Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours

The Great Flemish Ardennes Beer Tour

Wednesday 19 March - Sunday 23 March 2025

Siobhan is delighted to announce this new Tour exploring beer in the beautiful Flemish Ardennes. This is the southern part of East Flanders Province, famed for its hills, many of which are tackled in the Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour of Flanders cycle race each April and they are steep, cobbled and cruel. There are several iconic cycling cafes at the tops of these hills, which we've never visited, but we will do. I have arranged rooms at the luxurious four star Leopold Hotel in the historic town of Oudenaarde, centre of the Flemish Bruin Beer style. I can't wait to arrange the visits on this one which will include a trip to the town of Geraardsbergen, home of the infamous Muur or wall for the cyclists, and home to the European mattentaart cake mountain, as well as several very good beer bars. More details here very soon. Let me know if you want to go on the interested list - cycle not required! This Tour explores the hilly part of East Flanders, known as the Flemish Ardennes, as opposed to the Belgian Ardennes/Forest/Battle of the Bulge/where the pate comes from area in Wallonia, in the deep south of Belgium - otherwise known as the Wallonian Ardennes!

Nieuwege Varsenare

Saison beer from Brasserie St-Feuillien in Wallonia

Oudenaarde is a lovely historical city and was the centre of Middle Ages tapestry-making. It is also home to Liefmans Brewery which produces oud bruin and other Belgian beers. It was founded in 1679 and was taken over by Duvel Moortgat in 2008, but with a light touch. We will manage to fit in a brewery visit or two, some great meals in top beer/restaurants and plenty of visits to interesting cafes across this area of hills and mills (wind and water). The area is also known for its bluebell woods such as the Muziekbos, and as we are here at bluebell time, we'll try and sneak a quick visit to one, inbetween the beer visits! All from the comfort of our luxury 49 seater coach. Join us.

Ter Dolen Brewery Tour

A group of Podge's Belgian Beer Tour Travellers in their natural habitat, on a brewery visit

We are based in Chelmsford in Essex and we use a UK hired coach to travel. We try to use Le Shuttle (Eurotunnel) from Folkestone to get to and from Belgium, but if not available we go by ferry from Dover to Calais. 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 Dover if we go by ferry) and 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.

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. The deposit for this Tour is £185 per person. 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.

In de Vrede, Westvleteren

Empty beer glasses waiting to be filled...it's Belgium

Tour Price to be fixed late summer 2024 based on a per person price sharing a twin or double room.

Single Supplement: £TBA

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.

The deposit payable to secure a place on this Tour is £185 per person.

Send Siobhan an email to find out how to pay the deposit

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.