This Tour is based at the Ibis Brussels Centre Sainte Catherine Hotel, ideally situated to explore the Belgian lambic scene. We aim to visit all of the horal lambic brewers and blenders, some on the superb bi-annual lambic day – the Toer de Geuze – and some on other days so we have more time to spend at certain venues.
05.45 Coach pick up Southway, Colchester, Essex (pull in adjacent to Chapel St South).
06.15 Coach pick up The Woolpack, Mildmay Road, Chelmsford CM2 0DN.
07.00 Coach pick up 7 Mays Siding, London Rd, Swanley, Kent BR8 8EE.
09.20 Eurotunnel from Folkestone.
11.00 Arrive Calais./p>
11.50 Pick up one traveller at the Verloren Gernoare cafe in Adinkerke.
12.00 Call in at Gasthof ‘t Voshol (The Foxhole) in the Westhoek village of Leisele for our pre-booked lunch and a beer or two.
15.00 Arrive at the Brouwerij Mort Subite in the little cobbled village of Kobbegem for a Brewery Tour* and a tasting* of their beers.
17.45 Arrive in the centre of Brussels and check in at our hotel base for the next three nights Ibis Brussels Centre St Catherine, 2 Rue Joseph Plateau. An evening free to explore the superb bars and restaurants of this great European city, armed with a copy of Podge’s Brussels Bar Guide* and Map*.
10.00 After a leisurely breakfast*, leave hotel on the coach.
10.45 Pay a visit to the brand new Lambic Visitors Centre, the Bezoekerscentrum \"De Lambiek\"* in the centre of Alsemberg village. There will be a 10 minute film about lambic brewing and blending, plus exhibits, a beer shop and a bar where we can sample one of their draught lambic beers*.
12.30 Call in at the new Herberg de Zwaan in the centre of the Pajottenland village of Dworp. Amongst its range of 75 beers is the rarely found Lindemans lambic on draught. Sample it here, because Lindemans are not taking part in the Toer de Geuze on Sunday, due to renovations.
13.45 Arrive at Het Labierint Café in Linkebeek on the famous Flemish-Wallonian interface just south of Brussels. We can choose from a well-picked 60+ strong menu of lambic and other quality beers. Watch out for the “pottekees” and the wallpaper.
15.00 Lunch at the world famous 3Fonteinen Restaurant in the traditional heartland lambic town, Beersel. Here we will have our pre-booked beer cuisine lunch and a chance to sample some of the beers of 3Fonteinen brewery uniquely on draught here.
17.00 After a short coach ride to the other end of the town we have a guided tour* and tasting* at the ancient Oud Beersel Geuzestekerij (geuze blenders), the creators of Oude Lambiek, Oude Geuze and Oude Kriek.
19.00 A special visit to a café that is opening just for us, the famed In de Verzekering Tegen de Grote Dorst (The Insurance Against Thirst) in Eizeringem run by the expert Paneels family who re-opened this café in recent times and have an unrivalled selection of lambics, Geuzes and Krieks.
21.00 Return to Brussels for another crack at its cafes, bars and estaminets.
10.00 After a leisurely breakfast*, leave hotel on the coach for the biannual Toer de Geuze. Over the years the Toer de Geuze has attracted more and more people and each venue gets quite crowded with people enjoying these open days and beers. We hope to have about 45 minutes to an hour at each venue and will announce exact times to be back on the bus on the day. At most of the venues you can buy a snack to eat on the hoof. All of the members of HORAL contribute towards a special beer brewed for the occasion and you should see bottles for sale at each of the venues of Geuze Mega Blend 2013. We will be doing the toer de geuze in this order:
Hanssens Artisanaal (Dworp)There will be a chance to try rare beers from this blenders including Hanssens Lambic Cassis, Hanssens Lambic Raspberry and Hanssens Kriek Lambic Schaerbeek (in limited quantities) for tastings and purchases.
Boon (Lembeek) Following two years of construction work the new brewery will have been opened by European President Herman Van Rompuy the previous day. Here you can try all of Frank Boon’s beers plus a new one created for the new brewery opening \"Oude Geuze Boon BARREL 44\" a 2008 beer bottled in 2010 and from a single barrel.
Tilquin (Rebecq-Rognon) This is the newest member of the lambic family and Pierre is an expert blender. Here you have a free taste of lambic there will also be old gueuze and gueuze on tap plus for the first time Old Quetsche, a bottle fermented plum lambic.
De Cam (Gooik) This is a tiny blenders and maybe the best one to pick if you want a mini tour.
Timmermans (Itterbeek) This is the oldest lambic brewery dating from 1702 and again there are opportunities to sample their many lambic based beers.
De Troch (Wambeek) Hopefully we will have time to visit this attractive brewery, if we keep to time.
19.00 Call in at world-famous beer cuisine restaurant and über-lambic bar Heeren van Liedekercke in Denderleeuw. We will have a pre-booked beer cuisine meal and a chance to choose some great brews from their beer list, heavy on lambics if you are not already lambiced-out!
21.15 Arrive back at our Hotel in Brussels.
10.00 After a leisurely breakfast* check out of hotel. Coach leaves for our last day.
10.45 Arrive at Dranken Geers in Oostakker, the best beer warehouse in Belgium for an opportunity to buy beers to take home. They do take credit cards.
12.30 Call in for a visit to the historic Bockor Brewery in Bellegem for a guided brewery tour* and tasting* at this attractive old brewery which still uses oak barrels as part of the brewing process.
14.00 Walk over the road to the brewery tap and restaurant Het Brouwershuys for our pre-booked lunch and a choice of the brewery’s beers.
16.15 Arrive at our last stop, the beautiful Flemish city of Ieper, completely reconstructed after the First World War. We will be dropped in the city centre and will have an opportunity for a quick beer or two before the drive to Calais.
18.50 Arrive Calais for the Eurotunnel Train home.
19.50 Leave Calais on Eurotunnel.
19.30 Arrive Folkestone.
20.40 Coach drop off 7 Mays Siding, London Rd, Swanley, Kent BR8 8EE.
Coach drop off Dartford Railway Station DA1 1BP.
21.20 Coach drop off 102 Mildmay Road, Chelmsford CM2 0EA.
21.50 Coach drop off Colchester as arranged.
Based on sharing in a twin or double room. Single Supplement: £100. If you are travelling alone and want to share a room with another traveller please contact Podge as we are regularly able to pair up travellers in twin rooms to avoid the need for payments of Single Supplements.
All detailed itinerary times are local and approximate. All food and drink (apart from those marked with an asterisk* on the detailed itinerary) and all passport and insurance costs are each traveller’s responsibility. 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 would like to join us or have any questions please call Podge on +44 (0)1245 354677 or send Podge an email. Please also contact Podge to get details of how to send a deposit of £100 per person for this Tour. Full balance payable five weeks before departure.
Included in the cost of this Tour: Hotel accommodation and breakfasts; 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 other items marked with an asterisk on the individual detailed tour itinerary; Copies of Podge’s City Bar guide and Map for the town or city where we stay or spend some time on Tour; Free still and sparkling water on the coach; Pick up from Ipswich (Crown Street Layby), 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. Please also have a look at our Terms and Conditions.