Great Beers of Belgium
17 - 27, 2002
$1850 per person, double occupancy -- Land Only
$440 single room supplement
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. People have loved our past Belgium trips... this might be the best yet.
Space is limited to 15
Belgian Beer: Trappist, Lambic, Gueuze, Saison, Cantillon, Chimay,
Orval, Dupont, Rodenbach, Rochefort, Westmalle, and more, in endless
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 forgot.
Incredible beer cuisine: In t'Spinnekopke, 3 Fonteinen,
An overnight trip to the monastic breweries at
Rochefort, Chimay and Orval.
Land Cost includes:
9 nights accommodation (w/private bath) in fine, centrally located
hotels, travel by private coach, rail and excellent public
transportation, brewery visits, entrance fees, and tours as outlined in
the itinerary, breakfast daily, 3 special dinners, 3 beer lunches
w/tasting, and trip leadership.
Day by Day Itinerary
Details and Air Options:
Air Travel to Brussels: This trip has been priced
without airfare to enable travelers to use mileage awards, travel
outside group dates, or visit other European cities while abroad.
From the Airport to the hotel: The airport connects
to Belgium's convenient rail line and the center of Brussels.
Inexpensive tickets are available at the airport. Private taxis are
available for about $35. Meet and greet arrival services are also
available upon request at additional cost.
How we get around:
For all included excursions and visits, transportation will be included
as well. Within the cities, we will rely on walking and public
transportation, as this is safe, convenient and inexpensive. Travel to
Chimay and Brugge will be done in our private motor coach. Travel from
Brugge to Antwerp will be by rail (tickets provided, luggage will be
transferred directly to your room in Antwerp).
(click for registration details).
- 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.
Thursday, October 17
Your trip begins as you fly to Brussels, Belgium. Meals and overnight aloft.
Friday, October 18
Arrival Brussels, City/Pub Tour,
Dinner at In t'Spinnekopke
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)
Saturday, October 19
AM Cantillon Tour, PM free
This morning we tour the historic lambic brewery at
Cantillon, where they still brew using spontaneous fermentation in with open air
fermentors. It is sight to see. You will also have a chance, of course, to taste the various beers they produce. The afternoon and evening are free. Overnight in
Sunday, October 20
Lunch and Tour at Drie Fonteinen
This morning we travel to
Beersel, home of Drei Fonteinen a traditional family owned restaurant, brewery, and gueuze blender. We will take a great tour of the small brewery, before eating a traditional Belgian meal at their fine restaurant. Their fare emphasizes beer of course. After lunch return to Brussels, or explore the castle or Beersel's other
breweies. The evening is free. Overnight in Brussels.
Monday, October 21
Visits Rochefort, Orval
Today we journey south to the Ardennees, to begin our pilgrimage to Trappist Breweries. The first stop is Abbey de Notre Dame de St. Remy in
Rochefort, home of some of the world's finest ales. After some tasting, and a tour of the brewery and a bit of the abbey, we will be treated to a traditional Ardennes meal to be accompanied by Rochefort 6, 8, and 10. After lunch we continue to Orval to enjoy their distinctive atmosphere and wonderfully bitter golden ale. A stop at the brewery-tap just down the road is a good spot to see the monks enjoying their craft. Overnight in
Chimay. (B, L)
Tuesday, October 22
Tour Chimay, Tasting and Lunch, To Brugge
After breakfast this morning (there are Chimay beers in the hotel
minibar...) we will take a tour of the Chimay brewery. Following the tour we will have a beer and cheese tasting lunch at Chimay's restaurant. After lunch we travel to Brugge where we spend the next three nights. Overnight in
Brugge. (B, L)
Wednesday, October 23
Free day in Brugge
Today 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 Den
Dyver, a restaurant offering courses paired with fine beers. Overnight in
Thursday, October 24
Rodenbach Tour, Option to Liefman's
Today we visit two breweries (both tours are optional) that represent 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. Travel will be by public transportation and taxi. The evening is free to enjoy our final night in
Brugge. (The Den Dyver dinner may be tonight.) Overnight in Brugge. (B,
Friday, October 25
Free Day/ Rail to Antwerp, Luggage Transfer
Today you luggage will be transferred directly to your hotel room in Antwerp, and you are free to do as you wish.
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.
Saturday, October 26
AM De Koninck tour, afternoon free, Farewell Dinner
This morning we will tour the De Koninck brewery. The
afternoon is free. This evening we will have a farewell beer dinner.
Overnight in Antwerp. (B, D)
Sunday, October 27
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.