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Planning a trip to Belgium Dup thread

Discussion in 'Benelux' started by sliberty, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. sliberty

    sliberty Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I was pointed to this awesome sub forum from the general board.

    I'm planning a trip to Belgium, probably late May.

    Where do the Belgian Beer Advocates go?

    Thanks!
  2. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    There are many many threads on this exact question. Where are you going? Where are you staying? Will you have a car? Depending on the city you are visiting I would be happy to give some suggestions with a bit more info. Cheers!
  3. sliberty

    sliberty Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I haven't yet decided the cities I'm visiting, and I don't expect to have a car. Public transit for me.
  4. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Another good resource (probably better than anything on this site to be honest) Tim Webb's Good Beer Guide to Belgium. This book is an invaluable resource about Belgian beer, places to go, ect. I would absolutely pick up a copy before you head over there.
    beerdweeb and azorie like this.
  5. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts

    Ok.... It is kinda tough without knowing where you will be. Kinda like a Belgian looking for tips on the East Coast here in the states without knowing if they will be in Boston Phillidelphia or New York.

    I am a foody as well as a beer geek. My 3 favorite places would be:

    De Heren Van Liederkercke
    http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/2800/view=beerfly

    De Bistronoom
    http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/26992/view=beerfly

    Kulminator
    http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/1232/?view=beerfly

    Cheers!
  6. andrejes

    andrejes Member

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Do you want to go to some bars or brewery's??
  7. sliberty

    sliberty Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
  8. Well I haven't visited the whole of Belgium, but I'd have to recommend some time in Brussels. You should definitely check out the Cantillon brewery while you're there (unless you hate sours, although the brewery is worthy of a visit in itself). It also has some great bars such as Delirium and Moeder Lambic, with tons of beer choices.

    Bruges is also great - a bit like a living museum in the centre, but picturesque nonetheless. Again, plenty of great bars and beers to try (including a shop that sells Struise).....
  9. UncleJimbo

    UncleJimbo BA Site Editor Staff Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    How many days will you be in Belgium?

    The first time I went to Belgium I stayed in Antwerp (on advice from BA's), and I have never regretted it. I love Antwerp, and stay there every time I go now.
  10. azorie

    azorie Member

    Location:
    Florida
    No car and you said 5 to 7 days. Hub in 1 city and take side trips. Westvleteren will be difficult but you don't mention if so we have to read minds.;)
    Your wife likes art and history. You cannot go wrong in any of the main cities really. You don't mention if this is part of a larger trip or not? Hopefully you read my other post(s) on your other thread, so I don't repeat.;)

    to recap get THE BOOK. plan your trip. read BA places, figure out if your schedule match times pubs are open.
    Get a rail pass, hub in 1-2 cities max. figure you be back. enjoy.:)

    read this site:
    http://belgianbeerboard.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1
  11. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Yeah Antwerp is probably my favorite city to stay in to out of the big ones. (Brugge, Brussels Ghent and Antwerp).
  12. beerpirates

    beerpirates Member

    Location:
    Belgium
  13. sliberty

    sliberty Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Is it difficult for an American to rent a car in the UK and ferry it over to BEL?
  14. mjtierney2

    mjtierney2 Member

    Location:
    Germany
    I have no first hand knowledge, but I believe you might be better renting the car in either France or Belgium (depending on where the ferry lands) as you have to remember they drive on the left side of the street in England but not in continental Europe as far as I know. My friend is coming over by way of ferry between England and France, and I believe he is picking up his car in France. FWIW.
  15. MattSweatshirt

    MattSweatshirt Member

    Location:
    Texas
    It has been mentioned in these forums before and I am going to do it later this year. If you want to get to Westvleteren/Oostvleteren take a train to Poperinge then rent a bike to ride there.
    The Kulminator and Cantillon are must go to's and they don't require much effort to get to. You can walk to them when in their respective cities. Ghent is rad, but I don't know if you want to go there if beer is your focus. Drinking a Orval in front of a castle is pretty sweet though. Dranken Geers or whatever it is called is on the outskirts and the city is just a beautiful sight to see. I didn't even bother with going there.
    Bruges is solid. Great shops and bars. The tourist crush around the Burg and Markt sucks but is easy to escape. Go down Langestraat and visit De Kelk and Bierboom.
  16. sliberty

    sliberty Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I feel like a dork admitting this, but I actually cannot ride a bike. What's the best way to get to Westvleteren sans bicycle?
    doopiedoopiedoo likes this.
  17. UncleJimbo

    UncleJimbo BA Site Editor Staff Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    You can try using Belbus service. Check the information on White Beer Travels website (near the bottom of the page).
  18. JoeinUccle

    JoeinUccle Member

    Location:
    Costa Rica
    Just an idea because azorie mentioned art and history... The Magritte Museum in Brussels opened a few years ago and is dedicated to surrealism. Much more fun than your typical art museum, and from there you can walk to one of the city's oldest cafés, La Fleur en Papier Doré, where Magritte himself used to hang out and drink with other surrealists. Good selection of local lambics and other beers. For more history: From outside the café you can see one of the few remaining pieces (and the largest one) of the old city walls.
  19. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Good god... Don't do that. Take the Eurostar high speed train. It is real quick. Straight from the middle of London to Brussels. Pretty cheap too. I have done that train ride 3 times and I am convinced it is the best way to get to Belgium form England..
  20. Dreupelkot

    Dreupelkot Member

    Location:
    Belgium
    About a year (or two?) ago I posted a lot of information on this forum about the Belgian breweries where individuals can join on certain days or occasions for a guided tour. I'll do it here again:

    Posts about Belgium often mention our beer culture as a main point of attraction. And some cyclists dream of combining a bicycle tour in Belgium with a visit to one or more breweries. The first thing is an easy one, most of Flanders being flat. The second one is a bit tougher as most breweries (and monasteries) are closed to (indvidual) visitors. But I collected a few exceptions!

