Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours

PODGE’S BELGIAN BEER TOURS NEWSLETTER – JULY 2012

 

Hi! All,

Here is an update on our future Belgian Beer Tours and beer festivals where our BelgaFest Beer Bar will be appearing this summer!

 

CHELMSFORD SUMMER BEER FESTIVAL 2012 – TUES 10 JULY- SAT 14 JULY

At our BelgaFest Beer Bar we will have a selection of over 100 Belgian Beers, both bottled and draught. We are also featuring beers from Czech Republic, USA, Norway, Germany, Netherlands, Austria and Australia. The star of the show is Budvar Yeast Beer on draught – rarely seen outside a handful of bars in Prague. We are also pleased to support a special beer tasting “Around the World in 6 glasses”, given by our friend and colleague Tim Webb on the Thursday evening of the festival. Have a look at the Chelmsford Summer Beer Festival website for details of the event in marquees at Admirals Park in central Chelmsford.

 

IPSWICH BEER FESTIVAL ON THE WATERFRONT – THURS 16 AUGUST – SUN 19 AUGUST 2012

Our BelgaFest Beer Bar will be at this second festival on the Orwell Quay at Ipswich Docks and we look forward to seeing you all there. Again we are aiming to get in some top ranking beers from around the world. For details see Ipswich Beer Festival.

 

Tour 60 – BEER & HERITAGE TOUR – FRI 24 AUG –  MON 27 AUG 2012

This Tour itinerary is now complete. Dave Buckley (Archaeologist) will act as guide on this popular annual Beer & Heritage Tour. This year we are based in the historic city of Leuven at the luxury Novotel. Having recently returned from completing our research in this great student town, we are pleased to report that it is more beery than ever! This Tour will include guided visits to:

§         The beautiful castle Alden Biesen at Bilzen, built by The Teutonic Order who nursed wounded Crusaders. The impressive moated castle complex has been beautifully restored and we will find out more about the Teutonic Order of Knights and the history of the Landcommanderij Alden Biesen.

§         A brand new Brewery and Distillery opened in 2011 at Wilderen in a historic building complex which has been fantastically renovated. Here we can try their two golden brews Tripel Kanunnik (8.2%abv) and Wilderen Goud (6.2% abv) from their odd shaped glasses. Have a look at their impressive website at Brouwerij Wilderen.

§         We are delighted to offer at long last this rare opportunity to play the ancient Flemish sport of Vertical Archery or “Staande Wip”. We will be able to experience this old and skilful sport indoors in a pub called The Toewip in Leuven. Their tower in the back room has a 33 metre high vertical target at which we will take aim. The sport dates back to the longbows used in the 14th Century. The sport was once very popular, but has waned in recent years. You will still see many cages outside for this sport, but there are only about 10 indoors, this being one of them. The owners are putting a special beer on draught for us too.

§         The National Flemish Coal Mine Museum at Beringen which commenced mining in 1901 and where the last truck of coal came to the surface in 1989. We will be guided round by an ex-miner.

§         The Palm Brewery in Steenhuffel. This will include at introductory film*, a tour of the brewery*, a look around their famous stud farm at Diepensteyn castle* and a tasting of their beers*. This is followed by a meal at the “Brouwershuis” across the road.

§         Herkenrode Abbey for an audio tour of the permanent exhibition about the Abbey site. We have also been invited to the Herkenrode beer promotion booth on site where we will have a beer tasting with a local beer expert. Not only will we be able to taste a couple of their beers* but we will also have a taste of the Herkenrode Abbey cheese*.

§         Au Phare Brewery for Beer tasting and meal. The building of this brand new brewery has just been completed in a renovated café on the main square in the centre of the historic city of Tongeren and all reports suggest their beers are outstanding.

§         A special bar visit to the Kunstemaecker just outside Veurne where we will have our first meal after crossing the Belgian border. This is an excellent new find and though they only have around 60 beers available, every one is a cracker. They also have some great beers rarely found in this area, including a draught lambic.

