Beer Cycling Through Belgium

Love beer? Love cycling?

Why not combine the two with a bike tour to Belgium’s trappist breweries. That’s exactly what Kyle & Briana did in summer 2010. They spent a week bike touring from one brewery to the other, seeing the traditional abbeys and tasting the results of the monk’s efforts.

“The route was enjoyable for the scenery alone and the prospect of another beer tasting at the end of the day made it one of my favorite tours so far,” Kyle wrote in a post describing the trip on their Roll Global website.

We were intrigued by the idea, and so we asked Kyle & Briana to tell us more about their trip.

Beer at Rochefort, Belgium

1. What was the inspiration behind this particular beer tour? How did you pick Belgium?

As avid bike commuters and home-brewers, a bicycle beer tour seemed like a logical goal for a trip. We had both been urban riders for years but neither of us had any touring or long-distance riding experience and the flat terrain and developed bike infrastructure in Belgium and the Netherlands seemed like a great place to get started. The fact that Belgium alone has over 125 active breweries brewing world-renowned beers was enough to make our mouths start watering and our legs start aching for the trip.

2. How did you plan the trip?

While we had discussed the tour for a long time, we never really got around to planning it out until the last minute. Inspiration to travel and to change our lifestyle kind of exploded from the beer tour idea and next thing we knew we were no longer thinking about a 2-3 week vacation from work but rather a multi-year round the world odyssey, a marriage and a liquidation of most earthly belongings.

When the time came to start the tour we decided to focus the itinerary on the seven Trappist breweries, six of which are in Belgium with the remaining one being in the Netherlands. Planning the tour around the Trappist breweries provided an easy framework on which to build an itinerary and ensured we would get to taste some of the best beers in the world.

We scoured the internet for information on bike paths and route planning but found relatively little. In the end we mapped out the location of the places we wanted to visit and using a trusty 1:200,000 scale Michelin map and our GPS we found the best way to connect the dots. On several parts of the itinerary the breweries were a perfect day’s ride away from each other and in other parts we spent 2-3 days cycling between them.

trappistbreweriesmap.jpg
See the Trappist Breweries Map created by Kyle & Briana

3. Did you follow bike paths? Was it relatively easy to navigate and stay away from traffic?

Our ride was an even split of bike paths and road riding. Our Michelin maps showed the major long-distance bike routes in Belgium and France and we generally steered ourselves towards those when appropriate. We were really impressed with the quality of most of the bike routes we cycled on. Many of them are converted railway lines and tend to travel away from development through beautiful natural surroundings. Following bike paths adds a little mileage but we considered it to be a worthwhile tradeoff.

When we were riding on the road we found that the pavement was generally of good quality and the traffic was low. We were easily able to avoid major highways and saw very little truck traffic the entire trip. It was definitely a great riding experience.

Bike Lanes In Belgium

4. What did you typically find when you arrived at the breweries?

Well, planning a tour of the Trappist breweries is a little silly in a sense because none of the breweries are open to the public. Trappist beer is brewed by monks in abbey breweries using traditional methods that date back to the seventeenth century. The beer is produced and sold to support monastic life, a key element of which includes remaining closed off from the general public.

In most cases this means that you will only get to admire the often gorgeous abbeys from the outside, though Orval and Chimay offer access to portions of the abbey grounds. Most of the breweries have semi-official visitor’s centers where you can taste their beers and other Trappist products. Some of the abbeys, such as Rochefort, are located a short distance from the town with no services at the actual site. In this case the local town will invariably be home to a variety of pubs for you to choose from where you can taste the full selection of brews often paired with delicious local cuisine.

If you want to go to the Westvleteren tasting room (an absolute must on this itinerary, since it is widely considered to be the best beer in the world) be aware that it is closed on Thursdays and Fridays as well as the second week in April and the last two weeks of September.

