Made Better with Beer!
us, Like us, Tag us... but don't send us any of those goofy requests
for clues, or food... K?
We never distribute your email or private
information. Never... ever! And we only contact you a handful of times
a year... Click here
The 3 Country Beer Odyssey:
Cologne, Amsterdam & Brussels
September 10 - 20, 2015
Join us on a classic odyssey of beer styles and European languages
Start in lively Amsterdam for some better-than-you-would-expect beer locales. Travel via rail to little known Nijmegen to see an innovative brewpub and then on to well known Cologne, Germany for a look at life among the Kolners. After a thorough investigation of German "small serving" ales, we head to Brussels, Belgium. Belgium is beer heaven and you will soon know why, as we look up some old friends for some special visits! Along the way, explore and enjoy several distinct languages and styles of beer
and the great cities where they grew up. Mega Lagers and a refreshing number
of emerging Dutch craft brewers, Kolsch in Cologne, Alt in Dusseldorf, Lambic and the cornucopia of Belgian selections
in Flanders and Wallonia, all await. Each city offers centuries of history, great architecture, vibrant
European culture... and really great places to drink beer. Stay in fine,
well located hotels in each city. Enjoy locally guided city
tours, brewery visits, and great beer meals. Travel by convenient
public transportation, private Beer Bus and excellent European
See Trip Pictures
Thursday, September 10 - Travel to Amsterdam, Netherlands
Safe Travels! Some folks like to arrive a day or more early to "prepare" for the trip! There is a lot to do and see in Amsterdam, so an extra night or two might be worth it...
Friday - Amsterdam Walking Tour, Beer Dinner
Arrive in Amsterdam and settle into our hotel in the heart of the
historic city center. This afternoon, we'll meet in the hotel lobby
for a short city tour and cafe exploration before our Welcome beer dinner in friendly and beery confines. (Dinner)
Saturday - Amsterdam Beer Day
On the schedule today: a visit to Amsterdam's own Brouwerij t'Ij to see their small brewery and taste their nice assortment of local Amsterdam ales. The remainder of the day is free to explore
Amsterdam's many attractions, bars, cafes, cultural sites,
museums and curiosities. This evening we'll have a focused all DUTCH beer
tasting with a local expert and publican who owns 2 bars in Amsterdam, one featuring all Dutch beers, the other showcasing America IPAs! (B, T)
Sunday - To Nijmegen, De Hemel Visit, Beer Lunch
Travel by rail this morning to Nijmegen, The Netherlands'
oldest city. Upon arrival we'll drop bags at the hotel and reconvene to visit the city's brewery, De Hemel, which
proudly limits its distribution to the immediate surroundings. We
will have a brewery tour, learn about other beer-derived
prducts, and have a chance to taste all their beers and eat lunch
in their fine cafe. The evening is free to explore the city and
its several notable beer cafes. Overnight in Nijmegen. (B, L)
Monday - La Trappe Lunch, Kolsch Tour, Beer Dinner
This morning, we board the Beer Bus bound for Cologne, but, along the way we will stop at the Netherland's sole Trappist brewer, Koenigshoeven/La Trappe. We will tour the lovely grounds, taste all the beers, and enjoy a brewer's lunch. Continue to Cologne. Upon arrival, settle into our hotel in the heart of the
historic city center. This afternoon, we'll meet in the hotel lobby
for a Walking Kolsch/city tour. A local guide will show us the Altstadt, we will learn some history, and stop for a couple tasty Kolsch along the way. After the tour we will enjoy our a beer dinner of typical Kolner fare in a traditional Brauhaus. (B, L, D)
Tuesday - Dusseldorf Daytrip
Travel up the Rhine to Cologne's somewhat similar, rival
city -- Dusseldorf, where we will visit an Alt brewery and learn
the ins and outs of one of Germany's few ales. Enjoy a traditional
lunch in an alt lodge, accompanied by perfectly conditioned altbier to wash it down. The afternoon is free to spend some time in another
historic alt lodge or two (or six). Return to Cologne this evening.
Wednesday - Free day in Cologne
A full day to spend as you wish in one (or two) of Germany's great
cities. The Dom, the old city, and many markets offer a wealth of
options. Small pods of Kolsch seekers may spontaneously ferment. (B)
Thursday - To Brussels via Brouwerij Kerkom
This morning we are back on the Beer Bus to travel to Brussels, but along the way we will stop to visit the excellent small brewery in St. Truiden
- Kerkom, producer of the Bink family of beers. After a look around this old coaching inn, brown cafe, and evolving brewery, we'll enjoy a simple lunch. Next we continue to Brussels (stocked with some of the world's best beers). After time to check-in we'll meet a local guide for a walking tour/cafe
crawl to get oriented in this ecclectic European capital. This evening we'll have a special beer tasting at Moeder Lambic. Dinner options and many great Brussels beer bars await evening exploration. (B, L, T)
Friday - Mystery Brewery Daytrip
We're keeping today open for a special event. We have a few plans
in the works that can't be confirmed just yet, but we will know
for sure by the time final itineraries are sent to trip participants.
For now it is a mystery! Rest assured, today will be a great opportunity
to get a unique view of the brewing process of a fine Belgian Beer or two.
Saturday - AM Cantillon Tour, PM free
Cantillon's cob-webbed brewery awaits our exploration this morning
as we go to the source of true lambic. We will learn the finer points
of production, tour the brewery and taste all the beers available. The remainder of the day is free to explore Brussels until our Farewell beer dinner to celebrate a great trip for a good cause!
Sunday - Return home
Alas, we must leave beer heaven. Our hotel is very close to the
rail station for train transfers to Brussels Airport or Amsterdam
for flights home. (B)
& Brewery Visits
Really, Really, Great Beer: Dutch lagers, an all Dutch micro-brew
tasting, Abbey, Trappist, Lambic, Saison, Alt, Kolsch -- all
at their source. Plus the huge variety of Belgian and German
Brewery/Tap Room Visits to: Brouwerij t'IJ, La Trappe, Kerkom,
Cantillon, PJ Fruh, Gaffel, Zum Uerige, Im Fuchschen and
Cologne: With a grand cathedral, the Rhine,
historic city centers, Old-Town beer bars, great brewing traditions,
and the historic home to Kolsch and Alt styles.
Brussels: The Grand Place, where streets of fine restaurants,
beer bars, cafes, and shops pour into the gothic, gabled splendor
of Brussels' central square.
Amsterdam!: Canals, Diamonds, Nightlife, Van Gogh, lots
of great beer, and other infamous stuff.
Great beer meals! Good folks.
Travel by Private Bus, public means and European Rail.
City Tours/Pub Crawls in Amsterdam, Brussels and Cologne
(Land-only, Based on double occupancy)
$2995 per person
Single Room add $635
Arrival & Departure
Trip Begins in Amsterdam
Trip Ends in Brussels
The overall style of the trip is best suited for somewhat adventurous,
beer-loving travelers who want the camaraderie and structure of
a tour, as well as the opportunity to explore independently. Planned
events and excursions will, for the most part, be informal. Guided
touring is generally the exception, though travelers can always
rely on the support and assistance of the trip leader.
* Please note also:
This itinerary is subject to change based on brewery or hotel
availability, force majeur, acts of dieties, common sense or bad
weather, etc. Smaller breweries, as well as the Trappists, are often
unable to commit to hosting groups until a couple of weeks before
we arrive. Substitutions, when necessary, will be as good or better
than what we replaced. And, don't worry, the beer is always good!