‘t Brugs Beertje first opened its doors in 1983. “Bruges’s Little Bear” has been serving up excellent Belgian brews and atmosphere ever since. Daisy Claeys had the idea to open a beer specialty cafe in the early 1980s, having seen the developing interest in specialty beers in Belgium at that time. The dream came true when she found a place for the cafe in the very heart of Brugge’s shopping area, in a building dating from 1632. While the Beertje started with about 120 beers on its menu, there are now 300 different brews available, including five on tap (“van ‘t vat” in Dutch). All Belgian beer styles are represented. After 34 years, Daisy handed over the Brugs Beertje to her worthy successor Dries Brouckaert.
Why is Bruges’s Little Bear such a great place to sample beer, learn about beer and meet new friends? The popularity of ‘t Brugs Beertje is not only due to the great list of beers offered, but also to the atmosphere, which is very conducive to good times and good conversation. As Brugge is one of Europe’s top tourist attractions, there are lots of visitors taking in the sights. With just about every class of accommodation available, there is always a wide cross section of people at the Beertje.
Also, it is very easy to meet people while on vacation, as most everybody is there to have a good time. There are people from 18 to 80+ years old sampling fine beer virtually on a daily basis here. The clientele is international, with people visiting from all over Europe, Japan, South America, Australia, New Zealand, North America and many more places.
The service is always friendly and helpful, with Dries and all his staff well versed in beer styles, proper beer pouring and presentation, and of course beer suggestions for anyone who may need help with the many choices offered. Food is also available at ‘t Brugs Beertje. A cheese board is offered with five types of cheeses, and there are also a few pâtés.