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Belgium Touring Belgian breweries. Can you help?

Discussion in 'Europe' started by MagicBeerElf, Jun 19, 2013.

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  1. MagicBeerElf

    MagicBeerElf Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2011 California

    Hi, Just been researching a trip that me and my husband have planned in August. We will be in Bruges for 5 days, poss 1 day in Brussels. We will venture out of Bruges on day trips with possibility of staying overnight elsewhere....

    For a start there are not many guided beer tours available. Just one in Brussels that I may not learn too much from.

    Most of the breweries only allow you to book in big groups, (for one example the Rodenbach brewery)

    I am constantly researching and coming to dead ends on trying to make a great trip as many of the Belgian websites are out of date.

    So far we have found a way to visit De Dolle Brewery which is fantastic.

    We would love any suggestions of websites to check out or just to hear of great places you drank beer. Most of all we would like tips on how to tour breweries (can you join groups?), and amazing beer cuisine.

    Your help is much appreciated :slight_smile:
  2. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Meyvn (1,469) Aug 29, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Definitely visit here when you go to Brussels:


    As you'll see, you can do individual visits on any day, and it comes with a beer. Of course, this is a lambic brewery, but it's still fascinating for anyone who loves beer in general.
  3. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    bruges for 5 days...completely unnecissary imo. A day, maybe 2 is all you really need to spend there.

    Brussels, go to cantillon and moeder lambic and youre set.

    you have to understand that breweries in the us do different things than the rest of the world. A brewery tour with tasting at the end is not as common over here as it is in the states.

    Cantillon does offer that, its a lot of fun and a nice tour with a tasting at the end but as you may have read, they consider theyre brewery to also be a gueuwe museum...hence the tour/tasting.

    Let me know where exactly you want to visit and Ill see if I can help you out...or at the very least point you in the right direction for some info.
  4. Janeinma

    Janeinma Devotee (420) May 24, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

  5. belvedere86

    belvedere86 Initiate (188) Apr 1, 2013 Belgium
    Beer Trader

    In Bruges you can visit these bars: De Garre with their exclusive tripel van de Garre, 't Brugs Beertje and Cambrinus.

    You can also visit brewery De Halve Maan in Bruges. There most popular beers are Straffe Hendrik and Brugse Zot.

    De Struise and Westvleteren aren't also that far from Bruges if you consider visiting those.
  6. beerpirates

    beerpirates Defender (676) May 4, 2010 Belgium
    Beer Trader

    Bruges is a fantastic beautifull old town , i'm sure that you can spend several days in Bruges ,
    Not only do they have nice brewery's , restaurants and pubs that you can visit ,they also have lots of many markets , museums , old buildings etc ... ,
    To give you an excample , next to the struise beershop you have to chapel of the holy blood , very nice place , around the corner you have the pub called de garre , i've you walk in the other direction you will find a nice irish pub , cross the square and you walk straight to the old fishmarket , and like that Bruges has hundreds of places ,
    I'd say 3/4 days in Bruges is ok , but you can stay much longer , it's just a great place to walk around and hang out
  7. DimensionX

    DimensionX Initiate (0) Oct 1, 2010 Oregon

    You might want to check out Ghent as well, not quite as impressive on the beer front but the rest of the city more than makes up for it. Bruges is beautiful but a tourist trap during the day and deserted at night.
  8. dirtylou

    dirtylou Poo-Bah (3,336) May 12, 2005 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Have a similar predicament - heading over in August for 10 nights (3 spent in Amsterdam, 7 in Belgium). I've spent time in Brussels before but have been nowhere else in Belgium.

    The trip certainly has a strong beer-component, but I would absolutely not neglect getting to know each of the cities we visit and the cultural sites within. We've been tossing around some allocations of nights (3-4 in Brussels, 2 in Brugge, maybe 1 in Ghent, maybe 1 in west Flanders). Staying in Ghent almost seems like more trouble than it's worth due to the ability to easily make a full day trip from Brussels without having to change lodging.

    Outside of Cantillon and Boon (Wed, 3pm), we've been struggling with getting in touch with certain breweries to confirm availability. We've tried Rodenbach, De Struise (just want to confirm Saturday hours), St Bernardus, Oude Beersel, 3 Fonteinen (to confirm what exactly is possible these days) and a few others. It seems like many only open up for large groups but I'm struggling to believe that there isn't a way around that or at least a way to join an already scheduled group.
  9. papagobrewing

    papagobrewing Initiate (19) Sep 8, 2009 Arizona

  10. beerpirates

    beerpirates Defender (676) May 4, 2010 Belgium
    Beer Trader

    Brugge is in West flanders , it's like the capital of west flanders , and Ghent is easy to reach from Brugge by train , maybe 45 minutes and your in Ghent ,
    Don't forget that you also have a struise beershop in Brugge ,next to the chapel with the holy blood
  11. PhilLesh

    PhilLesh Initiate (0) Jul 30, 2007 Massachusetts

    A'Chouffe and Interpol (smallest in Belgium) down in the Ardennes and probably not in your plans. Plus lots of WW 2 history with Bastonge close by. Maredsous was very impressive also. They no longer brew there but the monastery has been preserved and is one of the top sites in Belgium to visit.
  12. belgacity

    belgacity Initiate (11) Aug 18, 2012 New Jersey

  13. Bradthoc

    Bradthoc Initiate (0) Jan 26, 2011 Nevada
    Beer Trader

    Definitely visit De Halve Maan in Bruges. Great tour.
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