Brussels, Bruges & Amsterdam
Including Night of the Great Thirst and Zythos Beer Festivals
April 19-26, 2020 | $3,595
What's included in the tour:
Accommodations for 7 nights at 3-4 Star hotels*.
All transportation during the tour: train tickets between cities (1st Class when available), transportation to and from venues (breweries, museums etc.) and tram passes.
All event (brewery, museum, etc.) entry fees.
Group lunches (6).
Group dinners (4).
*Accommodations based on double occupancy. Single supplement available
Tour cost: $3595.00 USD
Amsterdam is a wonderful city to explore. It is a city rich in history and picturesque views await the traveler around every turn. It's canals and narrow streets make it the perfect city to explore on foot and the tram system makes it easy to hop around the city. Add to this the growing microbrewery scene and Amsterdam is the perfect way to start a European beer trip.
Belgium has a rich history of brewing both within the walls of Trappist Monasteries and in the long established breweries such as Cantillon. We will visit the older as well as some of the newer microbreweries, some of which focus on traditional styles of the area while others brew contemporary styles and are highly experimental. In addition to Brussels, we will explore the medieval city of Bruges and attend two beer festivals, The Night of the Great Thirst and The Zythos Beer Festival.
This is going to be an action-packed trip and we will cover a lot of ground! We will visit 3 cities, 16+ breweries and attend 2 festivals, all within 8 days. This trip was designed to allow guests to be away from work for only one week yet experience many of the highlights each region has to offer. Please be aware that this tour requires a lot of walking and getting on and off trains, trams and motor coaches.
We meet at our host hotel in Amsterdam at 09:00. After a brief orientation session we board a boat for a tour of Amsterdam by canal. We will get a good overview of the layout of the city and learn some of the history of the area. After our tour, we will enjoy a light lunch before heading to our first brewery, Oedipus, a relatively new brewery on the North side of the harbor which produces some amazing beers. Here we will enjoy a tour and tasting of several of their beers. Afterwards, we take a short walk to Walhalla with it's nanobrewery and tasting room. We will return to the Centrum by way of the Wynand Fockink distillery. This small distillery specializes in creating a wide variety of jenevers. The rest of the afternoon is allotted for exploring the city. We meet again in the lobby at 19:00 and go to dinner at Haesje Claes, a local Dutch restaurant (L, D)
After a nice breakfast, we visit the Van Gogh Museum. Afterwards, we will travel to Brouwerij Troost where we will tour their brewery, taste some of their beers and have lunch. From here we will take the tram to Brouwerij 't IJ, also known as the “windmill brewery”. This brewery is perhaps one of the largest (and oldest) craft breweries in Amsterdam and produces a wide array of beer styles. Our last stop is De Bekeerde Suster, a small brewery located on the outskirts of the Red Light District. This small brewery produces only a handful of beers, usually offering 3-4 on draft. We are on our own for dinner tonight and are free to further explore the city. (B, L)
We rise early and board the train to Bruges. After checking into our hotel, we will visit the first of two breweries - Brasserie de Halve Maan. This is a modern brewery with a nice tasting room and an interesting expansion story. We will have lunch at the brewery before meeting with our guide for a tour of the city and it's prominent sites. After the tour, we will visit the second brewery of the day, Brouwerij Bourgogne de Flanders for a tour and tasting. From here it's off to La Trappe, an unusual “cellar bar” offering a wide variety of world beers including Trappist beers. We will meet for dinner at 19:00 at a local brasserie. After dinner we are free to explore the city on our own. (B, L, D)
After an early breakfast, we board the train for Brussels. We check into our hotel and we head to TrainWorld, one of the most comprehensive train museums in the world for a guided tour. After the museum, we travel by train to Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen for a private tour and tasting of their blending facility, We will have the opportunity to sample some special beers only available on-site. From here will will visit Oud Beersel. This brewery is under new ownership and is taking on some innovative approaches. We return to the city and head to our last brewery of the day, Brussels Beer Project. We meet at the hotel at 19:30 and head to dinner at Chez Leon, a local restaurant specializing in mussels. After dinner, we will visit Moeder Lambic, one of the best beer bars in Brussels. (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we board the shuttle at 08:30 and head for our first stop – Westvleteren. Here we will have the opportunity to visit the Monastery, drink the famous “Westie” beers and possibly purchase small quantities to take with us. From here, we head to the town of Poperinge for a tour of the hop museum and lunch. After lunch it is off to Brouwerij de Plupper – a hop farm and craft brewery just outside of Poperinge. Here we will spend several hours touring the farm and learning about hops. We will also tour the brewery and have the opportunity to sample their beers made with their own hops. On the way back to Bruges we will stop at De Dolle Brouwers, an excellent brewery run by a husband and wife. We are on our own this evening to explore the city with it's restaurants and tap houses. (B, L, D)
Today we enjoy a leisurely breakfast before gathering in the hotel lobby for a private walking tour of the city. Our guide has lived in Brussels all of his life and shares interesting stories about the city. After our tour, we take the tram to Brasserie de la Senne, for a tour of their new facility. We will also enjoy a tasting of their exceptional beers. After lunch we will visit the iconic Brasserie Cantillon for a private tour and tasting. Cantillon brews lambics using the traditional Methode Gueuze. After our tasting, we will visit another brewery, Brasserie l'Ermitage. L'Ermitage brews excellent beers with styles like IPAs' and porters. From here, we will return to our hotel and prepare for the short bus ride to Itterbeek for the International Gueuze and Kriek Festival, better known as the Night of the Great Thirst. We will spend the better part of
the evening here enjoying beer from the Lambic breweries in the region before returning to our hotel. (B, L)
After a hearty breakfast, we board the train for Leuven and the Zythos Beer Festival. Zythos is one of the best festivals in Europe and provides us the opportunity to sample beers from all over the area in one location. We will spend the day here before returning to Brussels for our last dinner together. (B, D)
Today we rise early and say our goodbye's. We head home or to wherever our travels take us. (B)
This tour involves substantial walking through breweries, museums and the cities we visit. In addition, climbing of stairs, navigating entryways, etc. is required. Many venues visited on this tour would not be considered ADA compliant. If you have concerns regarding these issues, please contact our staff as this might not be the best tour choice for you.