The Belgium Beer Tour (Public Tour August 26 - September 1, 2018)

Tasting
Beer, Local Food
Activity
Tour
Overnight Tour (2+days)
Chauffeured Tours
Walking Tour
Brewery Tour
Included
Hotel
Meal
Pick up
Tour guide
Languages
English
Theme
Upscale
Private
Cultural
Historical
Minimum Drinking Age
21
$
3,300
/ Person
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Activity Overview
Since the first Crusades the Church allowed abbeys to brew and distribute beer as a fundraising method. Trappist monks carry on those deep traditions today with their dark, sweet, complex ales while Belgian craft brewers create their own rich brewing history by experimenting with modern beer flavors.

Throughout this beautiful country, we will visit many of these breweries, new and old, to learn more about the people, their history, and the beers they brew. We’ll also visit several of Belgium’s renowned Beer Cafés along the way, all the while enjoying what might come as a surprise to some – delicious food that blends traditions and mixes the multiple cultures in Belgium.

Life is short and so it makes sense to maximize your time in Belgium. This seven-day vacation does just that. We will tour much of the country, staying in six different cities and villages including Brussels, Bruges, Watou, Ghent, and Herzele. We will visit over a dozen breweries, abbeys, beer restaurants, and beer museums and your Hosts will show you some of our favorite off-the-beaten-path Beer Cafés and restaurants and introduce you to some of our favorite people in Belgium’s beer culture.

Tour Itinerary

DAY 1 IN BRUSSELS

Welcome to Brussels, Belgium!

Our journey starts after lunch, allowing you to arrive in Brussels this morning or the evening before.  After a few short introductions, we head out for a walk around the beautiful city of Brussels, visiting ancient sites including Europe’s most impressive plaza, The Grand Place.

We’ll taste arguably the world’s best chocolate along with Belgian Beer at Laurent Gerbaud. Afterwards, we hop on a local train to head to Brasserie Cantillon for a tour and tasting of this unique brewery.

Cantillon uses natural yeasts that are present in the air around us for fermentation. From there we will walk to have a conversation, craft beers and craft cheeses with our friend Jean Hummler at Moeder Lambic.

This evening we’ll enjoy Belgium’s typical food specialties and beer cuisine at Restobières not far from The Grand Place.

DAY 2 IN BRUGES

Today we travel to the northwestern part of Belgium, to the city of Bruges in a special region known as Flanders. Bruges is known for its rich history, impressive architecture, tasty food, and great beer cafés.  Once we stop off at our hotel, we explore by foot on a walking tour of this grand city.

We end our walk with an educational tour and our own blending session at Bourgogne des Flandres. Bourgogne des Flandres specializes in the Flemish beer blending tradition of mixing fresh beer with aged beer to create a perfect balance of flavors.

We then head to lunch at one of the last remaining family-owned breweries in the Bruges city center, Brewery De Halve Maan.  You may have heard about their new 2-mile beer pipeline they recently built leading from their brewery in city center to their bottling plant in an industrial area. The pipeline carries 1,500 gallons of beer an hour at 12 mph, which has saved them hundreds of truck trips a year. When you see the narrow, historic streets of Bruges, you will wonder how the tankers ever made their way through originally!

After the tour, we make our way to t’ Brugs Beertje where we’ll have the choice of 300+ Belgian beers. These beers include commercial brands, seasonal varieties, and unique and hard-to-find brews.

DAY 3 IN BRUGES & WATOU

Today we begin with a tour and tasting at the Rodenbach Brewery, where they have world-renowned cask halls with 294 oak casks, some of which are 150 years old. Rodenbach was started in 1821 and is famous for their barrel-aged sour beers that are brewed in the Flemish red style.

Next, we pack up and drive to St. Bernadus Breweryin Watou.  This is also where we will be staying overnight as they have a B&B attached to the brewery. We’ll grab lunch and have a chance to sample their blonde and dark abbey ales.  But don’t fill up too much as we make our way through fields of wheat, barley, and hops to arrive In de Vrede at St. Sixtus Abbey, a fully functioning abbey where the monks are world-famous for producing fantastic Westvletren Belgian-style beers. This is one of the only places in the world where you can buy these highly sought after beers.

We then head back to our lodging at the St. Bernadus Brewery to relax before enjoying a delicious dinner at the Hommelhof, known for its beer-based heavenly cuisine.

DAY 4 IN YPRES & GHENT

We start our morning with another lovely scenic drive through the varied, wooded landscapes, hop fields, and hilly roads as we depart Watou heading for Ypres.  The WWI Battle of Ypres had reduced the town to rubble and was almost entirely destroyed.  After the war, the citizens of Ypres meticulously reconstructed the town’s most important buildings, which in turn give it modern day medieval feel today.

During our stop, we’ll enjoy lunch at a newer brewery that opened in 2014 but is housed in a building with quite a bit of history. Kazematten‘s building was originally built as part of Louis XIV’s fortress back in the 1680s and used for storing weapons into the 20th century. We’ll get to taste their Grotten Sante, a spicy dark brown beer, and their Wiper Times 14, a highly fermented blond beer.

We then head for one of our favorite cities in all of Europe, Ghent, where we will be staying for the night.

DAY 5 IN GHENT

Our day starts with Champagne! Champagne Beer that is.

Today we head for the village of Buggenhout, where we’ll visit Malheur, known for their traditional Champagne-style beers. Afterwards, we return to Ghent where you will have some time on your own to explore the city, find a nice place for lunch, and maybe do some shopping.

