Nico’s Belgian Beer House

As a song, Born Slippy never fails to impress, even after twenty years. The haunting track from the last glory era of Leeds United, before the Whites derailed. I never gave much thought to the lyrics, which take some fathoming if I’m to be honest. Least ways, not until after more than seven days in Spanish territory when I just couldn’t stop shouting, Lager, Lager, Lager, Lager! Shouting, Lager, Lager, Lager, lager, ad infinitum.

Nico Nico

Nico

Unfortunately that’s all you can get on Fuerteventura – Lager, Lager, Lager, Lager! (or Guinness or John Smiths smooth).

Sat poolside, drinking – Lager, Lager, Lager, Lager! I recalled a post in a forum about where to find decent beer when you’re on holiday which advised looking on Ratebeer or Untappd. Sounds a good idea so I Googled it instead and found two possible locations.

We had a walk into Corralejo town to find The Fuerteventura Beer Shop, which appears to now be commercial office premises. Undeterred, we wandered around to the only other hit Nico’s Belgian Beer House . Unfortunately at 2.00pm on a Sunday, it was firmly closed, so we reverted to plan B – watch some football and drink more Lager, Lager, Lager, Lager!

If you are ever in Corralejo, then I thoroughly recommend Nico’s Belgian Beer House as the only alternative in the Town, possibly the island, to Lager, Lager, Lager, Lager! If you do visit then be sure to wait until the moon rises as it doesn’t open until late afternoon, at least 3.00pm, maybe later, depending on what time Nico finished the night before.

It’s not a big place, but it’s got a good atmosphere, outside tables on the roadside and a sort of moody, dark reddish gloom inside. Seriously it’s pretty cool, there is some nice wall art and a bit of a surfing thing happening, it’s just not the place where you go to read the newspaper. Anyway, I didn’t go for the first rate ambience, I went for a decent beer that wasn’t Lager, Lager, Lager, Lager!

Nico bar

The Bar

Guess what? They’ve got shed loads, forty four Belgian bottled beers on the menu and some additional, ever-changing specials as well, plus another eight International beers including Wife Beater on draught and John Smith’s Smooth in cans. Oh, and in case you’re interested, the toilets pass the test with flying colours.

As soon as you walk in you are cordially greeted by owner Nico Pintens whose story is as interesting as the bar and beer itself. Originally a professional ‘Precision Driver’ and ‘Test Driver’ for BMW, Mercedes and others, including Top Gear. No he’s not the Stig. he bought the bar about twenty months ago after a tragic life changing experience lead him to seek a more chilled out lifestyle. A Belgian by birth from the Antwerp sort of area you’d think that the easy going Nico would be an expert on Belgian ales. Well, he is, he just doesn’t drink them, in fact he doesn’t drink alcohol. A throw back from his previous profession and outstanding professionalism whilst behind the bar.. He does know about the beers though and the comprehensive menu has tasting notes in four languages.

The first beer I tried was a Delirium Tremens (8.5%), rude not to really, especially at €5 a bottle, somewhere around four quid at my reckoning. Nico was a bit upset at that because he’d only got one Delirium Tremens glass and someone was using it already. Apparently it’s difficult maintaining stocks of the correct shaped and branded glasses and he’s constantly battling supply against breakage/theft. He told me the Kwak glasses run out at €28 each! Despite this he insists that every drink is served in the correct glass and he will look down his nose at chavvers who are low enough to drink the Belgian nectar direct from the bottle.

Nico beer

Top range of Belgian beers

Mrs C tried a Liefmann’s Fruitesse ‘On the rocks’. I’ve never seen this before and Nico reckons it’s the only beer that’s sold as, to be drunk on the rocks. I’m no Belgian beer expert but I’ll bow to his knowledge. What I can say is this fruity, red berries with a hit of sour/sharpness is a very pleasant drink at about 10.00pm when it’s still around 20 degrees outside. My second was a Grimbergen Tripel (9%), again very nice and very strong but so much better than Lager, Lager, Lager, Lager! Prices? €3 a bottle for the (3.8%) Liefmann’s and €5 for the stronger, above 5% beers.

Although it’s a walk out of the town centre, it really is worth it for the all round experience. Nico prides himself on his beers and the chilled out atmosphere. If it’s busy you might have to wait to be served as he is the sole member of staff. But, like he says, if you don’t want to wait there are another 161 bars in Corallejo, which all serve Lager, Lager, Lager, Lager!

Overall verdict: Beer highlight of Corrallejo, Fuerteventura.

Nico ext

Outside seating

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