Siobhan McGinn (Mrs Podge), writes to Guild members:
“Firstly, 2019 sees Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours celebrating its 25th anniversary. Podge would have been pleased and I am very proud of this on behalf of both of us.
“Secondly, we got a mention in a Daily Telegraph article last August entitled “Beer Tourism: an idea whose time has come” which stated that amongst beer tour operators “the most well-respected is Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours…” . That was nice.
“Thirdly, spring is not far away, and as we know “In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of a proper thirst-quenching Geuze” (Locksley Hall, Alfred, Lord Tennyson). Working on the next Tour, our LambicLand Tour, is certainly making me thirsty and here is an update of where I have got to so far on this brilliant Tour which explores the world’s most complex beers:
Tour 96 / LambicLand Revisited – Toer de Geuze
Wednesday 1 May 2019 – Monday 6 May 2019
This is our classic lambic beer tour in the area for which Podge invented the name ‘LambicLand’. We are staying at the comfy Hotel Keizershof in Aalst and will take in the bi-annual Toer de Geuze and the best of lambic brewers, blenders, beer restaurants and cafes. We’ll be picking up at 06.15hr at Chelmsford, followed by Dartford, Ashford and Stop24 Folkestone. We are booked on the 09.20hr Eurotunnel Train crossing from Folkestone and on the 19.36hr Eurotunnel return train crossing from Calais with an arrival time of 19.30hr in Folkestone. Over the two days of the Toer de Gueuze, when the lambic brewers and blenders of the Payottenland open their premises to the public we will be visiting the following:
Hanssens in Dworp
Timmermans in Itterbeek
Mort Subite in Kobbegem
De Cam in Gooik
Oud Beersel, Beersel
De Troch at Wambeek
Lindemans Brewery in Vlezenbeek
Boon Brewery in Lembeek
Tilquin in Bierghes (Rebecq)
We will also visit the fantastic, world’s greatest lambic café, In de Verzekering Tegen de Grote Dorst (The Insurance Against Thirst) in Eizeringen which is opening especially for us. We have group meals arranged at the beautiful restaurant-bar Au Nouveau Saint Eloi in Watou (with a beer card of 150 choices), also at De Heeren van Liedekercke, another Lambicland institution. We are working on a meal at 3Fonteinen Restaurant in Beersel, a visit to Armand deBelder’s Lambic-O-Droom in Lot and many other visits to classic bars. I have a special treat for those on tour and have found in our cellars (actually the back bedroom) some bottles of twenty-year-old HORAL Mega Blend from 2009, the first time it was ever blended for the Toer de Geuze from a melange of all the lambics of the extant breweries. We can have a taste of this rarity on Tour!
The Tour cost is £885 per person sharing a twin or double room. The Single Supplement is £225. If you are travelling alone and want to share a room with another traveller please contact me as we are regularly able to pair up travellers in twin rooms to avoid the need for payments of Single Supplements. If you want to join us on this Tour please send the deposit of £120 per person to secure your place. Read More.<http://www.podgebeer.co.uk/tour-96-lambicland-revisited-2019.html>
Here is the latest on our other 2019 Tours:
Tour 97 / The Waterloo Tour: Breweries, Beer and Battlefields of Brabant
Thursday 8 August – Tuesday 13 August 2019
The Tour cost is £895 per person based on sharing in a twin or double room. The Single Supplement is £225. If you are travelling alone and want to share a room with another traveller please contact us as we are regularly able to pair up travellers in twin rooms to avoid the need for payments of Single Supplements. I’m aiming to include a visit to Hougoumont Farm, the key to the battlefield. I’ve also just found a Salamanca Eagle carved from wood from the gates of Hougoumont nestled within the Essex regiment Museum down the road here in Chelmsford, find out more on Tour! If you want to join us on this Tour please send a deposit of £130 per person to secure your place. Read More.<http://www.podgebeer.co.uk/tour-97-the-waterloo-tour-brabants-breweries-beer-battlefields.html>
!! NEW TOUR!! Tour 98 / The In Flanders (Hop) Fields Tour
Friday 27 September – Tuesday 1 October 2019
This Tour is a four-night Tour staying at the pretty Oude Abdij Hotel in Lo at a beautiful time of year. It will explore the beers and hops of West Flanders at the end of the hop picking season, but will also include a unique chance to find out what was going on with beer 100 years ago in this area. More particularly, what British soldiers were drinking in Flanders which caused so many courts martials for drunkenness to take place, making it one of the top ‘crimes’ in the British Army. Siobhan will give a couple of evening lectures revealing new information coming to light in her researches into alcohol and the British army in the Great War from findings at The National Archives in Kew. Let me know if you want to go on the interested list for this one- price to be set later in 2019!
!! NEW TOUR!! Tour 99 / Christmas in Antwerp
Sunday 22 December – Friday 27 December 2019
We will once again be spending Christmas in Antwerp in 2019. I have plans for a meal at a restaurant in the grounds of a beautiful East Flanders castle with the oldest wrought iron suspension bridge in Europe and as if that were not exciting enough, the restaurant is in the brick tower dove-cot with room for 700 pigeons. I can’t wait. Read More.
For those of you who travel to Belgium independently, or if you just want to know more about beer cafes and beer tourism in Belgium, check out Podge’s Belgian City Bar Guide online maps which cover the whole country. Read More.
Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours
Driving people to drink since 1994
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