This is our classic tour exploring the world's most complex beers, the lambic beers of the Zenne Valley, west of Brussels. It is a five day, four night Tour guided by Siobhan McGinn, co-writer with her husband Podge and Tim Webb of the definitive book LambicLand (2004, 2010). Siobhan's expertise in Belgium's quirky spontaneous fermented beers goes back over 25 years and she will take you to the best lambic cafes in LambicLand to sample this unique beer style.
The tour co-incides with the now-famous bi-annual lambic brewer/blender open days, the Toer de Geuze now held over two days on the weekend of Saturday 1 May & Sunday 2 May 2021. Over the five days of the Tour we will endeavour to visit all of LambicLand's spontaneous beer brewers and blenders, with the exception of Girardin who do not like their lambic disturbed by visitors (!) and Cantillon in Brussels who do not take part in the Toer de Geuze.
We will also visit the newest member of HORAL Lambiek Fabriek in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw. This Tour is based at the luxurious four star Hotel Keizershof in the centre of Aalst, a great base for exploring LambicLand, as you can see in Podge's Aalst Bar Guide. There will be meals at the superb Café-Restaurant 3 Fonteinen in Beersel, plus a visit to specialist lambic cafe In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst in Eizeringen.
We are based in Chelmsford, Essex and we usually use Eurotunnel at Folkestone to get to and from Belgium by coach. Most of our Travellers join us at our main pick up point outside The Woolpack, 23 Mildmay Road, Chelmsford. Many of our Travellers come from other parts of UK and abroad and 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 Premier Inn near the 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 adj to Chapel St South)
Chelmsford, The Woolpack, 23 Mildmay Road, CM2 0DN.
Dartford, BP Garage (formerly Esso), 474 Princes Road, DA1 1YT (we drop off on the return leg at Dartford Rail Station DA1 1DR).
Swanley, Unit 4, Moreton Industrial Estate, London Road, BR8 8DE
Maidstone Services J8, M20 Kent, ME17 1SS.
Premier Inn, Eureka Leisure Park, Rutherford Rd, Ashford TN25 4BN.
Stop 24 Services, J11, M20, Kent, CT21 4BL.
Stationsplein, Adinkerke, Belgium.
This Tour is still being built so keep an eye on this web page or our newsletters for updates. The final itinerary will be posted here at least four weeks prior to departure. If you want 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 £125pp deposit or if you have any questions about this Tour.
We regret that we need to charge a single supplement for travellers who would like their own room. This is because increasingly there is no such thing as a single room price in hotels and room prices for a single person or two person occupancy are either the same or with very little difference. 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.
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.