Orval Abbey - Birthplace of Orval Trappist Ale
Brewtopia Events
2001 Belgium
Beer Tour Photos
February, 2001

Belgium is known as "beer paradise" for beer lovers!  Near the end of February, 2001 Owen Ogletree led a group of eight beer enthusiasts to the Belgium cities of Brussels, Brugge, Rochefort, Achouffe, Beersel, and Orval.  Belgian food and beers are among the best in the world, and our group certainly enjoyed every minute of our journey. Be sure to email Owen or call (706) 254-BREW to get information on our next European beer trip.

Below are some highlight pictures (taken by Tim Lepley and Dean Graves) from our 2001 tour...

Here's Donna, Annette, John, Jeannie, Tim, and Owen just as we arrived in the beautiful Belgian town of Brugge.  Brugge is easy to navigate by foot, and there are some excellent beer cafes there.

The Gouden Boom brewery (Langestraat 45, Brugge) has a great tasting room that overlooks the brewery.  We had the honor of sampling all their fine beers while there.  The Brugge Triple was really outstanding (and strong).

One of the smallest but most personable beer bars in Brugge is the Garre (which means small, blind alley used as a fire escape).  Very near the Brugge Belfry, Garre's small entry sign is very easy to miss.

Here are an exhausted Donna and Annette as we end our day in Brugge at the famous Brugs Beertje -- an incredible bar with an incredible selection of Belgian beers.  It has several rooms and is located at 5 Kemelstraat very near the St. Salvator Cathedral.

Shown above are Annette, Owen, Gail, Dean, Tim, and Jeannie enjoying beautiful beers at what is possibly the best beer bar in Brussels -- the Bier Circus (89 Rue de l'Enseignement, just a bit of a walk from the Grand Place).  The beer menu at the Bier Circus is as thick as a small town phone book.

Owen is shown here with the mash fork and old kettle at the Cantillon brewery (56 Rue Gheude, Brussels).  Cantillon brewery has self-guided tours, a tasting room, and some of the most authentic sour Lambics in the world!

Cantillon Lambic brewery still does everything the old fashioned way, and this is evident in every bottle of their complex ales that are spontaneously fermented with the airbourne wild yeasts of the area.

One of central Brussels' oldest and most well-loved beer cafes is Falstaff (17 Rue Henri Maus).  As we sampled our fine beers, we were surrounded by decor that was a mix of Art Deco and Art Nouveau.

The Oud Beersel pub (232 Laarheidestraat, Beersel) is just a 20 or 30 minute drive from Brussels and is really worth the trip.  It serves tasty Lambics made in the Oud Beersel brewery next door.  This pub seems to always be home to Pilsner-loving locals who are amazed at the tourists who come here to drink Lambic.

Pictured above are Armand Debelder, Gail, and Dean in the cellar of the Drie Fonteinen Lambic cafe in the center of the small town of Beersel.  Armand is a talented Lambic blender, brewer, and preservationist.  Drie Fonteinen has a new brewery just down the street, but all their delightful Lambics can be sampled (along with delicious food made with beer) at their cafe.

Our last day in Belgium consisted of a journey south to Rochefortoise brewery, Orval Abbey, and Achouffe brewery.  Our lunch was spent at the pleasant Limbourg cafe (21 Place Albert in Rochefort) where we enjoyed wild boar, salmon, and chicken all prepared with Belgian beers.  Limbourg stocks the Rochefort Trappist beers and the Rochefortoise ales from Eprave (close by).

Here is one of the brewers at the tiny Rochefortoise brewery (43 Rue du Treux, Eprave) handing out samples of their fruity ales.  This brewery is near the town of Rochefort (home of the brewing Rochefort Trappist abbey).

On our tour of the small Rochefortoise brewery, we were amazed at their stockpiles of all kinds of sugars used in the brewing of their beers.  The use of corn sugar and candi sugars give the Rochefortoise brews undertones of cider, fruit, alcohol, and spice.

Large flakes of snow began to fall as we made our way to the Orval abbey in the south of Belgium.  Orval is known for its gorgeous ruins of the older abbey and for its golden, spicy Trappist ale!  Visitors are welcome at this monastery, where they may tour the ruins and buy beer and cheese in the monk's gift shop.

We finished our Belgian Beer Tour with dinner and beer at the brewery cafe of Achouffe (Rue du Village 32, Achouffe, north of Orval).  In 1982 this unique brewery was begun in tool barn of a farm in the tiny town of Achouffe, and has since become famous for its spicy, complex, flavorful beers.  Owner Kris Bauweraerts uses Pilsner malts and candi sugars to produce his beers, and he often uses the beer in the house dishes of the Achouffe restaurant.
Owen recommends the CAMRA/Storey Publishers book "The Good Beer Guide to Belgium and Holland" when you plan your beer journeys to these enjoyable areas.
Visit www.allaboutbeer.com's online bookstore to purchase the book.

© 2001 Brewtopia Events
Main Brewtopia Events Page | Classic City Brew Fest | Cool Beer Links | Belgian Beer Tour 2000
E-mail us with your questions or comments | Our Top Ten Bars and Brewpubs
E-mail us to subscribe to our e-mail Brewsletter
Return to top of this page