Your trip begins as you fly to Brussels, Belgium. Meals and overnight aloft.
Walking Tour/Pub Crawl, Welcome Dinner
Upon arrival in Brussels, transfer to our hotel just steps from the Grand Place in the heart of Brussels. After time to settle we will meet in the hotel lobby for a walking/orientation tour of Brussels. Before our dinner this evening we will visit a couple famous cafes and bars to drink some great beer. Our dinner takes place at In t' Spinnekopke which is known for their cuisine a la biere. Overnight in Brussels. (Dinner)
AM Free, Cantillon, Tasting at Moeder Lambic, PM Free
The morning is free to enjoy and explore eclectic, bustling Brussels. This afternoon we will start at the beginning... of beer... history... in Brussels... at least! Cantillon is one of 2 remaining breweries in Brussels. We will tour the living museum, learn about Lambic, the beer of the region, and of course taste up to 5 or 6 different beers. After the visit, we'll have a beer tasting and snacks at Moeder Lambic Fontinas, home to one of the best beer lists anywhere. After our freestyle beer tasting, the remainder of the evening is free. Dinner plans and pub-crawls will ferment. Overnight in Brussels. (B, T)
Brassigaume Beer Festival, to Durbuy, Dinner on the Town
This morning we board our private coach bound for the hinterlands of the Gaume region and the Brassigaume Beer Festival in Marbehan. Sunday at opening time is favorite time to attend the festival! Brassigaume has become one of the best Belgian beer events. after the festival we will travel into the heart of the Ardennes, and the small town of Durbuy, a lovely small vacation community that prides itself on gatronomy! Overnight Durbuy. (B, BF)
Brewery Visit, Bouillon Fortified Chateau, Beer Dinner
This morning we will visit a nearby brewery for a tour and tasting. After the visit, we will eat lunch nearby, before continuing to Bouillon, our home for the night. Perched above the town on the Semois River is the fortified Chateau de Bouillon. It was from here that first Crusades were launched in the 900's. This is a very fun, explore -on-your-own castle. This evening we’ll have a fine multi-course, regional beer dinner in our hotel. Overnight in Bouillon. (B, L, D)
Orval, Chimay, Dupont -- Oh My!
After breakfast this morning, we load up the beer bus and travel west to Orval to enjoy their distinctive atmosphere and wonderfully bitter golden ale. We will tour the abbey and the brewery and make a stop at the brewery-tap just down the road to see the monks enjoying their craft and taste Orval's beer and cheese. Next we travel to Chimay for a late lunch in Chimay's restaurant. Our last stop is a visit to Les Caves dupont -- the brewery bar of the quintessential farmhouse brewery - Brasserie Dupont. After some time with the locals and a tasting of their many region products, we travel to Brugge where we spend the next three nights. Overnight in Brugge. (B, L)
Walking Tour in Brugge, Free Time in Brugge
This morning we'll enjoy a locally guided tour of beautiful Brugge. The remainder of the day is free to explore beautiful medieval Brugge. Take a city tour, by canal boat, horse drawn carriage, local tour bus, or foot. There are dozens of great bars in close proximity to museums, cathedrals, parks and public squares. There are also a couple of local breweries and a brewing museum if you want more beer related activities. Tonight or tomorrow we will indulge in a gourmet beer meal at Erasmus, a restaurant offering courses paired with fine beers. Overnight in Brugge. (B)
Today we visit a brewery that represents the turbulent and prestigious history of Belgian brewing: Rodenbach and Liefman's. Each brewery features museum-like historical aspects which add to the distinct character that can also be seen in their beers. The evening is free to enjoy our final night in Brugge. Overnight in Brugge. (B, D)
Free Morning in Brugge, Antwerp Walking Tour/Pub Crawl
The day is free untill our 1:00 PM transfer to Antwerp for the final 2 nights of our trip. Brugge, Antwerp and Gent are all in close proximity and offer attractions, beer or otherwise, that are worth visits. This evening we will explore some of Antwerp's notable and historic bars. Overnight in Antwerp. (B)
Full Free Day in Antwerp, Farewell Beer Dinner
Today is free. This evening we will have a farewell beer dinner. Overnight in Antwerp. (B, D)
Alas, time to go home.
Alas, we must leave beer heaven. Antwerp and Brussels are served by the same international airport, so a variety of transfer options will be available. (B)
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!