Day 1, Thursday
Fly to Europe
Day 2, Friday
Arrive Gent, City Tour, Gruit 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.
Day 3, Saturday
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.
Day 4, Sunday
Free Day in Gent
Today is totally free to enjoy cool and historic Gent on a spring Sunday. Overnight Gent.
Day 5, Monday
To the Ardennes, Brewery Lunch en route
This morning we depart Gent on the Beer Bus, bound for the Ardennes and beyond! Lunch and other diversions await along the way. Tonight we'll enjoy a gourmet beer dinner and some local cheese and chocolate as well. Overnight in the Ardennes.
Day 6, Tuesday
Visit Rulles, Val Dieu, Grain D'Orge, to Maastricht
An early morning start today as we head south-east and then north to visit three fine breweries, with a lunch stop along the way. Each brewery has it's own unique story and delicious range of beers -- a dangerous sampling day, perhaps. Many bars and restaurants abound near the hotel in the modern, hip Dutch city on the Maas River. Overnight Maastricht.
Day 7, Wednesday
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.
Day 8, Thursday
To Brussels, via Kerkom & Jandrain-Jandrenouille
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, and the soon to be working 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. Overnight Brussels.
Day 9, Friday
AM Free Time in Brussels, afternoon Brussels Breweries Visits
Today is totally free until this evening when we travel by coach to Eizeringen for the fantastic Night of Great Thirst to celebrate the miracle of spontaneous fermentation with lambic and gueze from all the producers. After merry-making with other crazy beer lovers, we'll head back to Brussels for the night. Overnight Brussels.
Day 10, Saturday
Brasserie Vapeur Brewday, PM free, Farewell 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.
Day 11, Sunday
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!
The overall style of the trip 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 and excursions will, for the most part, be informal. Guided touring is generally the exception, though travelers can always rely on the support and assistance of the trip leader.
This itinerary is subject to change 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 or better than what we replaced. And, don't worry, the beer is always good!