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Belgium Trip to Belgium/Germany in 2013...when is a good time?

Discussion in 'Europe' started by DarkMagneto, Oct 1, 2012.

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  1. DarkMagneto

    DarkMagneto Apr 17, 2007 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    My wife and I are planning a trip to Belgium and Germany next year (2013). It will be primarily "beer-centric". What is the best time of year to visit Belgium for beer? I understand that there is a "brewing season". Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Nightfall

    Nightfall Aug 16, 2006 Greece

    It really depends on what beers you prefer. If you prefer lambics for example you can arrange a trip around the Weekend of spontaneous Fermentation Festival (May) in that case in Germany apart from the usual Rauchbiers, Gose ,Kolsch etc in each Beer-region you get yearly you can also try the fresh Maibocks in most brewpubs.

    If you prefer stronger or christmas beers you can come for Xmas vacations, both Germany and Belgium will be beautiful then, you can try the stronger Urbocks, Eiche Doppelbock from Schlenkerla, Belgian Xmas beers (f.ex there is the Kierstbierfestival in Essen (BE) then), maybe the Zwanze Day 2013 will be in December like this year.

    The locals from Belgium could probably mention different festival throughout the year. I think the ideal would be to give a rough estimate if you prefer a certain period, what towns you would like to visit, and what are the beer styles you prefer (and of course how much beer-geeky the vacation can be without losing the Wife Acceptance Factor :D )
    The more info the greater your beer experience will be. It is good that you start planning early.


    ThirstyBird likes this.
  3. DarkMagneto

    DarkMagneto Apr 17, 2007 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    We are leaning more towards a Spring vacation. We do really like Lambics, so that would be awesome if we could hit that fest!
  4. ventura78

    ventura78 Nov 22, 2003 Massachusetts

  5. Nightfall

    Nightfall Aug 16, 2006 Greece

    Germany Suggestions:
    Bamberg & Nuremberg : Both beautiful to visit. In Bamberg you get the fresh smoked beers which are amazing, Nuremberg has some nice bars and brewpubs and a nice beer store with lots of had to find germans (Landbierparadies).

    Then you can move closer to Belgium and visit:
    Dusseldorf (to try fresh Altbier in the Brewpubs)
    Colonge (to try fresh Kolsch in the Brewpubs)

    Then to Belgium:
    You can schedule around a big festival to visit for 1-2 days and then move to major towns with tons of different opportunities to visit.

    Major Spring Festivals:
    1. Zythos Beer Festival 2013 will be held on 27-28th of April 2013 if you are interested (this is the beer list for 2012 : http://www.zbf.be/index.php?lang=UK&page=2 ) it happens in Leuven (about 25Km south of Antwerp).

    2. Weekend of Spontaneous Fermentation 2013 25-26th of May 2012 at Tapperij Beukenhof (Broekstraat 18, 9255 Buggenhout, Belgium)


    Just lambics, this is the beer list so far : http://en.bierpallieters.be/node/8

    So if you schedule to be during one of these weekends, you can arrange the visit to the other cities and check all the great places (Struise, Kulminator, Oud Arsenaal, In der Vrede, ’t Brugs Beertje, Chez Moeder, Cantillon, and and ... the list is endless :) )
    davey likes this.
  6. doopiedoopiedoo

    doopiedoopiedoo Oct 2, 2010 Netherlands

  7. BelgianBeerPope

    BelgianBeerPope Aug 10, 2012 Belgium

    In February, there's a beerfestival in Bruges @ De Hallen (very nice location for beer-tasting :))
  8. UncleJimbo

    UncleJimbo Sep 11, 2002 Massachusetts
    Site Editor Subscriber Beer Trader

    The suggestion of the Weekend of Spontaneous Fermentation (usually at the end of May) is a good one. I have done this twice. Then if you go to Franconia, in Germany, you will also be in Keller time and can visit the Bier Gardens -- added bonuses are that it might also be "asparagus time" and/or Chanterelle Mushroom Time.

    If you want to see brewing in action at Cantillon, you will have to go in cooler weather. I am not sure of their exact schedule, but check it ahead of time if that is important to you.
  9. Brabander

    Brabander Oct 10, 2009 Netherlands

    It does not matter when you are coming, in Belgium there is always something going on!
    UncleJimbo likes this.
  10. DarkMagneto

    DarkMagneto Apr 17, 2007 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Thank you SO much for your feedback! I think my wife and I will try and do a May trip to Belgium/Germany.
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