Belgian Beer Weekend

Trip Start Apr 15, 2003
Trip End Sep 01, 2011

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Sunday, September 2, 2007

Brussels Beer Weekend

Every year, on the first weekend in September, there is a beer paradise weekend in Brussels, Belgium. We went the first year we were here (see Sept 29, 2003 entry) and repeated it again this year. Of course the beer weekend is more fun with friends so we invited a few. Tom and Meeghan, who we know through our friends that went with us the first year, Stephan and Julie, drove down from Amsterdam and spent the weekend. Also Steve, who we stayed with outside of London, joined with a drinking buddy of his, Stuart.

Although the weekend is centered around trying several of the over 400 existing Belgian beers, we did a few other things as well. Of course one must eat mussels in Brussels, so we went to Restaurant Chez Leon two nights in a row for wonderful mussels and other Belgian food.

On Saturday Tom and Meeghan joined us for a self-guided walk of the Art Nouveau area of Brussels. We saw several Art Nouveau houses, culminating in a tour of the Horta House. Horta was a famous architect in the Art Nouveau period and this house is a showcase of his work. There is an amazing brass railed staircase, beautiful woodwork with lots of inlays, and stained glass throughout. It took quite some effort to find the house as it isn't exactly situated in the main tourist area, but the journey was fun as well and took us into a neighborhood we would not have explored otherwise.

Finally, the beer festival did not disappoint. All 6 Trappist beers were represented as well as many other Belgian brewers, each with 2-5 types of beer. Of course we didn't try all of them, but the ones we did try were quite good. The festival itself was very crowded, but otherwise was fun. Even Meeghan, who normally doesn't drink beer, tried on made with blueberries.

It was a great weekend with friends having wonderful Belgian beer in a beautiful European setting. What more could we want?

Happy travels!
Melanie and Chris

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