Snow was falling heavily on this Brussels winter Monday night, but physical and human warmth heated the L’Ermitage nano-brewery, making everyone forget about the weather.
A score of humans, speaking about three or four languages amongst themselves, were all tasting stout, dark, blonde, and white beer brewed in the very room they were occupying. Dry sausages and cheese were being served with old-fashioned mustard as Jimi Hendrix’s sweet voice harmonised with his screaming guitar as perfectly as with the scene’s atmosphere. German and English were resounding across the room, while two girls were saluting each other in French and a big fellow was loudly speaking in Polish over the phone.
After about a dozen more Berlin hipsters had arrived and made themselves at home, a quick visit of the brewery began and ended in under ten minutes: it gave everyone a thirst that would quickly be quenched.
Yasar had already visited Brussels 15 years ago, way before A Kind of Guise started, in 2009. He didn’t remember much of that typically touristy visit, except for the Atomium, the fries, the pralines and the beer. To him, Brussels is a place where the EU has settled, and where a few retailers distribute his brand’s men and women German-made clothing and accessories. ‘I discovered another Brussels this time, and I like it very much! It makes me think of a perfect mix of my two favourite cities: Amsterdam and Paris!’
‘It makes me think of a perfect mix of my two favourite cities: Amsterdam and Paris!’
Next to him, Vesna swiftly explained the of/Berlin concept before jokingly complaining that she hadn’t eaten a single Belgian waffle yet after 36 hours in Brussels, which didn’t make sense to her. Next to the European institutions, Belgian delicacies, fries, and beers seem to be the first things that pop to our guests’ minds when thinking about the European capital. But Vesna didn’t expect Brussels’ architecture to make such an impression on her, and was also quite surprised to see so many hip modern shops.
Despite the current awful weather, both Berliners really appreciate the city, its relaxed inhabitants, its thriving cultural scene and its busy nightlife. And with the right conditions and support, they would gladly try and open shop temporarily, in order to get their own taste of Brussels’ business opportunities. But first, they demanded to taste L’Ermitage’s beers again, of course…