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Great Beers of Belgium
with Brassigaume festival
October 19 - 29, 2017
Departs every year in October
Belgium makes a strong case for being "beer heaven".
From your first beer in Brussels until the last Antwerp, you will
experience a wide variety of classic breweries and their great beers
in optimum condition. Multi-night stays in Brussels, Brugge, and
Antwerp; and an overnight pilgrimage to visit a couple of Trappist
Breweries in southern Belgium, offer a variety of great beer and
cultural experiences. There is plenty of time to explore on your
own and take in Belgium's rich history and culture as well. Many
great meals, visits to unique and historic breweries, transportation
by rail, private coach and public means, fine hotels in great locations
and more are built in to this trip. Add the Brassigaume festival, the Ardennes and a great group of beer lovers and you have a great Beer Trip!
Space is limited to 15 travelers.
Day 1, Thursday - Travel Day
Your trip begins as you fly to Brussels, Belgium. Meals and overnight
Day 2, Friday - 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)
Day 3, Saturday - 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)
Day 4, Sunday - 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)
Day 5, Monday - 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)
Day 6, Tuesday - 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)
Day 7, Wednesday - 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)
Day 8, Thursday - Rodenbach Lunch
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)
Day 9, Friday - Free Morning in Brugge, Antwerp Walking Tour/Pub
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)
Day 10, Saturday - Full Free Day in Antwerp, Farewell Beer Dinner
is free. This evening we will have a farewell beer dinner. Overnight
in Antwerp. (B, D)
Day 11, Sunday - 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)
& Brewery Visits
Belgian Beer & Breweries: in endless variety.
Breweries and Tasting Room Visits to: Cantillon, 3 Fonteinen**,
Rochefort, Orval, Chimay, Dupont, Rodenbach, and DeKoninck!
Great Beer Meals!
The Beer Bus - a traveling tasting room of local products
of all types
Good folks to travel with and share the adventure!
Brussels: The Grand Place, where streets of fine restaurants,
beer bars, cafes, and shops pour into the gothic, gabled splendor
of Brussels' central square.
Brugge: Perhaps the best preserved medieval city in Europe
and a favorite weekend retreat. Canals, clock towers, cathedrals
and cobble stone lend Brugge the feel of a city that time
Antwerp: With its grand cathedral, central squares, history
of Rubens and great beer bars, including Kulminator!
City Tours in Brussels, Brugge, Antwerp.
Castle visit in Bouillon
(Land-only, Based on double occupancy)
$2895 per person
Single Room add $635
Arrival & Departure
Trip Begins in Brussels, Belgium
& Ends in Antwerp, Belgium
Both cities are served by Brussels International. Tranfers
by rail or direct airport shuttle are easy and convenient.
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.
** Please note also:
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!