A glasswasher for Pelgrom beer bar in Antwerp
Allowing Belgian beer to shine in spotlessly clean glassware
Once upon a time, pilgrims rested their tired heads here on sacks of straw. Today, locals and tourists alike gather to enjoy a beer. Pelgrom nestles in the heart of Antwerp, just a stone's throw from the city's stunning cathedral. Since 1993, this 14th–15th century former hostel has housed a bar, a guesthouse and a restaurant. The menu concept was overhauled in mid 2018 and now Pelgrom serves only Belgian food, beer and spirits, while music by internationally famous Belgian artists resounds in the vaults of the beer bar.
Bar in Antwerp: keeping the beer flowing!
The atmosphere is a blend of mediaeval and modern. On entry, the eye is drawn to the 24 designer beer taps on the bar and the shelf displaying over 100 beer bottles. Danny Oris has been managing director since 1994 and is a beer connoisseur par excellence. ‘Beer quality depends on a range of factors such as temperature. Some beers need 6 °C and some need 12 °C. Every Sunday, we detach the casks from the lines so we can rinse the lines with water. We have so much to do! Beer tastes best when it flows properly. A stagnant cask will finish it off.’ That is why the beer bar offers what it calls ‘degusharing.’ This is a board with two 125 ml tasting glasses and two bottles. Then there is a half or a whole metre, allowing guests to try a range of different beers from tap.
Restaurant in Antwerp: Belgian classics made with beer
All dishes served to guests in the restaurant are made with Belgian ingredients and beer. The menu features real Belgian classics like cheese and prawn croquettes, roast meat casserole, rabbit with prunes, waterzooi (meat stew) and chocolate mousse. Every dish is listed with a recommended beer pairing. During the week, the bar is frequented by businesspeople and at the weekend the clientele is a real mix of tourists and locals – including an ever-growing contingent of young people – enjoying the Pelgrom atmosphere and the culinary delights on offer.
‘We simply do not have time to do our own polishing.’
When the menu concept was redesigned and everything was modernised, the kitchen gained a new dishwashing machine. Danny Oris explains, ‘We used to have to wash and polish the glasses ourselves but that is just not possible anymore. Last weekend we had an order for 10 Antwerp metres of beer; that is 80 glasses for one order. The old dishwashing machine did not fit into the new bar and it was already pretty old. And we still had to hand polish.’ On advice from dealer A. Vreys, the bar therefore bought a MEIKO M-iClean UM glasswasher.
A glasswasher that adds value
The new glasswasher features reverse osmosis technology, making hand polishing a thing of the past. ‘The value this offers us is huge. We save so many man hours. And speed is incredibly important for us. We simply do not have time to do our own polishing! The investment we made in the reverse osmosis system is quickly paying off.’ Says the managing director.
Saving resources and money with a MEIKO glasswasher
‘This glasswasher uses much less water than washing by hand. And water is getting more and more expensive. Some traditional pubs still wash by hand but the cost is driving them to replenish the rinse water less and less often. That means greasy glasses which leads to a smaller head on the beer. Going back to washing and polishing by hand is simply not an option for us,’ reports Danny Oris.
For clients who want their glasses and dishes to sparkle, improving the water quality is essential – and that calls for demineralisation or osmosis.