Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours

Beer on the Waterfront

Wednesday 26 June – Sunday 30 June 2024

This is our most popular Tour which is irresistible as it is based in the beautiful watery and beery City of Ghent, and our visits are all connected with drinking beer by or on water, whether that be on a boat, on a river terrace, or at a canalside cafe. The highlight is the complete day on the coastal tram, the longest tramway in the world, when Travellers will be armed with a day pass for the whole Tram system plus a copy of Podge's Coasal Bar Guide which includes all the best beer bars on the Belgian coast within a fifteen minute walk of a tram stop. There are 62 stops on a 42 mile track from the French border to the Dutch border. Fun with knobs on! This five day, four night Tour is based at the very centrally located Ibis Ghent on the cathedral Square of St Baafs, surrounded by beer bars and cafes, so not far to trot in the evenings then! Gent is one of the Flemish Pearl cities - it is beautiful and plenty of watery cafes. Our hotel, Ibis St Baafs, is next to the cathedral which contains the world’s most stolen artwork masterpiece, the Ghent Altarpiece, or 'The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb' by Van Eyck. It’s just been cleaned and restored and is amazing (especially as the cleaning revealed the mystic lamb has two sets of ears, as the artist changed his mind as to their exact position in the composition).

This is our ever-popular biennial Tour and is highly likely to book up to capacity - it always does, so if you want to join us, email me as to how to pay the deposit. I am looking at getting us a visit to the Anderlecht Sewer Museum in Southern Brussels, close to the Cantillon Brewery. I am also currently in talks with Stokerij Rubbens, a distiller, who make the delicious Chouffe Coffee, gins and six beers too. They also have a comfy distillery/brewery tap which we can visit and have a tasting. They also have the famous astronomical clock built from the 1930s-1960s by watchmaker Edgard Heirman, and has 90,000 moving parts, including figures which do things. We will probably have a look at this and see it working.

The Coastal Tram in Belgium - a great day out

The famous Coastal Tram in Belgium runs the whole of the coast from France to The Netherlands - the longest in the world at 42 miles.

A nice selection of beers in De Planck, a boat Cafe in moored up in Ghent

Nice selection of beer in De Planck, a boat Cafe in Ghent.

The Flemish city of Ghent is one of the top beer destinations anywhere in Europe, just have a look at Podge's Ghent Bar Guide! On this Tour we will be exploring beer, breweries, cafes and beer-cuisine restaurants alongside the coast, rivers, canals, lakes and waterways of Belgium.

We are based in Chelmsford in Essex and we usually use Le Shuttle (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 Folkestone (or occasionally Dover) picks up at several points, as agreed with Siobhan, as below:

Ipswich, Bus Stop, Tesco Store, Pinewood, Ipswich IP8 3TS.

Colchester, McDonald's, Tollgate West, Stanway, Colchester C03 8RG

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.

Ashford, pull in Outside Dobbies Garden Centre, Opposite Premier Inn, Ashford Eureka Leisure Park, Rutherford Road, Ashford, Kent, TN25 4BN.

Folkestone, Shell Garage, Stop 24 Services, J11, M20, Kent, CT21 4BL.

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

This Tour is currently being built so keep an eye on this web page or subscribe to our monthly email newsletter for updates - there is a form to do this at the foot of this page. 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 on +44 (0) 7722 724 558 for details on how to secure a place and pay the £175pp deposit for this Tour, or if you have any questions about this Tour. Should your plans change, we are happy to return your deposit to you in full provided the date of the return request is more than six weeks before the departure date of the Tour.

Tour Price is £985 per person sharing a twin or double room

Single Supplement: £295

We regret that we need to charge a single supplement for travellers who would like their own hotel room. This is because increasingly hotel room prices are quoted with very little difference between single person or two person occupancy.

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 one of our agreed joining points on the way to Folkestone or even on the other side of the channel.

Courier Services from Siobhan McGinn, your Tour Guide.

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 required to be taken out by Travellers on Podge's Belgian Beer Tours, as is carrying the free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which is the 2021 replacement for the old EHIC. You can still use your EHIC card so long as it is in date, then you need to apply for the GHIC replacement online.

All Tours are subject to our Terms and Conditions.