  • Het Vijgeblad in Beringen, one of the very best bars in Limburg. Here we will have a beer or two chosen from a menu that has nine on draught and 70 outstanding bottled beers which include some of the best Belgian Geuzes & Krieks.
  • We will also pay a visit to The Museum for Old Techniques (Water, Wind & Muscle-Power) at Grimbergen which consists of a huge and fascinating collection of old tools, machines and a water mill. They also have a café for refreshment.
  • We will also be playing Toewip!!! See Website for further details.

The price of this four-day tour has been held at last year’s prices and is £380 per person based on sharing a twin or double room with a single supplement of £94 if you want a room of your own. If you would like to book a place, please contact me now.

 

Chappel Summer Beer Festival – TUES 4 SEPT – SAT 8 SEPT 2012

Our BelgaFest Beer Bar will be at this excellent outdoor beer festival at the East Anglian Railway Museum, Chappel & Wakes Colne Station, Chappel in Essex and we look forward to seeing you all there. For details see Chappel Summer Beer Festival.

 

Tour 61 – ABBEY BEER PILGRIMAGE – THURS 20 SEPT – MON 24 SEPT 2012

This promises to be a stonker of a Beer Tour taking in all the authenticated Abbey Beers of Belgium. In 1999 a Certified Belgian Abbey Beer (Erkend Belgisch Abdijbier) logo was introduced by the Union of Belgian Brewers. This is awarded and can be used on the labels of beers which comply with certain conditions including links with an existing or former abbey and payment of royalties for charitable purposes to the abbey.

 

We will aim to visit various locations associated with these beers to give Travellers a unique opportunity to attempt to try most or all of the “Erkend” Abbey beers of Belgium. We will be visiting some of the Breweries where they are brewed, some of the associated Abbeys and some other historic settings linked to the beer. Siobhan McGinn will be our guide to the historical and cultural elements of this Tour including sorting your Cistercians from your Benedictines, whilst on the beer front Podge will sort out your Dubbels from your Tripels. The first two nights Hotel accommodation will be in Wallonia at the centrally located Ibis Namur Centre Hotel followed by two nights in Flanders at Novotel Mechelen Centrum Hotel. Details of this Tour are still being worked on, but the following have been organised:

 

  • A visit to Maredsous Abbey for a chance to taste the abbey products.
  • A snack and an Abbaye de Bonne Esperance beer at Tournebride Tavern in the grounds of the Abbey.
  • A meal and beer at Floreffe Abbey.
  • A tasting of Ename beers at Oude Abdij café in Ename.
  • A visit to and meal at Gasterie Ten Duinen, the estaminet associated with the Ten Duinen Abbey in Koksijde.
  • A tour and tasting at Brasserie de Brunehaut, brewers of the Saint Martin range of beers.
  • A visit, tasting and meal at Val de Sambre brewery which nestles in the heart of the Aulne Abbey.
  • A brewery tour and beer tasting at St Feuillien in Le Roeulx.

 

Watch out for the next newsletter when we should have news of Bornem, Val Dieu, Herkenrode, Ter Dolen, Keizerberg, Grimbergen and Ramee.

The price of this five-day tour is £445 per person based on sharing a twin or double room with a single supplement of £128 if you want a room of your own. If you would like to book a place please send me a deposit of £100 per person now.

 

Tour 62 – CHRISTMAS in BRUGES – SAT 22 DEC to WED 26 DEC 2012

We are pleased that rooms have once again been secured at the four star Hotel Academie in central Bruges and we will be running a 5 day Christmas Tour again. So get the dates in your diary and get your request for leave in!  By the way we have already been invited by the Waregem branch of Zythos along to their special exhibition of Winter Beers – sounds good! And on Christmas day we will be visiting, eating and drinking at Emelisse Brewery just over the border in Holland

 

The price of this five-day tour is £445 per person based on sharing a twin or double room with a single supplement of £128 if you want a room of your own. If you would like to book a place, please register your interest now to be added to the list. We will probably be collecting deposits for this Tour in September 2012.