    * 'De Dolle Brouwers' Family Brewery (Diksmuide, Esen). Nearly every sunday at 2 pm, a tour in english/french where individuals or small groups can join. http://www.oerbier.be/page.asp?langue=EN&DocID=159255

    * Alvinne Picobrewery (Kortrijk, Heule) organizes biweekly on a saturday from 10.30 am till 4 pm a beer tasting.http://alvinne.wordpress.com/den-proefzolder/

    * 'De Graal' Artisanal Brewery (Brakel, Flemish Ardennes) charges only 30 euro for a small group of up to ten people, including 1 beer for everyone. http://www.degraal.be/en/bezoek_en.html

    * Boon Brewery (Halle, Lembeek, near Brussels). On wednesday afternoons in July and August, there's a guided tour of the brewery. Bookin in advance ar the local tourist office. http://www.palm.be/en/bs_boon_bezoeken.php

    * Brewery Oud Beersel (Beersel, near Brussels). Every first saturday of the month, from 11 am to 1 pm. Booking in advance is not necessary. http://www.oudbeersel.com/?page_id=1025&lang=en

    * Gruut City Brewery (Gent). A rather young brewery in the heart of town. Tours for small groups (in combination with dinner).http://www.gruut.be/AA_Brouwerijbezoek.aspx (Website in English, but this page in Dutch only)

    * Home Brewery Sint-Canarus (Gottem, Deinze). Individuals are welcome on sundays
    http://www.canarus.be (Website in Dutch only)

    * 'De Halve Maan' Home Brewery (Brugge). A main tourist attraction in Bruges, where individuals can join tours on every day of the week at different hours and all year long http://www.halvemaan.be/index.php?id=5&L=2


    * Home Brewery Sint-Canarus (Gottem, Deinze). Individuals are welcome on sundays
    http://www.canarus.be (Website in Dutch only)

    * Brasserie Saint-Momon (Ambly, Nassogne, Luxembourg). Free visits for individuals.
    http://www.saintmonon.be/fr/visite.php (Website in french only)

    * Brasserie du Bocq (Purnode, Yvoir, near Dinant and Namur). Visits for individuals, only by inscription in advance: see schedules for visits.
    http://www.bocq.be/english/visits/index.php

    * Brasserie Caracole (Falmignoul, Dinant). Every saturday at 2 pm, every day in july and august at 2 pm.
    http://www.brasserie-caracole.be/

    * Brasserie Cantillon (Anderlecht, Brussels), not on sundays and public holidays.
    http://www.cantillon.be/

    * Brouwerij De Koninck (Antwerpen), every saturday at 3 pm, except on holidays.
    http://www.dekoninck.be

    * Hoegaarden (Hoegaarden), not on mondays or tuesdays.
    http://www.twitgebrouw.be/

    * Brasserie Dubuisson (Pipaix, Tournai) Every saturday at 3 pm, without prior notice.
    http://www.br-dubuisson.com/

    * Kasteelbrouwerij Ter Dolen (Houthalen-Helchteren), tours at 3 pm on saturdays and sundays (in Dutch).
    http://www.terdolen.be/en/Guide


    To simplify things, there's now a Google Map with all the exact locations of these Belgian breweries waiting for you!
    http://maps.google.be/maps/ms?hl=nl&geocode=&t=h&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=215743440519068246688.00049b24711c7b308ee81&ll=50.964454,3.47404&spn=0.021406,0.03356&z=15&iwloc=00049d5c0140541365046

    Main advice: always check their sites and contact them in advance as sometimes a reservation is required.
    I indicated also the closest nearby nodes of the Cycle Node Networks in Flanders.
    http://www.fietsnet.be/routeplanner/default.aspx

  21. woosterbill

    woosterbill Member

    Location:
    Connecticut
    I second the Eurostar as the best way to get from London to Brussels, but if you're going to do that BOOK YOUR TICKET NOW. Prices go up quickly and steeply the closer you get to your travel date - I visited both cities last month, and had my choice of two weekends to go to Belgium: the earlier one would have cost about twice as much as the one two weeks later.

    As far as places to go, I can only really speak for the area in and around Brussels. If you like Lambic at all, I'd say your #1 destination should be Drie Fonteinen in Beersel, followed closely by De Heeren van Liedekerke (although that one is worth it even if you don't fancy the sours) and (if you're there on a Sunday morning/early afternoon) In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst. Cantillon is worth a visit, too, obviously, but I honestly didn't feel bad about skipping a return visit there on my second trip to Brussels - 3F and De Heeren were musts, though.

    Bier Circus and the two Moeder Lambic locations are my favorite beer cafés in the city, with Delirium being worth a visit if you can make it during an off time - it just gets too crowded and smoky on weekends.

    The next time I go to Belgium (hopefully sooner rather than later, but who knows) I definitely want to hit up Antwerp, Bruges, and Westvleteren (in roughly that order of preference). Since you'll have a bit more time, I'd suggest taking the Eurostar to Brussels and making it your home base; you can get a reasonably priced rail pass that will let you take day trips to several other cities; you might want to spend a night in Antwerp, I suppose, since Kulminator is only open in the evenings, but for the most part I think Brussels will be your best bet.

    Enjoy!
  22. Vanlingleipa

    Vanlingleipa Member

    Location:
    California
    Nice job - thanks for the work

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