Great Trips... Made Better With Beer!
Start in lively Amsterdam for some better-than-you-would-expect beer locales. Travel via rail to little known Nijmegen to see an innovative brewpub and then on to well known Cologne, Germany for a look at life among the Kolners. After a thorough investigation of German "small serving" ales, we head to Brussels, Belgium. Belgium is beer heaven and you will soon know why, as we look up some old friends for some special visits! Along the way, explore and enjoy several distinct languages and styles of beer and the great cities where they grew up. Mega Lagers and a refreshing number of emerging Dutch craft brewers, Kolsch in Cologne, Alt in Dusseldorf, Lambic and the cornucopia of Belgian selections in Flanders and Wallonia, all await. Each city offers centuries of history, great architecture, vibrant European culture... and really great places to drink beer. Stay in fine, well located hotels in each city. Enjoy locally guided city tours, brewery visits, and great beer meals. Travel by convenient public transportation, private Beer Bus and excellent European rail.
Trip Price (Land-only, Based on double occupancy)
$3495 per person | Single Room add extra $985
Beer Highlights & Brewery Visits*
Really, Really, Great Beer: Dutch lagers, an all Dutch micro-brew tasting, Abbey, Trappist, Lambic, Saison, Alt, Kolsch -- all at their source. Plus the huge variety of Belgian and German styles
Brewery/Tap Room Visits to: Brouwerij t'IJ, La Trappe, Kerkom, Cantillon, PJ Fruh, Gaffel, Zum Uerige, Im Fuchschen and more!
Cologne: With a grand cathedral, the Rhine, historic city centers, Old-Town beer bars, great brewing traditions, and the historic home to Kolsch and Alt styles.
Brussels: The Grand Place, where streets of fine restaurants, beer bars, cafes, and shops pour into the gothic, gabled splendor of Brussels' central square.
Amsterdam!: Canals, Diamonds, Nightlife, Van Gogh, lots of great beer, and other infamous stuff.
Great beer meals! Good folks.
Travel by Private Bus, public means and European Rail.
City Tours/Pub Crawls in Amsterdam, Brussels and Cologne
9 Breakfasts | 5 Lunches | 3 Dinners
Arrival & Departure
Trip Begins in Amsterdam
Trip Ends in Brussels
Day 1 - Thursday
Travel to Amsterdam, Netherlands
Safe Travels! Some folks like to arrive a day or more early to "prepare" for the trip! There is a lot to do and see in Amsterdam, so an extra night or two might be worth it...
Day 2 - Friday
Amsterdam Walking Tour, Beer Dinner
Arrive in Amsterdam and settle into our hotel in the heart of the historic city center. This afternoon, we'll meet in the hotel lobby for a short city tour and cafe exploration before our Welcome beer dinner in friendly and beery confines. (Dinner)
Day 3 - Saturday
Amsterdam Beer Day
On the schedule today: a visit to Amsterdam's own Brouwerij t'Ij to see their small brewery and taste their nice assortment of local Amsterdam ales. The remainder of the day is free to explore Amsterdam's many attractions, bars, cafes, cultural sites, museums and curiosities. This evening we'll have a focused all DUTCH beer tasting with a local expert and publican who owns 2 bars in Amsterdam, one featuring all Dutch beers, the other showcasing America IPAs! (B, T)
Day 4 - Sunday
To Nijmegen, De Hemel Visit, Beer Lunch
Travel by rail this morning to Nijmegen, The Netherlands' oldest city. Upon arrival we'll drop bags at the hotel and reconvene to visit the city's brewery, De Hemel, which proudly limits its distribution to the immediate surroundings. We will have a brewery tour, learn about other beer-derived prducts, and have a chance to taste all their beers and eat lunch in their fine cafe. The evening is free to explore the city and its several notable beer cafes. Overnight in Nijmegen. (B, L)
Day 5 - Monday
La Trappe Lunch, Kolsch Tour, Beer Dinner
This morning, we are bound for Cologne, but, along the way we will stop at the Netherland's sole Trappist brewer, Koenigshoeven/La Trappe. We will tour the lovely grounds, taste all the beers, and enjoy a brewer's lunch. Continue to Cologne. Upon arrival, settle into our hotel in the heart of the historic city center. This afternoon, we'll meet in the hotel lobby for a Walking Kolsch/city tour. A local guide will show us the Altstadt, we will learn some history, and stop for a couple tasty Kolsch along the way. (B, L)
Day 6 - Tuesday
Travel up the Rhine to Cologne's somewhat similar, rival city -- Dusseldorf, where we will visit an Alt brewery and learn the ins and outs of one of Germany's few ales. Enjoy a traditional lunch in an alt lodge, accompanied by perfectly conditioned altbier to wash it down. The afternoon is free to spend some time in another historic alt lodge or two (or six). Return to Cologne this evening. (B, L)
