By Justin Chao
What's not to like about Bruges? It's got incredible beer and incredible chocolate shops. I stopped by De Halve Maan, the only active family brewery in the center of Bruges. I decided to take the tour. The tour guide walked us through all the steps that it takes to brew beer, but the highlight was being able to taste the beer at the end.
After the brewery tour, I wandered around Bruges and found a store with loaves of nougat. I couldn't resist and bought some salted caramel nougat. It was delicious! I'm tempted to try to make some when I get some free time.
That night I had more beer at De Garre. Located down an alley, De Garre was very difficult to find, but it was well worth the effort. I had the Garre Tripel which is uniquely served at De Garre. It was served with cheese which I needed since the beer is 11% alcohol. The beer is so well balanced that you don't taste the alcohol.
On my second night in Bruges, I stopped by Bar Azar because I heard that they have a nice garden there. I'm not sure what I was thinking because it was the middle of January, but I decided to sit outside and enjoy the garden. While I was there, I started talking to the people next to me. Before I knew it, they had brought me a large box of chocolates from a chocolate shop named Pralifino. I bought several boxes of chocolate in Bruges, but this was by far the best box chocolates I brought home from Bruges. I don't think that it's typical to receive large boxes of chocolates from strangers in Bruges, but I found people in Bruges to be quite friendly.