I knew I was in trouble the minute I walked into Beer Mania. Belgian beers are my favorites, and seeing so many in one place, with so many different kinds I had not tried, along with offering a reasonable price to ship them back home, I could feel my wallet getting lighter as I walked around the store.
Beer Mania isn’t a bar, it’s one of Brussels best beer stores. I had determined before the trip that I was going to spend some money and send some beer home from Belgium, since carrying it around for the remaining 17 days of my trip was not practical at all. I specifically went in looking for beers I could not get in the United States, and, with the help of the affable and knowledgeable owner, Michael.
Besides the impressive selection of beers, Beer Mania has all of the glassware one could want. One of the things I learned about Belgian beers at my first Belgian Beer Week at Ashley’s (my ‘home’ base in Michigan) was that all of the different breweries have their own unique glasses. I wanted to send back so many of the different glasses, but knew they stood a much mower chance of making it back in tact than the beer did.
I did end up buying my favorite Belgian beer glass, the round-on-the-bottom Pawel Kwak glass that comes with a wooden stand. (It made it back in tact, by the way.)
In the end, I ended up buying 30 or so bottles that I sent back, plus another 5 I carried with me and drank along the course of the trip. Among the beers I was able to acquire was one of the most sought after beers in the world, the Trappist beer Westvlereren 12. (More on my visit to In De Vrede, the cafe across from the monastery that brews Westvleteren , in an upcoming post).
Beer Mania also has a small bar, where Michael served me one of his own beers, a blonde ale called Mea Culpa, which was very good drinking and came in one of the coolest glasses I have ever seen.
Beers & Bars of the Europe 2013 Trip Series: