Bruges - Brussels
Belgium is undoubtedly one of the best destinations for beer travel on earth. With approximately 180 breweries you can expect an infinite variety that offers something for everyone.
From pale lagers, witbiers and Iambics to Flemish reds, Dubbels and stouts, almost every style of beer has its own particular and uniquely shaped glass or drinking-vessel. There is a huge spectrum of beer to experience.
Historically, beer has been brewed in Belgium since at least the 12th Century with local French and Flemish Abbeys distributing their low alcohol brews to raise extra cash. Knowledge and skills have been crafted and passed down the generations within families and through keen apprentices to perfect the art of beer production.
Nowadays beer has become a much respected part of daily life and festive Belgian culture. As you travel with us across the North-East of Belgium you will see how beer contributes to the lives of the inhabitants both in the big city and the laid-back countryside, from brewer to consumer. See for yourself the epic journey of perfectly balanced ingredients right up until that first sip.
The flexibility of our tours means you can choose how you spend each day. After breakfast we discuss the daily meet point and you can either sail with us, admiring the view from the deck or alternatively you can cycle cross country to the next destination.
Your sailing group will get together at the end of the day to enjoy a fantastic and well deserved three-course set meal (see our menu page for samples). Evenings are free to spend as you wish, relaxing in the lounge or checking out the local area.
2018 TOUR DATES
Below are the sailing dates for the Belgian Beer Tour 2018/2019.
Get in touch to see if your dates are available.
7th - 14th July
21st - 28th July
4th May - 11th May 2019
18th May - 25th May 2019
1st June - 8th June 2019
15th June - 22nd June 2019
29th June - 6th July 2019
13th July - 20th July 2019
20th July - 27th July 2019
3rd August - 10th August 2019
17th August - 24th August 2019
31st August - 7th September 2019
21st September - 28th September 2019
Day 1 - In Bruges Welkom in Brugge! A warm welcome aboard your chosen vessel, where you'll check in to your cabin for the week and admire beautiful Bruges with an aperitif on the deck. In the afternoon spend some time walking around this perfectly preserved medieval city and make your first brewery visit of the week to the Halve Maan Brouwerij. You can take a small tour and get your first degustation of well-balanced, rich and foamy Brugse Zot Blond (6.0% ABV). Later on you can relax in the brewery tavern or find your own little corner of Bruges to get in the holiday mood. We like the local specialities or town brews Straffe Hendrik Blonde - Belgian Pale Ale (6.0% ABV) for something light or maybe a Bruges Tripel Ale - Wild Tripel (9.0% ABV) if you're feeling more adventurous! Dinner is served aboard in the evening.
Day 2 - The Dr near Deinze The boat sets sail on Sunday morning during breakfast for Moerebrugge where you can begin your day's cycling. The small town of Deinze is our destination with 40Km of adorable Flemish landscape to take in. You will cycle along the Ghent-Oostende-canal turning off south towards the tiny village of Gotten and the Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus- the smallest brewery in Belgium. You can enjoy an informative welcome from Dr Canarus himself and choose from a selection of Pale and Dark Ales to suit all tastes. The full bodied Trappist-style Potteloereke - Belgian Strong Dark Ale (8.0% ABV) comes very highly rated and can be enjoyed in a custom ceramic mug. Sunday dinner is served aboard.
Day 3 - Get Your Ghent On Your journey begins after breakfast with a 20Km cycle to the city of Ghent. The city centre has some fabulous architectural highlights such as the Saint Bavo Cathedral and also features the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the three beguinages, the belfry and adjacent cloth hall. In the afternoon you can visit the Gentse Gruut Staadsbrowerij whose unique beers are flavoured with a special blend of herbs instead of hops, such as their light fruity-Gruuty Witbier (5.0% ABV). The family-run Brouwerij Van Steenberge is also worth a look-in, where three generations of brewers have perfected an extremely complex brewing and re-fermentation process. A bright white bottle of Gulden Draak - Dark Tripel (10.5% ABV) really stands out from the crowd and is a full-mouthed thirst quencher. The boat will dock at the Merelbeke lock, a suburb of Ghent and approx. 15 minutes cycling to the city centre if you want to make a night of it.