Day 7 - Wednesday
Free day in Cologne
A full day to spend as you wish in one (or two) of Germany's great cities. The Dom, the old city, and many markets offer a wealth of options. Small pods of Kolsch seekers may spontaneously ferment. This evening we will reconvene to enjoy a beer dinner of typical Kolner fare in a traditional Brauhaus.(B, D)
Day 8 - Thursday
To Brussels via Brouwerij Kerkom
This morning we are back on the Beer Bus to travel to Brussels, but along the way we will stop to visit the excellent small brewery in St. Truiden - Kerkom, producer of the Bink family of beers. After a look around this old coaching inn, brown cafe, and evolving brewery, we'll enjoy a simple lunch. Next we continue to Brussels (stocked with some of the world's best beers). After time to check-in we'll meet a local guide for a walking tour/cafe crawl to get oriented in this ecclectic European capital. This evening we'll have a special beer tasting at Moeder Lambic. Dinner options and many great Brussels beer bars await evening exploration. (B, L).
Day 9 - Friday
Mystery Brewery Daytrip
We're keeping today open for a special event. We have a few plans in the works that can't be confirmed just yet, but we will know for sure by the time final itineraries are sent to trip participants. For now it is a mystery! Rest assured, today will be a great opportunity to get a unique view of the brewing process of a fine Belgian Beer or two. (B, L)
Day 10 - Saturday
AM Cantillon Tour, PM free
Cantillon's cob-webbed brewery awaits our exploration this morning as we go to the source of true lambic. We will learn the finer points of production, tour the brewery and taste all the beers available. The remainder of the day is free to explore Brussels until our Farewell beer dinner to celebrate a great trip! (B, D)
Day 11 - Sunday
Alas, we must leave beer heaven. Our hotel is very close to the rail station for train transfers to Brussels Airport or Amsterdam for flights home. (B)
Trip Deposit (per person)
* The deposit is refundable less a $50 cancellation fee up to 60 days prior to departure. For cancellations made less than 60 days prior to departure, the full deposit will be forfeited. For cancellations made after final payment, refunds will be made (where possible) according to service contracts and supplier guidelines; these refunds will be based on recoverable expenses. See the full Terms and Conditions here.
Air Travel is not included. Travelers are encouraged to use mileage awards, travel outside group dates, or visit other European cities while abroad to make the most out of the trip. Please confirm the trip's operation before purchasing air tickets.
Most Trips officially begin in the lobby of the first hotel. Meeting times, information about getting from the airport or train station to the hotel, the detailed itinerary, hotel addresses, and a trip roster will be included with your Final Trip Documents, which you'll receive 2 - 3 weeks before the trip.
How we travel on tour: All included excursions and visits include transportation. Within the cities, we rely on walking and private or public transportation (uber, taxis, busses, trams, etc.). Travel between cities is by private motor coach, luxury van, ferry, and/or rail.
REGARDING INCLUDED MEALS AND BEER:
We don't mess around when it comes to food and beer. Restaurants -- tried and true -- have been carefully selected, based on quality, local knowledge, and insider tips. On a Beer Trip, included meals mean you may order as you please - including beer, appetizers, dessert, etc. We are not stingy -- a lot of food and beer is included on every Beer Trip.
A BeerTrips beer tour is best suited for somewhat adventurous, beer-loving travelers who want the camaraderie and structure of a tour, as well as the opportunity to explore independently. Planned events, brewery visits, locally guided tours, and some excursions are, of course, formally "guided". Travel days, on trains, public means, or the beer bus, as well some group walks, are blissfully unstructured, though travelers can always rely on the support and assistance of the trip leader.
THIS ITINERARY IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE:
In rare cases, it may be necessary to alter the itinerary based on brewery or hotel availability, force majeur, acts of dieties, common sense, or bad weather, etc. Smaller breweries, as well as the Trappists, are often unable to commit to hosting groups until a couple of weeks before we arrive. Substitutions, when necessary, will be as good as what we replaced. And, don't worry, the beer is always good!