Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours

Taste of Trappist Tour

Friday 4 June – Tuesday 8 June 2021

This new Tour is for those who like their Trappist beers. It is designed to take in a day at the newly announced Vleteren Tournée Trappiste Festival (Trappist Tour/Round) on 5 & 6 June 2021 at the “De Sceure” venue in the West Flanders beer-village of Vleteren. The festival is designed to focus on traditional, artisan Trappist beers, cheeses, chocolates, liqueurs and wines from all of the worldwide Trappists (more correctly known as The Cistercian Order of Strict Observance). Chefs will be there to make tasty dishes with Trappist products. Cafe Trappisten, Westmalle

Cafe Trappisten, Westmalle

Our base for this Tour is the gorgeous Flemish city of Ghent and we are staying in an ex-Monastery! It is the Hotel Monasterium PoortAckere in central Ghent which is only an 8-minute walk from that great beer café Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant on the River Leie (Fr. Lys). The hotel incorporates the Pugin-Neo-Gothic chapel, cloisters and much of the nineteenth century nunnery built over the original medieval PoortAckere monastery built on this spot in 1278.

A Trappist beer at Sint Sixtus Monastery Brewery, Westvleteren. My fav, the 5.8%abv blonde.

The Tour is designed to visit the more northern Trappist monastery/breweries/brewery taps and we will aim to spend some time at:

La Trappe, the Netherlands – Monastery, Brewery, Tasting Café, Restaurant, Shop, big church. Big site, loads to see, especially the monastery fire engine and old bakery phone which they used to bang on the wall when there was a fire! Remember Trappists are not allowed to routinely talk!

Café Trappisten at Westmalle – Brewery Tap and big café restaurant and shop, home to the best Triple and Dubbel beers in the world. Period.

Cafe Den Hoek in Zundert, the Netherlands – A beer cafe in Zundert, home of De Kievit (Peewit or Lapwing) Trappist Brewery, part of the Trappist Abbey Maria Toevlucht. The abbe brewery makes Zundert 8 & more recently Zundert 10 beer.

In de Vrede, Westvleteren – brewery tap at the Monastery in Westvleteren, said by many to brew the best beer in the world.

Bierrestaurant Heerlijk, Raversijde, Ostend – we plan to pop in here for a meal – they do fab food and stock every Trappist beer in the world.

There will be plenty of other monastic-beer-themed stops too. Orval grows on trees in Chelmsford

Orval grows on trees in Chelmsford

We are based in Chelmsford Essex and we use Eurotunnel from Folkestone to get to and from Belgium in our UK hired coach. Most of our Travellers join the Tour at our main pick up point outside The Woolpack Pub, 23 Mildmay Road, Chelmsford CM2 0DN and most come from other parts of the UK, and some from further afield, especially USA. Lots of our Travellers stay the night before a Tour (and often the night of our return) at Chelmsford Travelodge only a few minutes walk from The Woolpack or at the Premier Inn near the Railway Station, about a 10 minute walk to the pick up point at The Woolpack. We all usually pop in to The Woolpack the night before departure for a meet, greet and a few beers with Siobhan who is your Tour Manager, Tour Guide and drinking pal for the duration.

Our Galloways luxury coach (49 seater coach with toilet) starts from Suffolk and on the way to Chelmsford picks up at the following if required:

Ipswich, Crown Street, IP1 3HS (opp. NCP Car Park)

Colchester, Southway, CO2 7BA (pull-in adjacent to Chapel Street South)

Chelmsford, The Woolpack, 23 Mildmay Road, CM2 0DN

Dartford, BP Garage (formerly Esso) 474 Princes Road, DA1 1YT. On the return leg we drop off at Dartford Railway Station DA1 1DR

Swanley, Unit 4, Moreton Industrial Estate, London Road, BR8 8DE

Maidstone Services J8, M20 Kent, ME17 1SS

Ashford (Eureka Leisure Park) Premier Inn, Eureka Leisure Park, Rutherford Rd, Ashford TN25 4BN

Stop 24 Services, J11, M20, Kent, CT21 4BL

Stationsplein, Adinkerke, Belgium

The crossing times we usually go for are the 09.20hr Eurotunnel from Folkestone and the 19.50hrs from Calais, so we arrive back in Folkestone at 19.30hrs UK time.

Rochefort tasting at Rochefort Abbey

Rochefort Beer in its home at Rochefort Abbey

This Tour is still being built so keep an eye on this web page or subscribe to our monthly email newsletter for updates. The final detailed and timed itinerary will be posted here at least four weeks prior to departure. If you would like to join us please send Siobhan an email or call her on +44 (0)1245 354677 for details on how to secure a place and pay the £130pp deposit for this Tour, or if you have any questions about this Tour.

La Trappe

La Trappe beers at Koningshoeven

Tour Price is £885 per person sharing a twin or double room

Single Supplement: £225

We regret that we need to charge a single supplement for travellers who require their own hotel room. This is because increasingly hotel room prices are quoted with very little difference between single person or two person occupancy. If you are travelling alone and want to share a room with another traveller please contact Siobhan as we are regularly able to pair up travellers in twin rooms to avoid the need for payment of the Single Supplement.

Included in the cost of this Tour are:

Hotel accommodation and breakfasts;

Hotel city taxes;

Luxury coach travel on a 49 seater coach with toilet;

All brewery visits, tours and brewery beer tastings;

Entrance fees to attractions, museums and historical sites;

All items marked with an asterisk above and on the individual detailed tour itinerary when issued;

Copies of Podge’s City Bar Guides and Maps for the town where we stay or spend some time;

Still and sparkling water on the coach;

Pick up from Ipswich (at bus shelter outside Crown House, Crown Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 3HS (opposite NCP Car Park), 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.

Travellers are responsible for the costs of all food and drink apart from items marked with an asterisk on the detailed itinerary plus all passport and insurance costs.

All itinerary times are local and approximate.

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

If you have any questions or would like to join us please send Siobhan an email or call on +44 (0)1245 354677.

All Tours are subject to our Terms and Conditions.

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La Trappe Beers