BeerTourism.com presents: The Belgian Beer Experience
Author: Erik Verdonck / Published: 2014-05-13 18:34:52 +0200 / Last Updated: 6 months ago
GHENT/SCHOTEN – For months now the editorial team has been swamped with requests for guided beer tours, so we felt it was time to organise one ourselves using the best that Belgium has to offer. At BeerTourism.com our motto has always been to practice what we preach so to be fair we didn't have that much choice in the matter anymore.
We made our way to Ghent with a bagful of ideas and boundless enthusiasm. There, we had a round-the-table discussion with experienced tour operator Omnia Travel/Focus Flanders. The objective: to design a unique and exclusive programme.
The result is a comprehensive and interactive (English language) introduction to Belgian (beer) culture, providing an introduction to the most important aspects of beer in Belgium. From Sofie Vanrafelghem (Women and Beer) to fermentation specialist Professor Filip Delvaux and Nicholas Soenen, beer sommelier for Duvel-Moortgat.
The beer story is told by many Belgian beer professionals, each and every one at the top of their profession. Those who embark with us on this authentic beer adventure will see theory turn into practice during a number of workshops. The cherry on this large and delicious cake; the tour will be accompanied and guided by our very own Erik Verdonck, author, managing editor of BeerTourism.com and creative director with the Belgian Beer Company.
An introduction to Belgian beer culture
Over an one-week period a maximum of fifty people will get to know a number of large and small Belgian art cities in both Flanders and Wallonia. They will tour breweries, taste typical local beers and enjoy our culinary riches and unique table culture.
Belgium is a pocket-sized world all on its own. Will you follow us to Brussels? The Capital of Europe offers amazing experiences. The imposing Grand-Place, its cosmopolitan but also multicultural character, its art nouveau architecture, cartoons and surrealism combined with its characteristic joie de vivre.
All of this would not be complete without lambiek, faro and geuze – typical beers originating from Brussels and the Valley of the Zenne. Our tour will include a visit to the oldest traditional lambiek brewery in the world, Timmermans, in Dilbeek near Brussels.
The old centre of Ghent will take us back five hundred years in time. This, according to National Geographic Traveler, is one of the best-preserved cities in the world. Ghent impresses with its medieval skyline, its world-famous 'Ghent altarpiece’ and its 'Gravensteen', the Castle of the Counts. We are taking a leap and find ourselves in the early Middle Ages, when brewers used a herbal mixture called ‘gruut’ instead of hop, that had not yet made its way to Belgium. Gruut has since lent its name to the eponymous city brewery.
The Liefmans brewery offers us an initiation into the traditional 'Oudenaards oudbruin' at its historic site.
Our next stop is Bruges; the ‘Venice of the North’ appears to be forever frozen in time. A ride in a horse-drawn carriage across the cobblestones or a boat trip on the ‘reien’ (canals) will take you back to the days of a flourishing Burgundian culture. We will follow this with a fun pub crawl to give us a chance to digest our experiences in suitable style.
Our journey continues with a visit to Dubuisson, the oldest brewery in Wallonia, known for their strong Bush beers (known under the name of Scaldis in the USA). Our next stop is Namur (Namen), once a garrison city in the shadow of an enormous citadel, now a great place to enjoy life.
A visit to Orval, the site of a unique abbey, affords us a glimpse into the world of the Trappists.
We will explore the ruins of the medieval abbey and admire the outline of the current abbey, visit the brewery museum and the herb garden and conclude our tour with a tasting session of ‘young’ and ‘old’ Orval.
We will also make the acquaintance of the lighter, ‘green’ Orval that cannot be found anywhere else. We will be exploring the charms of the green Ardennes when we stop off in Bouillon, known for its medieval castle fortifications. In Dinant we will discover what connects this small town on the river Meuse with…the saxophone.
Leuven Beer Capital
Beer Professor Filip Delvaux narrates the story of how fermentation is done in Brouwerij De Kroon in Neerijse. The next stop, Leuven, immediately reminds us of beer, and lots of it. Here you will find the ‘longest bar in the world’ if you add up all the cafés at the 'Oude Markt', the old Market Square.
Also, the largest brewery group in the world, AB Inbev, was born in Leuven.
There are so many more highlights but to summarise; join the first Belgian Beer Experience and discover an intriguing little country where, aside from beer, there is so much more to surprise you. Put yourself to the test.
Do you know the difference between waffles from Brussels and those from Liège? Do you know how real Belgian fries are prepared…? Not yet? Then for you the time has come to take part in the Belgian Beer Experience 2014, please be sure to check out the full itinerary.
Bookings & Information
For rates, bookings and more information:
Omnia Travel / Focus Flanders
Telephone: +32 (0) 9 269 90 62
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