Since the first Crusades the Church allowed abbeys to brew and distribute beer as a fundraising method. Trappist monks carry on those deep traditions today with their dark, sweet, complex ales while Belgian craft brewers create their own rich brewing history by experimenting with modern beer flavors.
Throughout this beautiful country we will visit many of these breweries, new and old, to learn more about the people, their history, and the beers they brew. We’ll also visit several of Belgium’s renowned Beer Cafés along the way, all the while enjoying what might come as a surprise to some – delicious food that blends traditions and mixes the multiple cultures in Belgium.
Life is short and so it makes sense to maximize your time in Belgium. This seven-day vacation does just that. We tour much of the country, staying in six different cities and villages including Brussels, Bruges, Watou, Ghent, and Herzele. We will visit over a dozen breweries, abbeys, beer restaurants, and beer museums and your Hosts will show you some of our favorite off-the-beaten-path Beer Cafés and restaurants and introduce you to some of our favorite people in Belgium’s beer culture.
- Join our small group public tour or create your own private group
- Explore the country of Belgium without worrying about driving or the train schedule
- Taste new beers at the beer cafe Brugs Beertje, which has over 300 beers on tap
- Experience Belgian cuisine, including locally-made cheeses & chocolates at Laurent Gerbaud
- Visit breweries such as Brewery De Halve Maan and brewing abbeys such as St. Sixtus Abbey
- Stay in unique accommodations that including a B&B attached to the St. Bernadus Brewery
- Location: Belgium
- Next Tour Date: August 26 – September 1, 2018
- Trip Price Per Person: $3,300
- Optional single supplement: $900
- Hosts: Yannick de Cocquéau
- Meals: Breakfasts & dinners included (lunches are specifically left on your own on this tour to give you the freedom to wander through the many towns we visit and to keep the price low)
We hope you consider joining us in Belgium for this unique and wonderful beer vacation. This vacation is a great way to get to know a country, its history, its people, its food, and its beer. Savor Your World!Request Info Book Tour
- Private Tours are available to book with your own group on any date you choose, given lodging availability, as either a Classic or Deluxe Tour
- Deluxe Tour: $4,300 per person (optional $1200 single supplement)
- Classic Tour: $3,300 per person (optional $900 single supplement)
- Minimum: 6 people
- Customizations to the above itinerary possible with additional per person fees
The following is included in our Deluxe Tour offering:
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Professionally-selected beers with dinners
Day 1 in Brussels
Our journey starts after lunch, allowing you to arrive in Brussels this morning or the evening before. After a few short introductions, we head out for a walk around the beautiful city of Brussels, visiting ancient sites including Europe’s most impressive plaza, The Grand Place.
We’ll taste arguably the world’s best chocolate along with Belgian Beer at Laurent Gerbaud. Afterwards, we walk to Brasserie Cantillon for a tour and tasting of this most impressive and unique brewery. Cantillon uses natural yeasts that are present in the air around us for fermentation. From there we will walk to have a conversation, craft beers and craft cheeses with our friend Jean Hummler at Moeder Lambic.
This evening we’ll enjoy Belgium’s typical food specialties and beer cuisine at Restobières not far from The Grand Place.
Day 2 in Bruges
Today we travel to the northwestern part of Belgium, to the city of Bruges in a special region known as Flanders. Bruges is known for its rich history, impressive architecture, tasty food, and great beer cafés. Once we stop off at our hotel, we explore by foot on a walking tour of this grand city.
We end our walk with an educational tour and our own blending session at Bourgogne des Flandres. Bourgogne des Flandres specializes in the Flemish beer blending tradition of mixing fresh beer with aged beer to create a perfect balance of flavors.
We then head to lunch at one of the last remaining family-owned breweries in the Bruges city center, Brewery De Halve Maan. You may have heard about their new 2-mile beer pipeline they recently built leading from their brewery in city center to their bottling plant in an industrial area. The pipeline carries 1,500 gallons of beer an hour at 12 mph, which has saved them hundreds of truck trips a year. When you see the narrow, historic streets of Bruges, you will wonder how the tankers ever made their way through originally!
After the tour, we make our way to t’ Brugs Beertje where we’ll have the choice of 300+ Belgian beers. These beers include commercial brands, seasonal varieties, and unique and hard-to-find brews.
Day 3 in Bruges & Watou
Today we begin with a tour and tasting at the Rodenbach Brewery, where they have world-renowned cask halls with 294 oak casks, some of which are 150 years old. Rodenbach was started in 1821 and is famous for their barrel-aged sour beers that are brewed in the Flemish red style.
Next, we pack up and drive to St. Bernadus Brewery in Watou. This is also where we will be staying overnight as they have a B&B attached to the brewery. We’ll grab lunch and have a chance to sample their blonde and dark abbey ales. But don’t fill up too much as we make our way through fields of wheat, barley, and hops to arrive In de Vrede at St. Sixtus Abbey, a fully functioning abbey where the monks are world-famous for producing fantastic Westvletren Belgian-style beers. This is one of the only places in the world where you can buy these highly sought after beers.
We then head back to our lodging at the St. Bernadus Brewery to relax before enjoying a delicious dinner at the Hommelhof, known for its beer-based heavenly cuisine.
Day 4 in Ypres & Ghent
We start our morning with another lovely scenic drive through the varied, wooded landscapes, hop fields, and hilly roads as we depart Watou heading for Ypres. The WWI Battle of Ypres had reduced the town to rubble and was almost entirely destroyed. After the war, the citizens of Ypres meticulously reconstructed the town’s most important buildings, which in turn give it modern day medieval feel today.
