Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours

Westmalle glass

forthcoming tours

Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours was founded by Podge, aka Chris Pollard in 1994 and is now run by his wife, co-beer-writer and co-traveller for thirty years, Siobhan McGinn. Podge was famous for his encyclopaedic knowledge of Belgian beers, breweries and culture, but Siobhan was never far behind him. On a recent Tour one traveller was overheard saying to a fellow traveller ‘Siobhan – she knows her stuff’. She and Podge travelled in Belgium for almost thirty years, first alone, then with Tours and visited hundreds of Belgian breweries and probably thousands of cafes.

Podge & Siobhan at Leuven Innovation Festival 2016

Podge & Siobhan at Leuven Innovation Festival 2016.

As well as a Belgian beer expert, Siobhan is a historian and an expert on beer in the First World War in Flanders. She has a Master’s degree from Birmingham University in First World War Studies (2014). Siobhan personally conducts each Tour and loves to tell travellers on the coach microphone about Belgian culture, cow breeds, Flemish dog carts and the meaning of obscure Flemish road signs. Given that Siobhan also has a degree in English Law, another two Masters degrees in Victorian Studies and English Literature and is an Egyptologist, she is rarely short of subjects to talk about! You need a vacation. You need a beer. You need a beercation. Come and join us on one of the following great tours. We have pick up and drop off points in Suffolk, Essex and Kent as can be viewed on our joining points for Podge's Belgian Beer Tours Map.

Beer & Battlefields - The Western Front 1914-1918

Wednesday 04 September - Sunday 08 September 2024

Join our special 'like-no-other' battlefield tour taking in the battlefields of Flanders in the First World War, combined with Siobhan's other great specialism, Belgian beer. We are based for five days and four nights at the very central Novtel Flanders Fields in Ypres, at the heart of the salient. Join us for a Tour by comfy coach around the unforgettable Salient and hear what happened here and why. Read more.

Christmas in Leuven

Tuesday 24 December - Saturday 28 December 2024

Our annual Christmas Tour this year is based in the lovely city of Leuven in Flemish Brabant. Our stay for five days, four nights is the centrally based Penta Hotel. Join us for a leisurely drive round Flanders in our cozy luxury 49-Seater coach with some winter beers! To give you an idea of what the Tour might look like, have a look at what we did on the Christmas in Gent Tour 2023. Read more.

The Flemish Ardennes Beer Tour 2025

Wednesday 19 March - Sunday 23 March 2025

Abrand new Podge's Belgian Beer Tour exploring the Flemish Ardennes. Our stay is for five days, four nights in the luxury four star Leopold Hotel in the historic city of Oudenaarde. Join us for a leisurely drive round this land of hills and mills at the southern end of East Flanders in our luxury 49-Seater coach! This is the über-cycling area of Belgium and has some great beer cafes at the tops of the cobblestone hills. Bruin beer, breweries and bluebell woods. Join us. Read more.

Castles & Beer - Mons in May 2025

Wednesday 14 May to Sunday 18 May 2025

This lovely Tour in Spring 2025 is a five day, four nights exploration of belgian beer and castles. For this historic Tour we are based in the beautiful city of Mons, at the fabulous central four star Martin's Dream Hotel, a former church. There are heaps of great bars on and off the lovely Grand Place (with its famous Guard Room Monkey. This Tour will centre on beers and locations to do with all things castle-y, or kasteels in Dutch and chateaux in French. The Tour will, as usual, include visits to breweries, beer restaurants, brilliant cafes and quirky visits, all chosen by Siobhan. Join us. Read more.

Beer on the Tracks June 2025

Wednesday 25 June – Sunday 29 June 2025

Our unique Tour exploring the world of Belgian trams, trains and beer. Our travellers love this combination, so this special Tour will take in trams, trains, steam and otherwise, train museums, cafes in tram buildings, pubs in train stations, trains, trains and trains! The hotel we are based in for four nights is the astoundingly elegant Hotel Van der Valk in Mechelen, and has a Presidential Suite, which Siobhan is hoping they'll allocate to her! Mechelen is pertinent to this Tour as it is a great base from which to fan out in search of locos etc, but is also the place where Belgian trains started, kind of the equivalent to our Stockon-Darlington moment. Join us. Read more.



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Belle-Vue sign

Tour archive

Browse past tours here. You can also browse previous tours on our old website here.