Bike Path In Belgium

5. Aside from the beer, what were some of the highlights?

At the end of a long and steep day of riding in cold rainy weather we pulled into a little town near Chimay and were surprised to see every resident out and about, huddling under leaky party tents, drinking beer and boisterously celebrating their local holiday. The very sight of the two of us, wet and dirty from our journey on the fully loaded bike made the entire crowd erupt in cheers. It was an uplifting finish to a trying day.

6. Give us one “insider tip” for anyone wanting to plan a beer tour in Europe.

It’s fun to plan an itinerary around internationally renowned beers but don’t let that focus stop you from slowing down and popping into a local pub to see what’s on offer. In Belgium especially, almost every little village in every region has its own beer. At the end of a long day drop in for a glass, make some new friends and maybe you’ll discover your new favorite brew.

Read more about Kyle & Briana’s beer tour and check out their great website, with lots of cycling tips at www.rollglobal.com

Comments

  1. alvaro
    9th December 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Very nice post!

    I did a similar trip with some friends for similar reasons. We cycled from Amsterdam to Flanders, down to Lille and Roubaix and back to Gent. It was great. We visited a couple of Breweries, including Westvleteren.

    We had initially planned to visit all 7 Trappist breweries, but in the end we decided to make it a Norht-South trip to Roubaix, just for the cycling glory of it 🙂

    Here’s a little blog post I did about it, it’s in Spanish unfortunately. http://britpopcorn.com/flanders-2010

  2. Mark
    9th December 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    Great write up and a place I want to ride!

  3. Wim VDB
    17th April 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    For the adventurous ones: A map with 18 breweries where individuals can pop in for a tour. Of course not at any moment or any day! But with a bit of creativity you can plan a Belgium bicycle tour and visit a few breweries at the same time.
    http://maps.google.be/maps/ms?msid=215743440519068246688.00049b24711c7b308ee81&msa=0

    • friedel
      19th April 2012 at 10:01 am #

      Love this! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Don
    8th October 2015 at 8:28 pm #

    For a 2 week journey for rookies at bicycle touring, can we rent to bikes and trailer overseas? Did you? why or why not? Thanks

  5. I am 69 years old how can I get more information?

  6. stay active and engaged
    2nd May 2023 at 4:44 pm #

    running out of interested people. legimate owner get to use

  7. Emotional Intelligence Counselling
    4th May 2023 at 2:15 pm #

    Corporate Livewire Prestige awards 2021 winner

  8. Reformas estructurales madrid
    17th May 2023 at 1:13 am #

    how to write a reflective essay on community service write papers for money speedy service essay writing reviews

  9. injection mold
    1st June 2023 at 8:05 am #

    Looking forward to reading more. Great blog. Keep writing.

  10. ????????????????????????????
    1st June 2023 at 6:32 pm #

    To be clear, this doesn’t mean that the odds are going tobe specifically the identical everywhere you turn.

  11. Elfriede Kerr
    2nd June 2023 at 7:46 pm #

    Thanks for helping out, wonderful information. “Courage comes and goes. Hold on for the next supply.” by Vicki Baum.

  12. ivermectin generic cream purchase ivermectin ivermectin solubility

  13. 607534 258205Its difficult to get knowledgeable folks on this subject, but the truth is be understood as what happens youre preaching about! Thanks 889688

  14. trade metals
    16th June 2023 at 2:12 am #

    This original blog is without question enjoyable on top of that truthful. I’ve got found loads of fascinating guidelines from it. I’d like to gain over and over again. Kind regards!

  15. commission free trading broker
    20th June 2023 at 12:44 am #

    ivermectin poisoning in dogs ivermectin covid dose

  16. valvulas de retencion
    23rd June 2023 at 10:30 pm #

    hopkins apartments rentberry scam ico 30m$ raised luxury apartments cambridge

  17. Be sure to choose the right solicitor for the case.

  18. Clemmie Lipscombe
    25th June 2023 at 1:24 pm #

    I wanted to create you this bit of note so as to give thanks once again for those great concepts you’ve shared at this time. It’s quite seriously open-handed with you to present unreservedly what exactly a lot of people would have distributed for an electronic book to earn some bucks for themselves, primarily given that you could have tried it in case you considered necessary. Those good ideas also worked to become a fantastic way to be certain that many people have the identical fervor like mine to know much more when it comes to this problem. I’m certain there are thousands of more pleasant occasions up front for individuals who check out your blog.