During our stop, we’ll enjoy lunch at a newer brewery that opened in 2014 but is housed in a building with quite a bit of history. Kazematten‘s building was originally built as part of Louis XIV’s fortress back in the 1680s and used for storing weapons into the 20th century. We’ll get to taste their Grotten Sante, a spicy dark brown beer, and their Wiper Times 14, a highly fermented blond beer.
We then head for one of our favorite cities in all of Europe, Ghent, where we will be staying for the night.
Day 5 in Ghent
Our day starts with Champagne! Champagne Beer that is.
Today we head for the village of Buggenhout, where we’ll visit Malheur, known for their traditional Champagne-style beers. Afterwards, we return to Ghent where you will have some time on your own to explore the city, find a nice place for lunch, and maybe do some shopping.
We’ll then meet at one of our favorite breweries, Gruut. Their beers are unique because they use special spices (gruit) instead of hops to flavor and preserve their beers.
One of the best ways to taste the wide variety of beers available in Belgium is in Beer Cafes (bars) and there are several outstanding beer cafes for us to explore in Ghent either before or after dinner, including the historic Herberg De Dullie Griet just off one of the oldest squares in the city. When you order a beer here, they take one of your shoes and hoist it in a basket to the ceiling! You’ll get your shoe back when you return the glass.
Day 6 in Herzele & Brussels
After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll check out of our hotel and begin our journey back to where we began, Brussels. But we’ll, of course, have to whet our whistle along the way and stop at the Brewery De Ryck in Herzele.
Brewery De Ryck is a 4th generation family-owned brewery whose current brewmaster, Anne De Ryck, is one of Belgium’s first (and few) female brewmasters. We will also have the chance to explore the ruins of the Herzele Castle that date back to the beginning of the 7th century before getting back on the road to Brussels.
At this point in our tour, we have seen and experienced an abundance of Belgian history. For a change of pace, we will be dining at a restaurant where history meets the modern day. The Belga Queen is located in an 18th-century landmark building but inside it boasts contemporary architecture with a gastro-pub menu. To cap off the night, we’ll stop into a few of Brussel’s world famous beer cafes to raise a toast to our final evening together.
Day 7 in Brussels
You are then free to continue on your travels – take a return home, stay in Brussels for another day, or perhaps take the high-speed train to Paris, London or even Amsterdam!
- Cantillon – Brussels
- Moeder Lambic – Brussels
- Restobieres – Brussels
- Brewery De Halve Maan – Bruges
- t’ Brugs Beertje – Bruges
- Rodenbach Brewery – Roselare
- St Bernadus Brewery – Watou
- In de Vrede at St. Sixtus Abbey (Westvelteren) – Watou
- Hommelhof – Watou
- Kazematten – Ypres
- Bosteels Deus Landtsheer Malheur – Ghent
- Gruut – Ghent
- Brewery De Ryck – Herzele
"Thanks again for putting on such an amazing tour, and for making our anniversary extra special. We haven't stopped smiling since we got home :)"− Cathy L.
"It was a trip of a lifetime. I have not stopped telling people how much fun I had."− Ann P.
- Night 1: Hotel Welcome – In the heart of Brussels, Hotel Welcome is a unique and well-situated hotel that allows us to walk everywhere we need to go in Brussels. Each room is decorated as a different country. The market is located in the plaza in front of the hotel.
- Night 2: Hotel Patritius – This hotel is loved for its location, staff, private garden, and family-owned atmosphere. Located a few blocks from the heart of the city.
- Night 3: St. Bernadus – Attached to the St. Bernadus Brewery, this charming B&B is located just outside of Watou town center. Though the accommodations are quite simple, what could be more fun than staying the night in a brewery?
- Night 4 & 5: Sandton Grand Hotel – One of the greenest hotels in Ghent, this hotel offers the perfect blend of original and authentic design, comfort, and luxury.
- Night 6: Hotel Marivaux – Formerly a theater in te 1920s, this hotel is perfectly situated in the heart of Brussels, allowing us to walk everywhere we need to go.
Accommodation upgrades available upon request.
Please note: Hotels are subject to availability. If listed hotel is not available at time of tour, a hotel that is equal or better to the original will be secured.
What is Included
- All Local Transportation
- Double Occupancy Lodging
- Breakfasts and Dinners (Lunches included on Private Deluxe Tours)
- All Scheduled Activities and Brewery Visits
- Professionally-Selected Beers Included With Meals on Deluxe Private Tours
- Professional Tour Host
Not Included: Gratuities to your guides, personal expenses, and travel to and from destination. Travel insurance is also not included, though we highly recommend it. Check out our Travel Insurance page for more information.
While the general trip itinerary will remain the same, the actual restaurants, hotels, and activities listed are subject to modifications. Changes that are out of our control are common — restaurants close or lose their amazing chef, a winery changes their visiting hours, a hotel gets remodeled, etc. You are entrusting us to create an outstanding vacation for you and so it is possible we may take the liberty of making necessary changes to the itinerary that will improve your overall trip experience. If there is any one experience that is going to make or break your trip, please discuss this with us in advance.
Arrival & Departure
We meet in the early afternoon in Brussels, allowing you to arrive that morning or on a prior day as you wish. Getting to the Hotel Welcome in Brussels from the airport or train station is easy and we will provide complete information in your Pre-Departure Packet.
Our adventure ends in Brussels late morning on our final day. You can easily take a return train to Bruges or wherever your next adventure lies!