Podge is Chris Pollard, who has been running popular and informal beer tours to Belgium since 1994 and is a full time Tour Operator. As one half of beer writing duo Pollard & McGinn he organises coach tours with various pick up points in the UK travelling onto Belgium. Tours include stays in great hotels, visits to breweries and brewery taps and atmospheric cafés where travellers can enjoy rare and tasty beers. All tours include an opportunity to stock up your beer cellar at one of Belgium’s better beer warehouses. Podge has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Belgian beers, breweries and culture which, to paraphrase Tim Webb is ‘delivered in American, but spoken but with a Lancashire accent.’ Browse the tour archive or join him and Siobhan McGinn on one of the following great tours:
We are pleased to announce this new tour staying at Novotel Ypres and designed to concentrate on the 1918 Spring Offensive or Kaiserschlacht (Kaiser's Battle), also known as the Ludendorff Offensive which was a massive series of German attacks along the Western Front against the allies during the First World War which began on 21 March 1918 and marked the deepest advances by either side since 1914. Read more.
This Tour is based at the excellent four star Hotel Keizershof in the beery city of Aalst where we will explore old Flemish Reds & Browns, Lambic beers and barrel-aged beers. This Tour will include a day experiencing the third biennial Rondje Roodbruin, a one day tour around the traditional breweries producing the world-renowned Flemish Red-Brown beers. Read more.
This Tour is based at the excellent Novotel Gent Centrum Novotel Gent Centrum in the beery city of Ghent. On this Tour we will be eploring beer, breweries, cafes and beer-cuisine restaurants alongside the coast, rivers, canals, lakes and waterways of Belgium. Read more.
We are delighted to announce this new Beer & Battlefields Tour which will be based for five nights at Novotel Ypres Flanders Fields in the centre of Ypres. We will visit important sites connected with the end of the war including Mons which is where the British Expeditionary Force first engaged with the German Army and where Allied troops (spearheaded by the Canadians) ended up when the guns stopped at 11.00hrs on 11 November 1918. We are visiting Belgium just before the centenary Armistice date as there will be events at the Menen Gate in Ypres and Mons which are likely to be very busy, lots of camera crews and VIP invite only, so by going a little early we should get a chance to have a proper look at these sites. Of course, we will be visiting plenty of breweries and cafes and having some beer cuisine meals. The journey from Ypres to Mons happens to be particularly rich in great breweries, such as the mighty Bush (Dubuisson) Brewery and the incomparable Brewery Dupont. This is a unique battlefield Tour because of Siobhan McGinn's (Mrs Podge) latest research on alcohol and the British Army. On tour she will share her latest findings in the army Courts Martial records for drunkenness in the National Archives at Kew and what was going on with soldiers and drinking in the last year if the war. Why not join us? Read more.
We love Belgium (and winter beers) at Christmas and we love taking a coach full of like-minded people. If you want something different to the usual Christmas routine, why not come away with us and get driven around Flanders (and the Netherlands) in a coach to eat and drink in warm cosy surroundings and sample the finest offerings of Belgian beer culture. Read more.