BELGIUM & FRANCE
BELGIUM & FRANCE
SUNDAY MAY 12, 2024
WHERE CAN YOU GET A BEER IN THIS TOWN?
This is check-in day, but in the evening Joel and ICBT staff will meet early-arriving guests for an informal bar crawl in the center of Brussels. Some of our favorite pubs in the world are situated near the city’s famous Grand Place and we’ll hit as many as we can!
MONDAY MAY 13, 2024
Concocters Without Borders
Our tour begins first thing Monday morning with a short drive from Brussels to the Senne Valley, and Gueuzerie Tilquin. Here we’ll kick off our road trip with a tour and samples of Tilquin’s unique lambic blends. We then continue south, through the Wallonian region. Just across the French border is the beautifully-situated Brasserie Au Baron, where we’ll have a tour, tasting and charcuterie lunch (hopefully on the brewery’s riverside patio).
In the late afternoon we cross back into Belgium and within a few minutes find ourselves exploring Brasserie de Blaugies. At the impressive state-of-the-art facility adjacent to the original kitchen brewery we’ll uncork some of the world’s most characterful bottle-conditioned ales with members of the family. From Blaugies it’s a short ride to Mons, where we’ll settle in for an opening dinner and check out the local taps.
TUESDAY MAY 14, 2024
Hops & Vaults
Our hotel’s prime location offers the chance to wander Mons’ central square and historical old town in the morning. But soon enough we’re back on the road, first stop Brouwerij de Ranke. We’ll get a private tour of the brewery and then sit down to a generous tasting and casual lunch at the fantastic tasting room. Post-lunch we’ll head into West Flanders. We’ll first pay a visit to the Belhop farm just outside Belgian hop capital Poperinge, learning a bit about the local industry and sampling the growers’ own house-made ale. Then we’ll drive into historic Ypres, where we’ll tour the tiny Kazematten Brewery, built right into the city walls.
In the evening, after witnessing the somber World War I “Last Post” remembrance ceremony held nightly within another portion of city walls, we’ll have a memorable dinner in Kazematten’s cavernous restaurant.
WEDNESDAY MAY 15, 2024
This morning we’ll have some free time to explore the remarkable old city of Ypres. Later in the AM we’ll drive across the border, this time to the French Flanders town of Esquelbecq, named France’s “Preferred Village” in 2023. We’ll have an optional castle visit before arriving at the placid Brasserie Thiriez. After a tour, tasting and farmhouse lunch we’ll cross borders yet again, making the short ride to legendary Trappist monastery Westvleteren to savor its rare ales in the lovely beer garden.
Having ramped up our ABV expectations we’ll make a final stop at Brouwerij de Struise, where we’ll tour the schoolhouse-turned-brewery and sample a slew of mostly strong ales. A much needed free evening in Ypres follows.
THURSDAY MAY 16, 2024
The Wild And The Tamed
We depart Ypres this morning for the drive to Drie Fonteinen. After paying a visit to its village brewery, we’ll make the short drive to the Lambik-O-Droom, Drie Fonteinen’s impressive blending and aging facility. Here we’ll learn about the company’s unique process, sample a range of lambics, and grab a casual lunch to balance the brew. After the tour we’ll make a special stop at Kasteel van Beersel, a medieval fortification first mentioned in the 1300’s.
From there we’ll return to Brussels, check back in at our hotel, and make the quick turnaround to Brasserie De La Senne, the city’s premier modern-day craft beer producer and home to one of the world’s most highly regarded technical brewmasters. Maintaining the tour’s theme of world-class ales paired with casual but mouth-watering fare, we’ll avail ourselves of the fresh, sustainable fish & chips at the brewery’s specialty food truck Bia Mara.
FRIDAY MAY 17, 2024
WHERE IT ALL STARTED, AND ENDS
Early-bird guests have a chance to explore Brussels’ fascinating neighborhoods, museums, shops, parks, and flea markets by day, while late-partiers finally have a chance to sleep in. But we’ll all need to be ready in mid-afternoon for the ultimate Belgian beer pilgrimage — the tour of Brasserie Cantillon. This always-fascinating exploration and tasting will be followed by a fun stop at nearby brewpub l’Ermitage.
Our tour farewell dinner will be held at Les Brigittines, a Brussels institution and longtime patron of both Cantillon and De La Senne. A celebratory bar crawl closes out the night and tour, traditionally culminating with a round or two at our go-to bar Booze ‘n Blues.
SATURDAY MAY 18, 2024
Our scheduling affords guests the opportunity to attend pre-or-post-tour weekend European beer festivals or spend extra time exploring Brussels. There is no shortage of attractions in the former capitol of Europe, and the city is a very convenient hub for destinations across the continent. Whether guests continue on their travels or return home to the US, ICBT staff will be on hand in the morning to assist with check-out and transit.
BELGIUM & FRANCE 2024 TOUR PRICING
PER PERSON, BASED ON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY
(ADD $350 FOR SINGLE OCCUPANCY)
**Tour prices are per person and do not include airfare.
*Single occupancy rooms are limited.
**Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information presented on this webpage. Inner Circle Beer Tours (ICBT) is not responsible for errors in or damages resulting from use of the information contained herein. Information contained on this webpage is subject to change without notice.**