After a few relaxing days in the German countryside of Oberwesel, we'll migrate west to Belgium, one of the most celebrated beer regions in the world. We'll spend a few days in the beautiful and historic Bruges, and visit Brouwerij Halve de Maan, brewers of the Bruges Zot Belgian Pale Ale.
Next on the itinerary is the village Poperinge, where Brouwerij Van Eecke and St. Bernardus await us in nearby Watou. Poperinge also serves as the launching pad for our beergrimage within the beergrimage - a trip to one of the most celebrated breweries on the planet: The Abbey of St. Sixtus in Westvleteren. I've blogged about beer hype a few times before, and the Westvleteren 12 quadrupel is the perfect storm of rarity and (alleged - I'll let you know) deliciousness to be oft named the best beer in the world. The Trappist monks at Westvleteren are not as interested in building a commercial empire as some of their brethren in monasteries like Chimay and Orval (not that there's anything wrong with that) and consequently, the demand for their beer far outstrips the supply.
After this glorious visit, we'll move onto Brussels, aka Lambic land, where the highly acclaimed Cantillon brews lambics and geuezes. A brief trip south of the city will land us in Beersel, where Drie Fountainen blends some of geuezes of tremendous repute.
Our last beer-related stop will be to Beer Mania, a Belgian beer retailer, where I'll be able to send a case or two of some of the best Belgian beers home to some of my friends outside of the Commonwealth.
Our 10 day journey begins on August 2, and I'll be posting photos and anecdotes shortly afterward.