Day 4 - Dander in Dendermonde/St Amands After breakfast you can cycle 5Km into the world of the pink elephant at the Huyghe Brewery. Most famous for it's spicy Delirium Tremens - Pale Ale (8.5% ABV) and award-winning Averbode Abbey beer (7.5% ABV), a few sips of either, or both(!) will have you on track for the day. After 32Km, through the winding landscape along the Schelde River you will arrive at the small city of Dendermonde where the boat will be waiting for you. In the neighbourhood there is the opportunity to visit several breweries. Brouwerij Malheur is a great choice and the mighty Malheur 12 aged in Bourbon barrels (10% ABV) is their self-confessed jewel in the crown for tasting quality. A trip to Dilewyns Brouwerij is also a tempting choice. This family-owned and ultra modern brewery features the Vicaris Generaal (8.5% ABV) if you prefer your beer on the hearty side. Alternatively you can visit the seventh generation Bosteels Brouwerij which features one of our all time favourites the dreamy and creamy Tripel Karmeliet - Tripel (8.4% ABV). Enjoy dinner aboard.
Day 5 - Antigoon's Antwerp Todays journey takes you 40Km along the Brussels-Rupel canal, through the countryside to Rupelmonde and Hemiksem and then you'll meet us in Antwerp. Famous for handling a large proportion of the world's diamonds, Antwerp is a dynamic city that features many magnific buildings erected during the Renaissance period such as the Grote Market (city Square) and the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe Cathedral. For your daily beer you can visit the De Koninck Brouwerij (1883) and experience their interactive tour that in their own words guarantees 'top-notch entertainment that will stimulate all of your senses!'. Nearby to Antwerp in Malle lies the most famous Trappist Abbey of Westmalle where the holy trinity of Trappist Dubbel (7% ABV), “moeder van alle tripels” Tripel (9.5% ABV) and Extra (4.8%) are brewed biannually. Dinner aboard is a buffet beer pairing with these local specialties. Yes please!
Day 6 - Willebroek Wonder After breakfast you will cycle out of Antwerp through picturesque and affluent neighbourhoods to Lier. At the small river Nete find the road to Mechelen, a small yet fabulous city that is littered with more than 300 historically listed buildings. In the town you will find the original Het Anker Brouwerij (1471) which brews the sumptuous Gouden Carolus selection. The Gouden Carolus Classic - Belgian Strong Dark Ale (8.5% ABV) was voted the Best Strong Dark Beer in the world so will it tempt your tastebuds? Moving on to Willebroek you will pass the family-run Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat where you can take part in one of their varied tour experiences. From a simple tour offering insights into the brewery basics to a full-on degustation with a beer sommelier. Featuring the classic Duvel - Belgian Speciaalbier (8.5% ABV) this is not a brewery to be missed. After the 36Km bike ride you may wish to just catch your breath onboard before dinner.
Day 7 - Barge into Brussels The last day begins by barge along the Willebroek canal to Vilvoorde, where you may disembark and cycle into Brussels centre. In the capital you can enjoy all manner of Belgian delights! After 30Km those who are feeling energetic may wish to cycle to the Alken Maes Brouwerij for a taste of heaven with the simply delicious Mort Subite Framboise Lambic - Fruit (4.5% ABV). Closer to the city you can visit Brouwerij Lindemans or Timmermans and get your tongue around their sour selections. At the Brasserie Cantillon they produce local beer in the traditional style and a perfectly poured glass of Cantillon - Gueuze (5.5% ABV) could be ideal to prep your palate for the last night. Finish it all off with some contemporary playtime at the Brussels Beer Project. You'll be spoilt for exotic choice with their All Star range of innovative craft beers. A nice juicy number such as Jungle Joy - Passion and Mango Dubbel (6.6% ABV) is the perfect way to end your holiday.
Day 8 - The End Breakfast is served and its time to say goodbye.