Breugal Route for Belgian breweries?

Old Feb 12th, 2000, 08:00 PM
  #1  
Elizabeth
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Breugal Route for Belgian breweries?

Hello everyone,
My husband and I are Belgian beer fans. He has discovered there is a Breugal Route (Pieter Breugal the Elder, Famous flemish painter)in Flemish area of Belgian that takes visitors through the villages that inspired his landscapes. Has anyone followed this path? Does anyone have any good suggestions on visiting some Breweries and trappist monostaries?
Does anyone have any suggestions on where to stay around Brussels, but out of the city in a nice family run hotel?
 
Old Feb 13th, 2000, 07:57 AM
  #2  
Mary Ann
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Sorry I cannot help specifically with your questions. But when you are in Belgium, look for out of the beer pubs. We were staying in Bruges and spent an evening in one. Each brew has its own distinctive glass. We were with our 21 year old daughter and it was truly memorable tasting all the brews.
 
Old Feb 13th, 2000, 12:25 PM
  #3  
wes fowler
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Hello Elizabeth,
Seems to me we've corresponded in the past. While the bulk of Belgium's breweries are in Flanders (Breugel country)and all in close proximity to one another, there are some interesting monastic breweries in Wallonia, particularly the Trappist monastery at Chimay, which produces a rich dark, choclately ale called Chimay Blue. I have itineraries for both Flanders and eastern Belgium if you're interested; Email me directly.

You can save an awful lot of drive time by selectively choosing the towns you stay in. In Bruges, for example, there's a cafe 't Brugs Beertje at 5 Kemelstraat, just off Simon Stevin Plein that serves over 300 varieties of Belgian beer. The cafe Kulminator, at 32 Vleminckveld, Antwerp serves about 500 varieties. (Belgium has about 800 varieties produced by approximately 100 breweries.) If you're interested in some good beer cafes, I can recommend a few as well as the itineraries.

Skoal! Prosit! Salut! A votre Sante! Cheers!
 
Old Mar 2nd, 2000, 09:15 PM
  #4  
Bill Yenne
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Responding to the chat re Belgian beers.

The Trappist breweries include Chimay (of course), with red, white and blue labels; also Rochefort (same colors) and Orval. These are all in the French-speaking south. In Flanders, there is Westmalle Trappist. If you are in Brugge, the only place in the world where you can get Westmalle on draft is at "Pietje Pek" a neat little eatery at Sint Jacobstraat #13. Last time I was in Brugge, I went twice, and I am going back in July. Yummy.

Also in Brugge, as wes points out't Brugs Beertje Which is the "Bear of Brugge" (Bear in Flemish is "Beer")!! As he says, this place is on Kemelstraat, which is an alley one block north of Simon Steven Plein (on the left). It has 300+ beers, mainly in bottles, but a dozen or so on draft.

Also in Brugge, wheat beer (Witbier) fans can check out the Hoegarden visitors center at the north corner of the Markt straight across from the Belfry.

In Brussels:
A La Becasse (Rue Tabora 11)
Falstaff (17 thru 23 Rue Henri Maus)
Morte Subite (I cant't find the address, but its easy enough to look up in the phone book.)
All these three are within 5 minutes of the Grand Place.)

In Brussels, I'd recommend staying in the city. It's so big that you lose a lot of time getting in to the good part and back and forth. Brugge is another matter. Lot's of nice family B&Bs right in the center.

In Gent/Ghent/Gand, try the beers of Huyge, including Delerium Tremens. Then go over to St. Bafo's and see the Van Eyck triptich. One of the greatest materpieces ever, although it has no beer in it.

See Breugel for beer. All those flasks in his paintings ain't wine!!

Follow him south of Brussels doen in the Senne Valley where the Lambic breweries still brew with spontaniously fermenting wild yeast.

Fax ahead to the Trappists for tours. I think they give tours, maybe Wes knows???

Where else would you suggest in Brugge?
 
Old Mar 3rd, 2000, 10:03 AM
  #5  
Elizabeth
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Thank you Bill, for the information. My husband is the biggest beer fan, his doing all the research. I did leave you a little note in the previous post about Westmalle. When we were in Belgium in October we went to Westmalle and had lunch at the Cafe across the street from the Abbey. Our waiter told us that even he, a long time employee, was unable to enter the Abbey. We went to the front gates of the Abbey and took pictures of the surrounding creek, but were saddened not to go in.
I think faxing or calling ahead is a great idea to make sure they are open.
We will be in Brussels when we first arrive in Belgium and do plan to stay the night in a little hotel recommended by Frommers guide (Hotel Welcome). My husband does want to go to La Becasse, and we are hoping it is open on the monday that we will be there.
My husband got the Breugal route idea from Michael Jackson's New World Guide to Beer. He is a great Lambic fan.
Again thank you for the input, I am sure it will be helpful.
 

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