We’ll then meet at one of our favorite breweries, Gruut. Their beers are unique because they use special spices (gruit) instead of hops to flavor and preserve their beers.

At this point in our tour, we have seen and experienced an abundance of Belgian history. For a change of pace, we will be dining at a restaurant where history meets the modern day. The Belga Queen is located in an 18th-century landmark building but inside it boasts contemporary architecture with a gastro-pub menu.

One of the best ways to taste the wide variety of beers available in Belgium is in Beer Cafes (bars) and there are several outstanding beer cafes for us to explore in Ghent either before or after dinner, including the historic Herberg De Dullie Griet just off one of the oldest squares in the city. When you order a beer here, they take one of your shoes and hoist it in a basket to the ceiling! You’ll get your shoe back when you return the glass.

DAY 6 IN HERZELE & BRUSSELS

After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll check out of our hotel and begin our journey back to where we began, Brussels.  But we’ll, of course, have to whet our whistle along the way and stop at the Brewery De Ryck in Herzele.

Brewery De Ryck is a 4th generation family-owned brewery whose current brewmaster, Anne De Ryck, is one of Belgium’s first (and few) female brewmasters. We will also have the chance to explore the ruins of the Herzele Castle that date back to the beginning of the 7th century before getting back on the road to Brussels.

To cap off the night, we’ll stop into a few of Brussel’s world famous beer cafes to raise a toast to our final evening together.

DAY 7 IN BRUSSELS

On our final morning, we’ll have breakfast in the hotel and bid each other farewell.

You are then free to continue on your travels – take a return home, stay in Brussels for another day, or perhaps take the high-speed train to Paris, London or even Amsterdam!

TOUR ACCOMMODATIONS:
  • Night 1: Hotel Welcome – In the heart of Brussels, Hotel Welcome is a unique and well-situated hotel that allows us to walk everywhere we need to go in Brussels. Each room is decorated as a different country. The market is located in the plaza in front of the hotel.
  • Night 2: Hotel Patritius – This hotel is loved for its location, staff, private garden, and family-owned atmosphere. Located a few blocks from the heart of the city.
  • Night 3: St. Bernadus – Attached to the St. Bernadus Brewery, this charming B&B is located just outside of Watou town center. Though the accommodations are quite simple, what could be more fun than staying the night in a brewery?
  • Night 4 & 5: Sandton Grand Hotel – One of the greenest hotels in Ghent, this hotel offers the perfect blend of original and authentic design, comfort, and luxury.
  • Night 6: Hotel Marivaux – Formerly a theater in the 1920s, this hotel is perfectly situated in the heart of Brussels, allowing us to walk everywhere we need to go.
Accommodation upgrades available upon request.

*Please note: Hotels are subject to availability.  If the listed hotel is not available at the time of the tour, a hotel that is equal or better to the original will be secured.

PRIVATE TOUR OPTION
Private Tours are available to book with your own group on any date you choose, given lodging availability, as either a Classic or Deluxe tour

Deluxe Tour: $4,700 per person (optional $1,100 single suppl.)
Classic Tour: $3,400 per person (optional $850 single suppl.)
Minimum: 6 people (Alternative pricing for fewer people available, please contact our tour operations team for more information.)
Customizations to the above itinerary possible with additional per person fees

The following is included in our Deluxe Tour offering:
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
  • All our wine tours include tastings of very good to excellent wines. However, these are not necessarily rare, reserve, or old wines. If you would like to upgrade your wine tastings on a private tour, please let us know in advance and we are happy to arrange that at an additional cost.
  • Upgraded to luxury accommodations
 
Practical information
ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE
We meet in the early afternoon in Brussels, allowing you to arrive that morning or on a prior day as you wish. Getting to the Hotel Welcome in Brussels from the airport or train station is easy and we will provide complete information in your Pre-Departure Packet.

Our adventure ends in Brussels late morning on our final day. You can easily take a return train to Bruges or wherever your next adventure lies!

BEER HIGHLIGHTS
Cantillon – Brussels
Moeder Lambic – Brussels
Restobieres – Brussels
Brewery De Halve Maan – Bruges
t’ Brugs Beertje – Bruges
Rodenbach Brewery – Roselare
St Bernadus Brewery – Watou
In de Vrede at St. Sixtus Abbey (Westvelteren) – Watou
Hommelhof – Watou
Kazematten – Ypres
Bosteels Deus Landtsheer Malheur – Ghent
Gruut – Ghent
Brewery De Ryck – Herzele
 
Included
  • All Local Transportation
  • Double Occupancy Lodging
  • Breakfasts and Dinners
  • All Scheduled Activities and Brewery Visits
  • Professional Tour Host
Not Included
  • Gratuities to your guides
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel to and from destination
  • Travel insurance is also not included
Group-size:
6-16 people
Rates
Per
Price
Person
$
3,300
Add-on
Per
Price
Pricing info
Person
$
900
Public Tour Optional single supplement
Timing
Dates
Start Time
More Information
More information about the timing
On Aug 18, 20191:00 PMPublic Tour Dates
Daily1:00 PMPrivate Tour Dates Of Your Choosing
Duration
7 Days
More Info
Cancellation Policy
Non-Refundable
  • Cancellations made at a later date will not be refunded.
2 reviews   0 comments
Overall Experience
(5.0 of 5)
It was a trip of a lifetime. I haven't stopped telling people how much food I had.
Overall Experience
0
0
Thanks for putting on such an amazing tour, and for making our anniversary extra special. We haven't stopped smiling since we got home.
Overall Experience
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