Our favourite places for a beer in Leuven
Chocolate, waffles, moules and fries; If you‘re visiting Belgium there’s only really one option to wash them down with. Of course, we’re talking about beer. Whilst Brussels may be the capital city, if you head approximately 30km to the east you will find the „beer capital“ of Belgium. Leuven is diverse, vibrant, and cultural. It has a beautiful old town and a strong student population. But, as we previously already shared how to explore the city like a local, we decided this time around to get a little more specific. So, no matter whether it's a brewery, beer shop, bar or restaurant, here are some of our top recommendations for beer in Leuven. Proost!
Stella Artois Brewery Tour
Leuven is the home of Stella Artois, one of the most popular international beers in the world. Its roots can be traced back to the Den Hoorn brewery which was founded all the way back in the 14th century. We’ve picked this as one of our options because of the interactive tour of the brewery: watch the brewing process, learn more about beer production in general, and immerse yourself in the history of the medieval brewery. Plus, at the end you'll get a freshly tapped Stella straight from the source. What’s not to love? Be careful though, they often don't let late arrivals in. So you’re better off saving your hangover for the next morning.
Leuven Central on the Margarethaplein is not your average café, restaurant or bar... it’s a Volkscafé. Sort of the Belgian equivalent of an English or Irish pub. (Basically a welcoming place open to all!) It’s a great spot to meet friends for a beer and traditional Flemish specialities like the Pistolets met hesp (ham rolls) or homemade meatballs (There are vegetarian alternatives as well). The cosy bar offers various types of beer from Leuven, which you can enjoy on a relaxed afternoon or evening on the terrace, admiring the view of St Peter's Church. Plus Leuven Central is less than a ten-minute walk from Pentahotel Leuven through the old town.
De Blauwe Kater
You probably already know that we‘re huge fans of live music. Throw a huge beer selection into the mix and you’ve got somewhere that we are very happy to endorse. If that sounds like your kind of vibe, De Blauwe Kater is the place to be. Bands or musicians perform here every Monday and the atmosphere is cosy and welcoming. They don’t serve food here (apart from snacks) BUT they’ll let you bring in pizza from the pizzeria around the corner which we think is a really nice touch. De Blauwe Kater is also less than ten minutes by foot from Pentahotel Leuven, so you can almost fall straight into bed after a night there.
The award-winning craft beer bar MALZ at Brusselstraat 51 has 12 beers on tap and over 300 in bottles and cans. We think it‘s pretty safe to say they know their stuff when it comes to beer. Not only that, but they also have the largest selection of ciders and meads in the city. Everything they serve is available to take away (you even get a discount if you do!) but we recommend sticking around to drink it, as they also serve meats, cheeses & chocolates to go with your beer. All are locally produced and selected to pair with a variety of different beer styles.
We also know a spot in Leuven that is open for food and drink, has a laid-back and welcoming atmosphere and is open every day from 12 until 10:30pm. It even makes the perfect base for visiting all the other awesome places listed above... of course, we could only ever be talking about the Pentalounge. We’re proud of all our Pentalounges, and Leuven is certainly no exception. Come and find out for yourself why that is.