Flash back seven years… I was on a post-college trip through Europe, visiting a friend who was staying in Brussels, Belgium. I was determined to experience as much of the Belgian culture as I could. Being 24-years-old at the time, this boiled down to Belgian waffles, chocolates, mussels, and of course, the beer.
One night during the trip we were invited to try this famous bar that held the Guinness Record for offering the most beers of any bar in the world. It was called Delirium Cafe. Upon arrival, we were given a beer menu that had over 2,000 beers on it. Yep 2,000+ beers. (Excuse the poor quality of the photos, iPhone cameras have come along way in seven years.)
It was amazing, fascinating, daunting, and intimidating all at the same time. We journeyed through several Belgian offerings and started to choose beers by finding the weirdest names we could spot. I got a huge kick out of having a Duff beer from Germany, branded with the same logo used on the famous beer from The Simpsons TV show.
Back in the present day… I was really excited to hear that the and first U.S. based Delirium Cafe (and seventh in the world) was coming to our area, in Leesburg, VA. We were lucky enough to be invited to a preview to check it out before the official May 15th opening.
The cafe is located in a remodeled historic building in downtown Leesburg and dons the signature pink elephant on the sign. You notice the main bar when you first walk in, decked out with Delirium-branded taps and posters.
Every Delirium Cafe is meant to be unique from the original location and include some local touches. The draft list, which will change very frequently, had 25 beers including a full variety of Delirium classics along with other Belgian-styled beers and local offerings from DMV breweries.
The beverage director comes from Od Ox Brewery in nearby Ashburn, so the local ties are definitely strong. However, her self-proclaimed “geekiness” towards all beer is evident in the eclectic yet discerning selections that were available. This can also be seen on their bottle list that had over 100 beers to choose from – not quite the 2,000+ seen at the Brussels location, but very impressive nonetheless.
The food menu at Delirium Cafe in Leesburg will offer a mixture of Belgian-inspired dishes and modern-American fare. This means mussels, fries, bratwurst, and waffles alongside mac and cheese, a pork belly club, braised short rib, and salmon over couscous. There will be a variety of flavors for the mussels (including chorizo, bier & butter) and fries (cheese, poutine, and more) to choose from as well as a chicken & waffles dish.
This new location certainly brought back some memories from my trip to Brussels, and has me excited for some new beer adventures in the good old DMV, perhaps on the patio next time.
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