a warm hello, soon after we were chatting about beer, bars, trips away and back to beer.

Time for one last beer and buy lots of cans to bring home and during Linda's fridge raiding the female owner appears with gifts of beer glasses and a tote bag for us to bring home - such amazing hospitality.

Heartfelt goodbyes with the promise to share them the link to this report, it's no surprise that Hop Trip and Catraio rank so highly with us, amazing bars, amazing beers and truly amazing hospitality

What a perfect day it had been, tomorrow is my birthday

Jay  t_u


Day three

Our final full day in Porto and it's my birthday, so it was a quick stroll just two streets up the hill to Niclau coffee shop for a bit of brunch and this place was completely packed but just as we approached we noticed a couple inside putting their jackets on so maybe our luck will be in...and it was, they exited as we entered so we bagged their only empty table.
A delicious brunch of Eggs Benedict, coffee and berry smoothie followed

Making our way back downhill in the direction of the harbour, stopping along the way to pick up a few items (those all important sausages) we happened to past one of the top rated Pastel De Nata shops in town so we had to pay a visit to Pasticceria Manteigaria for two of the richest, creamiest Natas ever with the thinnest pastry cases ever, a couple of espressos as well and the cost...just 4.20€ and that was to eat in.

Time for another of Linda's "to visit" spots so we jumped in a taxi and headed to Mercado Market for a beer, this place was a large open plan market filled with food stalls and after wandering around we arrived at Cervejas Do Mundo, a stall filled with 32 taps (each ornately decorated with the brewery logo) and fridges filled with bottles.
My first choice was the very tap situated in front of my seat - a Tank 7 from Boulevard and despite the bar not serving food nearly everyone around us was eating, the solution was simple, you order food from any of the surrounding stalls and they deliver it to your seat...just perfect

Now seeing as it was Sunday and they had an impressive selection of Belgian beers both from bottle and tap it would be rude not to indulge in my first #Belgiansunday of the day so chose the magnificent Rochefort 10

Sadly it was now time to head back to our hotel to pack for tomorrows flight home and so after carefully packing beers, meat, salami and spices we ventured out again but decided to keep things local, so after a quick look at the maps on our phones a bar just a 5 minute walk away was chosen and what a cracking little place this was.

Baobab, a small one room bar with around 20 seats, beers are 6 from tap and a fridge filled with bottles and cans.

Our first beers a raspberry witbier and a pumpkin, mango, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove sour coupled with a mix plate  t_u

Next a Dois Corvos - Sesh! (4.5% session IPA) and a Prizm - Long Way From Home (12% Cocoa, Coffee and Hazelnut Imperial Stout)

Time for one last beer and Linda chose one from the fridge, a bottle from Burguesa, a tiny one man brewery where the owner is an engineer during the week and brews/bottles at the weekend with his brewery situated on the other side of the Duaro river.
Luckily Linda had already picked me a few from this microbrewery to bring home but I was yet to try so she chose a 22.01 Peated Whisky BA Imperial Stout...pure Whisky Truffles in a glass.

It was time to move on but not before Linda chose bottles and cans to bring home and it was whilst paying for them that the owner asked why were in town, when Linda mentioned that it was a birthday break (and today was my birthday) he immediately knocked 12€ off the price of the bottles before he and his wife presented me with them and wished me a very happy birthday, again such humbling hospitality.

Moving on just a few streets away to Fabrica, a split level bar with a small bar at front and seating at the rear - my choice a tropical IPA and food in the form of another of Portugals famous sandwiches, a Bifana (crispy buns filled with slow braised pork) and the infamous Cachorrinho.

Time for a special bar and one to tie in with the Belgian day of the week - Gulden Draak Bierhuis

As the name implies this is an impressive bar with a strong Gulden Draak theme...there's bottles, signs, brewmania everywhere and the tap and bottle list nothing short of mind blowing and when I say mind blowing imagine our surprise when we saw our first choice available from tap

A picture of pure happiness

A look at the beers and its clear to see the Van Steenberge link, coupled with beers from other breweries it made for one very impressive list (2 prices are shown, the lower is during the happy hour)

With such an amazing list we again chose a beer that usually only available in Gent, Klokke Roeland and a Gulden Draak Calvados BA...both from tap

A plate of crispy fries and a couple more beers each from tap before finishing just as we started

What a perfect day (no three days) it had been, to end it sat drinking a De Garre with Linda was the icing on the "birthday" cake, then she vanishes to the bar and comes back with "just one last bottle" to bring home.

It's fair to say that Porto made a huge impression on the both of us, beer wise it completely blew us away, the food was amazing, the friendliness and hospitality of locals and bar owners truly humbling.
It's also true to say that we will most definitely be returning, there was so much to see and do that a second visit is going to happen - it's right up there with San Sebastián (our next trip away) and Barcelona, we loved every second.

Jay 🇵🇹

John B

Fantastic report Jay!  :appauding-1:

From the looks of it the beer scene in Porto certainly has greatly improved in recent years. That's wonderful to see.

One thing that seems not to have changed is that warm Portuguese hospitality. That's also a good thing.

Thanks for sharing your and Linda's experiences here Jay. You really do a great job capturing the essence of the places that you've visited.

Cheers! - John


Just finished reading and publishing on the main page!
What a SUPERB report Jay !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
it's like John says, so much more improvement there beery wise!! I'm really highly surprised.
Also, now I do know why they handle those two different prices with being the red colored cheaper for happy hour, which is a remarkable difference with Belgium. Happy hours are not a Belgian thing here.
Jay, thanks so much for all those efforts! PRICELESS !!! and such a great help and guidance to other beer lovers wanting to visit Portugal for a good beer.
Cheers,  :smileysdrinkingbeer:

"Beer, if drank with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit, and promotes health."
–- Thomas Jefferson


Cheers guys  t_u

It's quite amazing just how beery Porto is and there are still places we didn't get to visit - a visit to Lupum brewery, a visit to a Port house.

I know we often say "we will be returning" when you get back from an enjoyable break away but this place was easily in our top 10 (and that's including Bruges at No1 and Copenhagen in at No2) so a revisit is going to happen at some point, maybe in the summer months.

I think you would be very surprised by just how beery Porto has become John, a list of bars and shops on ratebeer really doesn't do it justice, though you are right about the number of coffee shops and churches there are in town...not a problem as we love a good coffee and pictures of ancient churches add to the touristy feel.

Also mate there's that warm Portuguese hospitality you mention, this is such a true description...after we left the Gulden Draak on our final night and just a couple of streets away from our hotel we walked by an innocent looking bar (nothing at all beery)  but despite the late hours this tiny place was filled with people singing and dancing, yup inside we went.
Despite it being filled with local Portuguese and the fact only one person could speak English we were welcomed with open arms and spent the next hour or so singing and dancing (at one point with the Mayor of Porto) arms around strangers enjoying life,nothing beery just a snapshot we'll remember forever 🇵🇹

It's funny you should mention about the help and guidance to fellow beer lovers Filip because whilst we were away our American friends John and Kris Hornsby (both of who have been to the bottle share at Rudys) were messaging me saying that they are going on a tour of Spain and Portugal and Porto is one of their destinations so had been following our adventures on facebook with Kris jotting down all the places we visited (I've also promised to share them the report here) they also said that they would be staying in the same Vitória area of town that we did.

Another couple who took inspiration are Tony and Bridget, they've visited Porto in the past but after following our visit again on Facebook Tony messaged me asking for details of were we stayed and places we thought worthy of visiting.

That's the thing, you never know just who is reading all you post and secretly taking notes, I don't mind one bit.

Jay  t_u