About This Spot
The Halve Maan Brewery (Half Moon) is a treasure of the city both for its history and photographic delight, not to mention the house beer Brugse Zot & Straffe Hendrick (a full beer is included with the tour). Family owned and operated since opening in 1856, they still brew beer there to this day and offer informative guided tours to see the process in action as well as the old brewery itself.
In 2016 the brewery did something unique for traffic reduction: they installed an underground beer pipe under the streets of Bruges all the way to their bottling centre outside the city ring. Be warned though, no tapping the streets trying to sneak one off the pipe, the beer police will get you!
(This post is from my guide for photography locations in Brugge with SNAPP Guides.)
When To Go
Weekdays are the least busy year-round; low season - November, January and February are the best months to avoid the crowds. Saying that, the winter light here is short and harsh when sunny so plan accordingly or try for a spring/fall visit if possible. Open daily from 10:00am till 6:00pm (Thursday - Sunday till 11pm for the restaurant).
Time To Shoot
Tours are regular and in multiple languages so your options are plenty. The first tours of the day, in lunch-hour and late afternoon (3-5pm) are usually the quietest. Early and late afternoon light is ideal for the roof view; strong sun is best for the city towers view.
What To Shoot
The entire brewery is very photogenic; from the exterior to the tour inside to the restaurant with its classic decor (love those lamps!) and even the gift shop has plenty to offer. I find the tour well worth the cost for the interior views (shoot details when crowded), and the magnificent roof view .
Good To Know
Be prepared with your settings for low to very low light (with mixed white balances) and moving with the group if taking the tour. A wide angle lens for the roof view is useful but not essential; the tour actually stops on the roof for about 5 minutes so you’ll have time enough to shoot. Please be careful if shooting in the restaurant both for people’s privacy/comfort and keep a sharp eye out for the waiting staff as they care for the patrons. Excellent lunch & dinner menu - Flemish stew is a personal favorite.
- Lenses: Midrange zoom, wide angle, fast prime.
- Camera Settings: High ISO as needed, be ready to change lenses
- Tripod: Not recommended as the tour is mostly a continuous walk and space is extremely limited.
More? See my suggestions for which photo gear to travel with via this link.
Photo Gallery of Halve Maan Brewery Bruges
(By your Brugge photo guide Andy McSweneey)
Situated near to the Behijnhof and best reached by foot or bicycle as parking is extremely limited in the area. Look for an open square on the Walplein with the brown-bricked brewery opposite the restaurants - this is easy to spot by the golden half-moon logo and groups going in and out the small arched entrance.