Sunday, February 20, 2005

First Call: Belgium and Netherlands Beer Tour, 2005.

It’s 2005, year of the triennial Poperinge hop fest, and time for another joyful immersion into Belgian beer, cuisine and culture.

Once again, I’m organizing a group tour, our eighth European beer-hunting excursion since 1995, and the first under the banner of Potable Curmudgeon, Inc., my new consulting and travel company.

The same great experience is at hand. The tour dates are September 8 – 20, 2005, and all friends, beer lovers, customers, FOSSILS club members, and adventure seekers are invited to make the trip.

Please contact me if you’re interested. Participants are limited to 22, and it’s first come, first served.

Roger A. Baylor/Potable Curmudgeon, Inc.
roger@potablecurmudgeon.com
812.949.2804

Here’s a brief chronological overview:

ITINERARY

AMSTERDAM & HAARLEM
Both the old and the new Netherlands. Our lodging will be in Haarlem, and Amsterdam is minutes away by train.

BRUGGE (BRUGES)
One of the most beautiful cities in Europe, with beer cafes aplenty, including ‘t Brugs Beertje (Daisy’s place), where we’ll enjoy a guided tasting.

LAMBIC LAND
Learn about spontaneously-fermented ale where it is brewed, with visits to Lindemans and the Drie Fonteinen restaurant, brewery and lambic blending house.

HOUFFALIZE
Ardennes scenery, food and beer. Tours of Achouffe and Fantome, and an excursion to the Battle of the Bulge museum in Bastogne.

HAINAUT BREWERY PICNIC
The Wallonian countryside and farmhouse ale are synonymous. We’ll revel in both.

IEPER
Restored medieval guild city & Great War heritage center, our base for West Flanders.

WEST FLANDERS MOTORIZED PUB CRAWL
Classic sites of Belgian beer culture like Dolle Brouwers and Westvletern’s CafĂ© de Vrede.

POPERINGE HOP FESTIVAL
Absolutely charming small-town celebration, with a parade that features the entire community and ample portions of local and regional ales.

BRUSSELS
Belgian capital & center of European integration.

LAND AND AIR PRICES

The land-only price for the trip will be $1,975.00, and it includes:

¨ Motor coach & escort.
¨ Excellent hotels.
¨ All breakfasts.
¨ Brewery tours.
¨ One evening meal.
¨ Guided beer tastings.
¨ Most sightseeing.
¨ All service charges.

Note: The price for the land portion is based on double occupancy of rooms; a single supplement must be paid by solo travelers.

As in the past, flying arrangements will be handled by Mary Pat Bliss at Bliss Travel in New Albany. It is expected that airfare from Louisville to Amsterdam, and from Brussels back to Louisville, will cost in the range of $850. You may purchase the group flying option through Bliss Travel, or make travel plans on your own.

SOME TRIP LINKS


***Airports
Louisville International
Schiphol (Amsterdam)
Zaventem (Brussels)

***Breweries/Cafes
‘t Arendsnest (Amsterdam)
‘Ij Brewery (Amsterdam)
‘t Brugs Beertje
Drie (3) Fountains
Achouffe
Fantome
Dolle Brouwers
Hop festival in Poperinge

***City guides
Amsterdam
Haarlem
Brugge
Houffalize (only in French and Dutch)
Ieper
Poperinge
Brussels

***Hotels
Sept. 9, 10: Hotel Amadeus, Haarlem
Sept. 11, 12: Hotel Karos, Brugge
Sept. 13, 14, 15: Hotel du Commerce, Houffalize
Sept. 16, 17, 18: Flanders Lodge, Ieper
Sept. 19: Hotel Vendome, Brussels

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