  19. Jocelyn Atherton
    28th June 2023 at 6:34 pm #

    My rather long internet look up has at the end of the day been compensated with pleasant insight to talk about with my family and friends.

  20. portable bluetooth label printer
    29th June 2023 at 12:49 pm #

    Really appreciate you sharing this blog. Really Cool.

  21. ??????????????????????????
    3rd July 2023 at 4:05 pm #

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl articles and blogs

  22. naam yoga
    7th July 2023 at 9:38 pm #

    You are obviously very knowledgeable. You are a very persuasive writer. It’s like you read my thoughts!

  23. xe dien cho be
    11th July 2023 at 7:35 am #

    i’ve always been watching How I Met Your Mother, this comedy show is really great~

  24. Customized merchandise
    14th July 2023 at 1:02 pm #

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl articles and blogs

  25. List of Names
    16th July 2023 at 11:49 am #

    It’s vital that you provide your girlfriend some time and area, do not make the very same error as other guys before you by constantly calling, messaging, emailing your ex sweetheart.

  26. Photo editing software
    17th July 2023 at 4:17 am #

    El Vivo Y70 y sus auriculares deportivos inalámbricos cuestan 249 € en Fnac

  27. Object elimination tool
    17th July 2023 at 8:40 am #

    Apply these tips to be the best player you can be.Top Tips And Handy Advice To Become A Better Football Player

  28. ios 16 wallpapers
    25th July 2023 at 3:51 pm #

    Very entertaining details that you have said, thanks so much for publishing.

  29. agenda conciertos málaga
    1st August 2023 at 8:04 pm #

    It as a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to

  30. แคลคูลัส
    12th August 2023 at 2:01 am #

    453647 46880Wow post thanks! We believe your articles are excellent and want more soon. We love anything to do with word games/word play. 844257

  31. PeakAi
    14th August 2023 at 11:05 am #

    801735 883820so much excellent data on here, : D. 516132

  32. A.I. tools and services
    14th August 2023 at 7:27 pm #

    durvet ivermectin sheep drench ivermectin trials

  33. visite site
    1st September 2023 at 7:39 am #

    I love looking through a post that can make people think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment.

  34. commutator manufacturer
    30th September 2023 at 10:18 am #

    Im thankful for the blog. Cool.

  35. Electric Blog
    15th October 2023 at 10:18 am #

    Thanks for the article. Will read on…

  36. https://m.king88.com/
    8th December 2023 at 12:06 pm #

    Thanks a lot for the blog post. Great.

  37. plaster
    9th December 2023 at 9:16 am #

    This really answered my drawback, thanks!

  38. undress apps
    29th December 2023 at 11:43 am #

    Hey, thanks for the blog.Much thanks again. Cool.

  39. satta dpboss net
    3rd January 2024 at 10:32 am #

    I value the blog.Much thanks again.

  40. Kelvin Kaemingk
    3rd January 2024 at 8:02 pm #

    Kelvin Kaemingk has over two decades of helping people make smarter decisions regarding their mortgage and money decisions. He began his career in financial planning and migrated into the mortgage space in 2002. He is passionate and committed to helping people throughout their lives, make the best financial decisions for themselves and their families. As a father of three, and now Papa K (grandpa) to one, a team builder and recruiter, Kelvin thrives on helping others realize their potential, often referenced as “Everyone’s biggest fan”. Kelvin Kaemingk is the Area Manager for loanDepot and Co-Host of the Real Estate Chalk Talk radio program based in the Minneapolis – St. Paul area. Kelvin Kaemingk, NMLS 251124 | Branch NMLS 1139048

  41. TikTok downloader
    25th January 2024 at 3:33 pm #

    excellent publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the other specialists of this sector do not realize this. You must continue your writing. I am confident, you have a great readers’ base already!

