The Payottenland-Belgium’s lambic country, to the southwest of Brussels-is full of atmospheric cafes, serving up great brews. Some stock a hundred beers, and others, just a handful. Perhaps variety is the area’s greatest asset.
One of these places is Café De Welkom, located at a crossroads between Schepdaal and Dilbeek. There are only 17 beers on the list of this small, two-room cafe, but one of them-really, one beer of two different ages-makes a visit here worthwhile, without question. The Brouwerij Girardin sign out front may be the only giveaway as to which beer I’m speaking of, as the menu doesn’t specify!
On a trip in December, 2012, I savored both jonge (young) and oud (old) versions of Girardin straight lambic, pulled from a handpump. This often produces a beer with more carbonation than the more commonly seen bag-in-box used by the brewery.
Both the jong and oud lambic were in superb condition: fruity, midly tart, and moderately complex for the old, with about 9 to 12 months of age, and refreshing and wheaty for the young, with 3 or so months of maturation on wood. At a price of 1.40 euro for what must be a 10-ounce mug, they were certainly a great bargain as well!! My companion and I savored more than one round before we headed elsewhere.
De Welkom also offers Orval, Rodenbach, Westmalle and a few other brews, at low prices. Remarkably, the menu (see photo) merely reads “Lambik” without mention of the brand-Girardin!! The café is open from 10 am to 10 pm, and closed on Wednesdays. No website. The address is Jan De Trochstraat 137, Schepdaal. Telephone is 02 569 60 54.