The Legendary Zythos Beer Festival & Beer Tour

Six days, five nights. | One DEPARTURE A YEAR
• April 24-29, 2018
• April 24-29, 2019

Legendary Zythos Beer Festival & Beer Tour
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The Zythos Beer Festival (ZBF), is the granddaddy of ‘em all in Belgium. It's where many of Belgium’s diverse, unique and intensely-flavored beers, and their brewers come together in one place.  There are more than 250 beers made by about 60 Belgian breweries.  The Festival will be held near the historic and inviting city of Leuven.  

On this tour you will be visiting three of Belgium’s greatest cities, Bruges, Ghent and Leuven, and visit many breweries, beer cafés, and brewery taps, including: Duvel, Westvleteren, Halve Maan and Contreras.

In even years, you will also attend the Night of the Great Thirst International Gueuze & Kriek Festival (2018 is the next one).

 

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“Whether you are a die-hard beer aficionado or just beginning to develop a love of fine beers, this tour (Zythos Tour & Bruges Beer Festival Tour) is well worth the trip. Between my boyfriend and I, we were able to sample more than 100 different beers on this tour and had a fantastic time doing it. The tour was a nice balance of structured activities and time to explore on your own. Stu was also great at making suggestions for beers to try based on our tastes.”
— Angie & Aaron from Boston

Tours Include

  • Five nights accommodations in nice, friendly, centrally-located hotels in Bruges and Leuven.
  • All breakfasts, two lunches and three dinners with gratuities.
  • Beer during brewery tours, taproom visits, festivals and company meals as listed on the itinerary.
  • Ground transportation via private luxury coach with professional driver.  Leave the driving to us!
  • Canal boat tour of Bruges.
  • Professional and courteous BBM! guide services.
  • All tours and admissions.
  • An instant group of interesting and fun, beer-loving friends you haven’t met yet.
  • Guaranteed tour price the moment submit your deposit.
  • Plenty of unstructured free time to relax, shop and explore on your own.
  • Custom BBM! name badges.
  • Souvenir BBM! luggage tags
  • One souvenir BBM! soft-sided cooler per household.
  • Flexibility in the event you need to transfer or cancel your tour.

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Not Included

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers.
  • Some meals and beer on your own. Free-time sightseeing.Our guides are available to provide suggestions.
  • Fine Print: You are responsible for the costs of your free-time sightseeing.  Be sure to read our Terms & Conditions Agreement for important details.
  • Gratuities, at your discretion, for brewery tour guides and coach drivers.

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Tour Cost

Deadline to sign up is one month before departure. 

$1695/per person + Air, $325 single supplement*
* Prices based on double room occupancy.  If you are a solo traveler and would like to have a private room all to yourself there is a single supplement fee of $325 in addition to the base price of $1695 per person. We can also work with you to pair you with other single travelers to avoid the single supplement. Better yet, recruit a friend to come, too! Unless, of course, like Rick Steves says, you prefer to “snore alone.”

Also consider The Legendary Beer Festival and Wild & Spontaneous Beer Festival Combo Package Tour of Belgium April 24-May 2, 2018. Cost is $2450 per person based on double occupancy.  There is a single supplement of $495 if requesting a single room or traveling alone. Tour deposit* is $400 per person.

We require a minimum number of guests for each tour to be guaranteed to go, so it’s important to sign up ASAP, as opposed to waiting until the deadline. Also, tours can fill rapidly and suddenly, so signing up early ensures that you will go and not be disappointed.

Please share  BBM! tours with fellow Belgian beer enthusiasts, your friends in general, and encourage them to join the fun!

map of overnight locations

SOME OF THE BREWERIES AND ATTRACTIONS WE HAVE VISITED ON THIS TOUR IN THE PAST:

  • Trappist Westvletere, St. Sixtus
  • Halve Maan Brewery & Museum
  • Brewery Contreras
  • Gravenstein Castle and Torture Museum
  • Duvel Moortgat Brewery
  • Brewery De Kroon
  • Zythos Beer Festival
     

photos from tours

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Legendary Beer Festival Tour of Belgium Itinerary Itinerary • 2018 tour

Day One, Tues., April 24 • Bruges   This tour begins in Ghent, where we will conveniently board our ground transportation for  the home of Trappist Westvleteren beers, the abbey of St. Sixtus and its brewery tap, “In de Vrede,” (In the Peace) for lunch and to indulge in their famous, exquisite and rare beers.  The abbey and brewery are not open to the general public, however, we will be able to see the exterior and if we are lucky buy some beer to go in their gift shop. Afterward, we’ll continue on to the romantic medieval city of Bruges, where we will spend three nights.  Afternoon is free to explore, then we meet for our welcome dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. (Lunch & dinner)