  42. TikTok download
    29th January 2024 at 11:54 pm #

    Your blog does not display correctly on my droid – you may wanna try and fix that

  43. Sistre Cila
    30th January 2024 at 12:24 am #

    Parke sistre ve cila hizmetleri, zemin kaplamalarının bakımı, dayanıklılığını artırma ve estetik görünümünü iyileştirme amacıyla uygulanan özel işlemlerdir. Bu hizmetler, özellikle ahşap parke zeminlerde kullanılarak mekanların daha şık ve uzun ömürlü olmasını sağlar.

  44. situs bokep
    18th February 2024 at 4:48 pm #

    I really like your wp theme, where would you get a hold of it through?

  45. situs porno
    23rd February 2024 at 5:00 pm #

    This article is a breath of fresh air! The author’s distinctive perspective and thoughtful analysis have made this a truly engrossing read. I’m appreciative for the effort she has put into creating such an educational and thought-provoking piece. Thank you, author, for providing your expertise and stimulating meaningful discussions through your outstanding writing!

  46. diego
    2nd March 2024 at 2:08 pm #

    experimentvariants

  47. 3d interior design course
    21st March 2024 at 8:05 pm #

    Major thankies for the blog. Great.

  48. 28678 Auto Glass Shop
    22nd March 2024 at 1:01 pm #

    You have a gift for explaining things in an understandable way. Thank you!

  49. students
    23rd March 2024 at 12:11 am #

    I’m amazed by the quality of this content! The author has clearly put a huge amount of effort into exploring and arranging the information. It’s exciting to come across an article that not only gives useful information but also keeps the readers engaged from start to finish. Hats off to him for producing such a remarkable piece!

  50. tercüme bürosu
    5th April 2024 at 3:39 am #

    Profesyonel Tercüme Bürosu olarak, müşterilerimize geniş bir dil yelpazesiyle hizmet sunuyoruz. Deneyimli ve uzman tercüman kadromuz, metinlerinizi en yüksek kalitede tercüme etmek için titizlikle çalışmaktadır. İşinizin gereksinimlerine uygun çözümler sunmak için çeşitli sektörlerde uzmanlaşmış tercümanlarımız bulunmaktadır. Teknik, tıbbi, hukuki, akademik ve diğer birçok alanda profesyonel çeviri hizmetleri sunmaktayız. Küresel pazarlarda etkili iletişim kurmanıza yardımcı olacak nitelikli tercüme hizmetlerimizle, işinizin başarısına katkı sağlamaktan memnuniyet duyacağız. İhtiyaçlarınızı karşılamak için özelleştirilmiş çözümler sunan ekibimizle iletişime geçmekten çekinmeyin.

  51. Lost mary
    6th April 2024 at 2:37 pm #

    Thanks for these pointers. One thing I should also believe is credit cards presenting a 0 rate of interest often entice consumers together with zero interest rate, instant endorsement and easy internet balance transfers, nevertheless beware of the real factor that may void your current 0 easy streets annual percentage rate and throw you out into the very poor house quickly.

  52. Auto Glass Shop 27597
    10th April 2024 at 7:48 am #

    Your writing style is captivating! I was engaged from start to finish.

  53. Locally Acclaimed Auto Glass 27605
    11th April 2024 at 8:41 pm #

    Your attention to detail is remarkable. I appreciate the thoroughness of your post.

  54. 28610 windshield shop
    12th April 2024 at 12:26 pm #

    This post was a breath of fresh air. Thank you for your unique insights!

  55. Auto Glass Blog
    13th April 2024 at 9:19 am #

    The post has been incredibly helpful. Thank you for the guidance!

Leave a comment