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Best Beers In Europe: The Ultimate Microbreweries Tour Of Lille

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2 months ago

Lille on France’s border with Belgium has built a reputation for its world-class microbreweries (very likely the Belgian influence). We’ve curated a self-guided tour of Lille’s city center microbreweries based on local insight so you can experience some of the best beers in Europe.

Outdoor dining in Lille
(Source: Lille Tourism)

We suggest carving out four or five hours so that you have plenty of time to soak in the unique atmosphere of each of the microbreweries. You’re no more than a five-minute walk to the next microbrewery.

First Stop: Le Georges V

Start your journey at Le Georges V where you’ll find a huge selection of beers. The one thing you must do here is try their Le Welsh (which is the Welsh rarebit that Lille is famous for). It’s probably one of the best in Lille, and they make it with a serious pride.

Le Welsh at Georges V Lille
(Source: Georges V Lille)

For the uninitiated, Le Welsh is a supercharged Welsh rarebit made with a very generous amount of melted cheese, beer-soaked bread, ham and usually an egg. Share this one among a couple of friends so that you aren’t in a food coma for the remaining part of the best beers in Europe microbrewery tour of Lille.

Second Stop: B148

Following this, head up Place de Bethune Boulevard de la Liberté to B148 for a proper pub experience and a great selection of Belgian beers and ale. When we checked with them, they confirmed that they do carry 148 kinds of beer so you’ll be lost for choice. B148 truly knows what good beer is. And every type of beer is a flat rate of €7 (at the time of writing).

Interior of B148 in Lille
(Source: B148 – the Place to Beer)

Being a specialised beer house, each one of B148’s beers has been carefully selected. Locals consider B148 an institution, so don’t be surprised if it’s quite busy when you arrive (people will naturally flock to the best beers in Europe).

Third Stop: Klaxx Brewing

If we were creating a list of the best microbreweries in Lille, Klaxx Brewing would be right at the top. Walk five minutes up through the picturesque Place de Béthune to Klaxx for probably the best craft beer experience in Lille. Treat yourself to generous tastings of their range of great beers that you can’t find anywhere else. The owner is also visibly passionate about beer so don’t be afraid to engage him.

Klaxx also has a unique lab-like ambience, and its handful of craft beers available to try, buy and take home. There’s only a few beers on top at one time at Klaxx which means you’re always getting a curated experience. And don’t miss the Triple Modern!

Fourth Stop: Ministry of Beer

Continue a short distance up Place de Béthune and turn right on Rue Nationale. You’ll see the Ministry of Beer on the corner of Rue Esquermoise. The Ministry of Beer prides itself on the very specialised knowledge of each of its sales advisors.

Interior of Ministry of Beer in Lille
(Source: Ministry of Beer)

There are beers here that are impossible to find elsewhere which makes this a very unique experience. The Ministry of Beer is a little pricier than the others, but in return for an extra few euros you’ll be spoiled for choice with a huge range (over 300) local beers.

Fifth Stop: CÉLESTIN

Your second last stop for the day is CÉLESTIN which is just a few minutes’ walk up Rue Esquermoise. On your way, you’ll pass Patisserie Méert, which is considered one of the oldest patisseries in the whole of France.

CÉLESTIN is famous among locals for its pure passion for beer. Walk all the way to the back to see the small room that houses the brewery. Ask the staff to do a small tour of the brewery which will come with a beer tasting. It’s small, but you can still take a large group with you to sample all of their home-brewed local beers.

CÉLESTIN prides itself on using natural raw materials to brew their beers, making their beers organic. They also add spices and fruits to their beers which creates totally unexplored flavours. CÉLESTIN’s La Dix beer is matured in Sauternes barrels to which they add pumpkin and curry. It’s truly like nothing else.

CÉLESTIN’s packaging is beautifully done so this is the perfect gift to take home from Lille.

Last Stop: La Capsule

Your last stop of the day is only a three-minute walk – you can do it! La Capsule is a refined beer hall with plenty of space (including in its vaults downstairs) for you to relax and debrief the day’s best beers in Europe. Expect to go overboard at La Capsule with their huge selection of sours (the Quebec pastry smells like maple syrup).

La Capsule doesn’t offer tasting on the weekends so if you want to taste then you might be a Friday day activity. But if you do go on the weekend and finish your tour here, weekend nights are very vibrant and you’ll see a mix of locals and foreigners alike.

Want more?

There is no better city in Europe than Lille to experience the beautiful things that happen when the Belgian love for beer is combined with the French passion for culinary excellence. There are plenty of other microbreweries in Lille to keep you going, but the microbreweries on this tour are considered some of the best by savvy locals so savor the moment in each of them.

Old building in Lille

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