Great Trips... Made Better With Beer!
Get ready for a uniquely Belgian (and a little bit Dutch) beer and food adventure, as we experience the best of Europe's most underrated nation. We will start in hip and historic Gent with its Castle, riverside beer cafes, and ecclectic restaurants, hit the big Zythos Beer Festival, travel to the scenic Ardennes and spend a couple days in the cool Dutch city of Maastrich. Along the way we will eat great local cuisine, visit a couple breweries, and take in this historic area.
The trip ends in Brussels - the home of Lambic. Meet blenders, brewers, and see working brewing museums where controlled as well as spontaneous fermentation and just the right conditions create the unique variety that is Belgian Beer. The trip starts in Gent on the eve of the incomparable Zythos Beer Festival and ends in Brussels. Great Beer, rising-star brewers, an incomparable beer festival, the living/working steam brewery at Vapeur, not to mention mussels, waffles and frites, cool cities, great meals, fine hotels, and travel by private coach make this a connoisseurs dream trip!
(Land-only, Based on double occupancy)
$3495 per person | Single Room add extra $785
Beer Highlights & Brewery Visits*
Gent Breweries | Abbaye du Val-Dieu | Brouwerij Kerkom | Jandrain-Jandrenouille | Brasserie Vapeur | Cantillon | Brasserie de la Senne | L'Ermitage | Zythos Beer Fest
3 nights Gent | 1 night in the Ardennes | 2 nights in Maastricht | 3 nights Brussels
Guided City Tours in Gent, Maastricht and Brussels
9 Breakfasts | 4 Lunches | 3 Dinners
Arrival & Departure
Trip Begins & Ends Brussels, Belgium
Other airports within 3 hours by rail include Amsterdam (AMS), Paris (CDG), and Cologne.
Day 1, Thursday, April 20
Fly to Europe
Day 2, Friday, April 21
Arrive Gent, City Tour, Brewery, Welcome Dinner
Upon arrival at Brussels international airport, transfer by rail and taxi to our hotel in the beating heart of bustling Gent. This afternoon, meet the group for a locally guided walking tour/pub crawl en route to our Welcome Beer Dinner on the water. Many great bars await for those with energy in reserve. Overnight Gent. (Dinner)
Day 3, Saturday, April 22
Morning Brewery Visit, Afternoon to Zythos Festival
Hop on the beer bus this morning as we head towards the Zythos Beer Festival, but on the way we will stop by a favorite brewery for a tour and tasting. We'll have an afternoon session, enjoy some festival food and beer banter and return to Gent this evening. Overnight Gent. (B)
Day 4, Sunday, April 23
Free Day in Gent
Today is totally free to enjoy cool and historic Gent on a spring Sunday. Overnight Gent. (B)
Day 5, Monday, April 24
To the Ardennes, Rochefort Stop & Lunch en route to Durbuy
This morning we depart Gent on the Beer Bus, bound for the Ardennes and beyond! Lunch and other diversions await along the way. Durbuy is said to be the smallest town in the world, and is a charming town to explore, with interesting architecture, and is known for its gastronomy. Overnight in the Ardennes. (B, L)
Day 6, Tuesday, April 25
Visit Val Dieu, Beery Lunch, to Maastricht
An early morning start today as we head south-east and then north to visit the Abbey of Val Dieu - the only abbey to survive the French Revolution. We can walk the lovely grounds, visit the centuries-old Church, and will enjoy a beery regional lunch, set amidst the timbers and gears of an old mill. And, of course, we will taste the beer from this non-Trappist Cistercian Abbey. After lunch we head to Maastricht with a short stop at the We will make a stop at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial, for a sober moment before our 2 nights in Maastricht. Many bars and restaurants abound near the hotel in the modern, hip Dutch city on the Maas River. Overnight Maastricht. (B, L)
Day 7, Wednesday, April 26
This morning we will join a local guide for a walk around Maastricht. We will get a bit of history and geographic orientation, and likely see some converted churches now being used as bars and bookstores. The remainder of the day is free to explore and enjoy Maastrich's rich history, architecture, and cultural spirt. Overnight Maastricht. (B, D)
Day 8, Thursday, April 27
To Brussels, via Kerkom & Jandrain-Jandrenouille, Brussels Walking Tour
Our first stop today is Brouwerij Kerkom, a BeerTrips favorite for beer, ambience, and hospitality. We will see the old brown cafe, the coaching inn, the old, well-storied brewery, taste all the beers they brew, and enjoy a simple farmers lunch. Did you hear the one about the hops brokers who started brewing beer? This is what happened at our next stop Jandrain-Jandrenouille, and now they brew some great beers. we will meet the brewers, see the small brewery, and proceed to taste. After the visit we travel to Brussels, to meet local guide for tour around town. Overnight Brussels. (B, L)
Day 9, Friday, April 28
Big Brussels Breweries & Beers Day
Today is all about the beers and breweries of Brussels. Cantillon, L'Ermitage, and Brasserie De La Senne, all on the docket. See where the beers are made, taste them in optimum condition. With a break for food in between. Overnight Brussels. (B)
Day 10, Saturday, April 29
Brasserie Vapeur Brewday, Farewell Brussels Beer Dinner
Oh my, we have a big day in store! We'll head out early so we cam see the old steam brewery at Brasserie Vapeur in action. Gears, belts, mash tuns all running off a 19th century steam engine, it is a sight to behold. We will also enjoy some pub games, lots of funky beer, a great lunch of local products and perhaps the best cheese board anywhere -- 20 plus cheese from a 50 kilometer radius of the brewery. Overnight Brussels. (B, L, D)
Day 11, Sunday, April 30
Alas, time to go home. Breakfast this morning is the last event. Direct trains to the airport take about 20 minutes with frequent departures. Cheers! (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!