 

!!NEW!! Tour 63 – BRUGES in 80 BEERS and MORE – SAT 2 FEB to TUES 5 FEB 2013

Everybody enjoys Bruges, including me and Siobhan, so we have decided to return for their excellent Beer Festival. This will take place under the historic belfry right on the main square. This Tour is based at Hotel Academie**** in the centre of the historic city of Bruges on the weekend of the Bruges Beer Festival which takes place in the Halletoren on the  Markt Square. We will be exploring  the cafes of Bruges and the two Breweries in the city plus another couple in the West Flanders countryside. This Tour coincides with the publication of our 3rd edition of Around Bruges in 80 Beers and we will take Travellers on a disorganised cafe crawl to some of our newly featured venues.

 

Tour Price:  To be announced in autumn 2012. Prices will be based on sharing in a twin or double room. Single Supplement: To be announced in Autumn 2012. If you are travelling alone and want to share a room with another traveller please contact Podge as we are regularly able to pair up travellers in twin rooms to avoid the need for payment of a single supplement.

 

!!NEW!! Tour 64 – LAMBICLAND REVISITED – FRI 19 APRIL to MON 22APRIL 2013

For this Tour we are based in Aalst at the fantastic Hotel Keizershof****. We are aiming to visit all of the Lambic brewers and blenders in Belgium, being Hanssens (Dworp), 3 Fonteinen (Beersel), Oud Beersel (Beersel), Boon (Lembeek), Timmermans (Itterbeek), Lindemans (Vlezenbeek), De Cam (Gooik), De Troch (Wambeek) and Mort Subite (Kobbegem), Tilquin (Rebecq-Rognon) and possibly Girardin (Sint-Ulriks-Kapelle) and Cantillon (Brussels). We also hope to pay a visit to the new Lambic Visitors Centre in Beersel (Alsemberg) De Lambiek. There will be visits to the superb beer cafe and restaurant de Heeren van Liederkercke and specialist Lambic cafe In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst.

Tour Price:  To be announced in autumn 2012. Prices will be based on sharing in a twin or double room. Single Supplement:  To be announced in Autumn 2012. If you are travelling alone and want to share a room with another traveller please contact Podge as we are regularly able to pair up travellers in twin rooms to avoid the need for payment of a single supplement.

!!NEW!! Tour 65 – BEER AND BATTLEFIELDS – THURS 23 MAY to MON 27MAY 2013

This is our fourth Beer & Battlefields Tour. Our base is the friendly Oude Abdij Hotel in Lo, the site of one of the many Belgian breweries destroyed in the First World War. This Tour will centre on battlefields and breweries in the Ypres Salient in Flanders and will as usual include visits to well known and some less well known sites. We will have the services of Siobhan McGinn as our guide to Flanders Fields, and this year Siobhan will be giving us the benefit of her studies on the MA in British first war studies which she will undertake in Autumn 2012.

Tour Price:  To be announced in autumn 2012. Prices will be based on sharing in a twin or double room. Single Supplement: To be announced in Autumn 2012. If you are travelling alone and want to share a room with another traveller please contact Podge as we are regularly able to pair up travellers in twin rooms to avoid the need for payment of a single supplement.

 

Included in the cost of these Tours are:

v      Hotel accommodation and breakfasts.

v      Luxury coach travel on a 49 seater coach with toilet.

v      Pick up from Ipswich (Crown Street Layby), Colchester (Southway Chapel St South Layby) or Chelmsford (The Woolpack, Mildmay Road). Arrangements can be made for different joining points on the way to Folkestone or even on the other side of the channel. 

v      All Brewery visits, tours and brewery beer tastings.

v      Entrance fees to attractions, museums and historical sites.

v      All other items marked with an asterisk on the individual detailed tour itinerary.

v      Copies of Podge’s City Bar guide and Map for the town or city where we stay or spend some time on Tour.

v      Free still and sparkling water on the coach.

 

Personal insurance is not included but is strongly advised, as is carrying the European Health Insurance Card available online, by phone or via the Post Office.

 

If you would like to join us on any of the above tours or if you need more information please contact Podge on 01245 354677 or email podgehome@blueyonder.co.uk. Places are limited to the number of rooms booked, so book early to avoid disappointment. If you do not want to receive further newsletters, please let me know.

 

CHEERS! Podge

Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours

Driving people to drink since 1994

www.podgebeer.co.uk

01245 354677

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