Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Ardennes Special/Chouffe Tour (AS-071214)

For tour photos click here.

Day 1-Friday 14 December 2007.

Louvain station. 2-30pm
After a quick introduction, 'Hello gents, this is Matt from the Stella Artois brewing factory....' we were on our way out of Louvain and onto the autoroute to the Ardennes.
After passing over the River Meuse/Maas we were into the Ardennes, Spa to our right, Malmedy to our left. Surprisingly it wasn't raining, it was freezing, yikes!
1-1 Brasserie de Bellevaux, Malmedy
First things first, straight to the cafe and a sampling of the breweries 3 beers (a 4th-Blanche/Wheat is on in the summer) then William showed us around his new copper Japanese brewery, an incredible brewery for the Ardennes where 'one-pot' breweries seem to be the norm!

A short drive across the Ardennes and onto Mont.
1-2 La Vieille Forge, Mont
Hello Boomer, how are you?
Awesome Belgium Beer Night with some amazing vintage beers dug up from Mr Chouffes's cellar. Maybe he should move more often!
Thankyou Mr Chouffe!

Day 2-Saturday 15 December
2-1 Millevertus Brasserie, Toernich
After being told to help ourselves to a beer (!) and looking around the brewery with Daniel's wife, the main man then turned up and started again with beer tasting! Great place, great beer and an amazing 'one-pot' brewery. Thanks.
2-2 Orval Monastery, Villers-devant-Orval
After some Orval cheese, a beer and some food it was back into the cold and a look around the ruins to discover the legend of Mathilde and her lost ring!
2-3 Houffalize
Quick stop, quick beer and onto Achouffe.
2-4 Achouffe Brasserie, Achouffe
Brewery tour, a mad dash to the cafe, some crazy Chouffe music then onto La Vieille Forge!
2-5 La Vieille Forge, Mont
Belgium Beer Night (another one!), some great Ardennes food and a 40-beer night! Good effort!

Day 3-Sunday 16 December

A -5°C start and we're off onto the autoroute and today is Lambic day. Past Bruxelles and onto Gooik in Vlaams-Brabant.
3-3 De Cam Geuzestekerij, Gooik
An excellent guided tour of De Cam 'blendery' by the man himself, Karel. We were also treated to an excellent bagpipe demonstration! Awesome.

Bruxelles. 2-45pm. The town is grid-locked. Rome looks tame compared with this. 'heard of the Italian job? Well this is the British Job....right turn Klide!'.
Drop-off at the traffic lights. Bye chaps....