Lots of news this month!
Due to a change of dates of the Ipswich Beer Festival, we are moving the dates of our Beer & Heritage Tour 2013 by two weeks. This will now start on Friday 9th August, returning Monday 12th August, the day before the start of the Great British Beer Festival at Olympia. The price of this Tour has now been issued, see below.
Also, please note that our Beer & Battlefields Tour 2013 has now sold out, but due to popular demand and the Great War centenary in 2014-2018 we are already planning two Beer & Battlefields Tours for 2014.
Chelmsford Winter Beer Festival – Wed 20 February – Sat 23 February 2013
Hopefully we will see you at this festival at our BelgaFest Beer Bar where we are featuring beers from De Molen in Holland, Rogue in USA, draught Yeast Beer from Budvar and lots of great beers from Belgium. The festival takes place at a new bigger and better venue, King Edward VI Grammar School, (KEGS), Broomfield Road, Chelmsford CM1 3SX. This is over twice the size of any previous site used for the Chelmsford CAMRA Winter Beer Festival, offering over 200 Real Ales and Ciders. To encourage you to come and visit us on the Wednesday, the first day of the festival we will be offering everybody on our mailing list their first pint of draught Budweiser Budvar Yeast Beer for the price of a half. Come and say Hello!
Tour 64 – LambicLand Revisited – Fri 19 April – Mon 22April 2013
This Tour is based at Ibis Brussels Centre Sainte Catherine Hotel ideally situated for exploring the heart of the Belgian lambic scene. Over the Tour we will aim to visit all HORAL lambic brewers and blenders and will take in the now famous bi-annual lambic day Toer de Geuze. We will also visit the new Lambic Visitors Centre De Lambiek in Beersel (Alsemberg). There will be meals at the superb de Heeren van Liederkercke and Café-Restaurant 3 Fonteinen in Beersel, plus calling in at specialist lambic cafe In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst. To add to the theme of using oak in the brewing process, we will visit Bockor Brewery in Bellegem. They have recently upped their game and are now doing marvellous things with their foeders (oak barrels) and their revamped brands.
The price of this four-day tour is £396 per person based on sharing a twin or double room with a single supplement of £100 if you want a room of your own. If you are travelling alone and want to share a room with another traveller, please contact Podge as we are regularly able to pair up travellers in twin rooms to avoid the need for payment of a single supplement. If you would like to secure a place, please send a deposit of £100 per person now. This is Tour is nearly full, so if you want to go, contact Podge now. The balance for this Tour is due as usual five weeks before departure.
This is our fourth Beer & Battlefields Tour. Our base is the friendly Oude Abdij Hotel in Lo, the site of one of the many Belgian breweries destroyed in the First World War. This Tour will centre on battlefields and breweries in the Ypres Salient in Flanders and will as usual include visits to well known and some less well-known sites. This year we are planning visits to:
- Six-Colpaert Brewery, Reningelst – a first world war brewery, for a beer tasting*.
- The renovated In Flanders Fields Museum* in Ieper and the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate.
- The Memorial to the 2nd Worcesters at Gheluvelt and their pivotal role in the First Battle of Ypres (1914)
- The Brooding Soldier Memorial to the gas attack at Vancouver Corner and the Second Battle of Ypres (1915)
- Tyne Cot, the largest Commonwealth War Graves cemetery in the world
- Sanctuary Wood Trenches & Hill 62 Museum*
- Hooge Crater Museum*
- The Ijzertoren, Dixmuide*
- De Dolle Brouwers Brewery Tour*, Esen
- Vanuxeem Beer Warehouse – possibly the biggest in Belgium
- The Christmas Truce Memorial at Frelinghien and the story of what happened in this sector in December 1914
- In de Vrede, Westvleteren, home of the famous Trappist beers, and a First World war billet for the Allies.
- Evenings free in Veurne, Poperinge and Ypres, armed with Podge’s local beer guides.
Once again we have the services of Siobhan McGinn as our guide to Flanders Fields, and this year Siobhan will be giving us the benefit of knowledge gained on the MA British First World War Studies which she is currently undertaking at Birmingham University. If you have a particular cemetery or memorial in the Ypres Salient that you would like to visit in connection with your family, please let us know and we will see if we can incorporate it in the Tour. The price of this five-day tour is £440 per person based on sharing a twin or double room with a single supplement of £120 if you want a room of your own. If you are travelling alone and want to share a room with another traveller, please contact Podge as we are regularly able to pair up travellers in twin rooms to avoid the need for payment of a single supplement. There are now no places left on this Tour. If you are interested in going on either of our Beer & Battlefields Tours 2014 contact Podge now to register your interest.
For those already booked on this Tour don’t forget the balance is due as usual five weeks before departure, i.e.18th April.
Tour 66 – Beer & Heritage – AMENDED DATES – Fri 9 August – Mon 12 August 2013
Based at Novotel Leuven this Tour combines beer tourism with great visits to historic and cultural sites. We are looking to include:
v A boat trip on the famous Ronquières Inclined Plane on the Brussels-Charleroi Canal.
v A meal at Dupont brewery tap
v A visit to the Historic City of Tongeren
v Call in at probably the most attractive brewery in the whole of Belgium Kerkom
v Lastly a tour and tasting at the brand new brewhouse of Delirium Brewery in Melle.
The price of this four-day tour is £405 per person based on sharing a twin or double room with a single supplement of £100 if you want a room of your own. If you are travelling alone and want to share a room with another traveller, please contact Podge as we are regularly able to pair up travellers in twin rooms to avoid the need for payment of a single supplement. If you would like to secure a place, please send a deposit of £100 per person now. The balance for this Tour is due as usual five weeks before departure.
Dates for your diary:
- Christmas in Bruges Tour 2013 – Mon 23 December to Fri 27 December 2013
- Beer & Battlefields Tours – two five day Tours starting Thurs 22 May 2014 AND starting Fri 26 September 2014. Further details on these Tours will be issued during 2013 in these newsletters.
Included in the cost of our Tours are:
v Hotel accommodation and breakfasts.
v Luxury coach travel on a 49 seater coach with toilet.
v Pick up from Ipswich (Crown Street Layby), Colchester (Southway Chapel St South Layby) or Chelmsford (The Woolpack, Mildmay Road).
v Arrangements can be made for different joining points on the way to Folkestone or even on the other side of the channel.
v All Brewery visits, tours and brewery beer tastings.
v Entrance fees to all group attractions, museums and historical sites.
v All items marked with an asterisk on individual detailed tour itinerary.
v Copies of Podge’s City Bar Guide & Map for the town or city where we stay or spend some time on Tour.
v Free still and sparkling water on the coach.
Personal insurance is not included but is strongly advised, as is carrying the European Health Insurance Card available online, by phone or via the Post Office. If you would like to join us on any of the above tours or if you need more information please contact Podge on 01245 354677 or email email@example.com. Places are limited to the number of rooms booked, so book early to avoid disappointment.
Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours
Driving people to drink since 1994