Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours

Westmalle glass

forthcoming tours

Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours was founded by Podge, aka Chris Pollard back 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 year, first alone, then with Tours and 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. 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 for ease of joining a Tour.

Taste of Trappist Tour

Friday 10 June – Tuesday 14 June 2022

This is a new Tour designed to take in a day of the Vleteren Trappiste Festival and we are staying four nights at the Monasterium Hotel in Ghent, a former Monastery. We will visiting locations connected with Trappist beer including those breweries we can visit, brewery taps, bars and restaurants. For all things Trappist Read more.

Beer on The Waterfront

Tuesday 09 August - Sunday 14 August 2022

An excellent summer beer Tour featuring the Belgian coast, rivers, canals and inland waterways and the breweries, beer cafes and restaurants which inhabit them. Staying for five nights, six days at the centrally based at Novotel in Gent, that most beautiful of Flemish cities with an astonishing density of brilliant beer bars. Read more.

Operation Belgian Beer: WW2 & Beer in Antwerp Province Tour

Wednesday 14 September – Monday 19 September 2022

This is a six day Tour looking at beer in Antwerp Province, and the WW2 fight for the bridgeheads in this area in September 1944. We are staying in Geel, perfect for exploring the sights and action connected with the Battle of Geel, 8–23 September 1944 happening at the same time as the more famous Operation Market Garden further north. There will be plenty of brewery visits, excellent beer cafes, as well as following the WW2 action along this part of the Schelde, and focusing on the fate of Avro Lancasters and the Scottish Regiments. Read more.

Christmas in Bruges

Saturday 24 December - Wednesday 28 December 2022

We love Belgium at Christmas and dark belgian beers. This year we are booked in at Beautiful Bruges. If you would like an idea of what this Tour might look like have a look at the full itinerary for the Christmas in Belgium Tour 2019. For this year we are staying in lovely Bruges, the Belgian town nearest to the heart of your guide, Siobhan McGinn. We are booked in at the Hotel Ibis Brugge Centrum in Katelijnestraat, very close to the city coach drop off and pick up point in Bargeplein. Read more.

The Belgian Black Beer Tour

Thursday 16 March 2023 - Tuesday 21 March 2023

This is a our brand new Tour designed to take in the Black Beers of Belgium, old and new. If you like Stouts, Porters and a sneaky Westmalle Dubbel then this is the beer tour for you! Five nights, six days staying in downtown Antwerp City. Read more.

Belle-Vue sign

Tour archive

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