Day Two, Wed., April 25 • Bruges   This morning, we’ll take a short walking tour on our way to the Halve Maan Brewery & Museum, where we will also have lunch and enjoy their fine beers.  Afterward, we will journey aboard a canal boat to learn more about Bruges and take post-card-like photos at every turn. This afternoon you have plenty free time to take in the many sites of Bruges, rent a bike, take a carriage ride, visit museums, climb the belfry, or just people watch, while savoring a Belgian beer in a sidewalk café. Evening is free to have dinner on your own in one of Bruges many cozy and romantic restaurants.  (Breakfast & lunch)

Day Three, Thur., April 26 • Bruges  This morning, we visit the Contreras Brewery, just south of Ghent, where we’ll have a tour and tasting.  This brewery traces its farmhouse roots to 1818 and produces some beers I know you will enjoy even if you may have not heard of them.  Some of their beers are available in the U.S., so you may be familiar with them already.  Valeir Divers Tripel, is one of my favorites. 

Afterward, we continue on to Ghent and after a short walking tour to show you the historic old town and best beer cafes, you’ll have the remainder of the afternoon is free to do as you please: Buy some famous Ghent mustard, visit genever bars, visit the taproom at the Gruut Brewery, or perhaps tour the Gravensteen Castle and Torture Museum.  (Breakfast)

Day Four, Fri., April 27 • Leuven  The morning is free to sleep in, shop, have lunch on your own and explore Bruges.  We need to check out of our rooms by 11 a.m.  You may store your luggage on the main floor of the hotel until we depart and board our coach promptly at 11:30 ( I recommend you have lunch in Bruges before we depart, or get a panini to go for later).  Alternately, make a sandwich-to-go at breakfast.  Then, it's off to Breendonk (1 ½ hour drive) for a grand tour at 1 p.m. of the Duvel Moortgat Brewery and the Duvel Depot hospitality room, where they feature most of the beers made by the company, including Duvel, Maredsous, Achouffe, Vedette, De Koninck and Liefman’s.  Today, the Wild & Spontaneous Beer Tour joins us and overlaps for two nights.  So, we’ll have five new faces.  At 4 p.m., we board our coach and head to a company dinner at the Brouwershuis Restaurant, the taproom of the Palm Brewery.  We’ll be having our pre selected dinner of soup for a starter, then a traditional Flemish Beef Stoofvlees (stew) prepared with Trappist Westmalle Dubbel (cuisine à la bière), Tierenteyn Mustard from Ghent and Belgian frites.  This evening you will attend the Night of the Great Thirst International Gueuze & Kriek Festival.   Afterward, we continue on to the historic university town of Leuven (about 1 hour drive), where we will spend the final two nights of our tour at the centrally-located Hotel Binnenhof, just a short walk from the railway station.  You’ll have the evening free to explore the city, its many beer cafés, including the “longest bar in Europe”, which is what they call the 30 plus establishments around the Oude Market (Old Market square).   This is also Leuven Beer Weekend, so look for special beer releases and events throughout the town.  Also, near our hotel is Domus, the oldest brewpub in Belgium, which has great food and atmosphere.  Alternately, if you were inclined, you could attend the Zythos Beer Festival this evening on your own. (Breakfast & dinner)

Day Five, Sat., April 28 • Leuven  The morning is yours free to sleep in, hold up in a coffee shop and people watch and further investigate this intriguing and picturesque city.  We meet late morning in the lobby of our hotel to depart to what this whole week has been building toward, the legendary Zythos Beer Festival, which is being held about 4 km away in a convention center called the Brabanthal. We’ll spend the better part of the day there in this wonderland of Belgian beers.  Afterwards, we will meet up for our farewell dinner at the the oldest brewpub in Belgium. (Breakfast & dinner)

Day Six, Sun., April 29 • Breakfast concludes our grand tour and we say our goodbyes to our new beer friends and figure out how to carefully pack the dozens of bottles of fine Belgian beer you have somehow amassed.  A quick train ride (15 min.) is available to BRU airport for those heading home and those continuing on your own in Europe. (Breakfast)

* Itinerary subject to change.

Legendary Zythos Beer Festival Tour of Belgium Itinerar • 2019 tour

Day One, Wed., April 24 • Bruges This tour begins at 10 a.m. in the lobby of our hotel in Bruges. After a brief meet and greet, we board our ground transportation for  the home of Trappist Westvleteren beers, the abbey of St. Sixtus and its brewery tap, “In de Vrede,” (In the Peace) for lunch and to indulge in their famous, exquisite and rare beers.  The abbey and brewery are not open to the general public, however, we will be able to see the exterior and if we are lucky buy some beer to go in their gift shop. Afterward, we’ll return to the romantic medieval city of Bruges, where we will spend three nights.  Afternoon is free to explore, then we meet for our welcome dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. (Lunch & dinner)

Day Two, Thur. April 25 • Bruges  This morning, we’ll take a short walking tour on our way to the Halve Maan Brewery & Museum, where we will also have lunch and enjoy their fine beers.  Afterward, we will journey aboard a canal boat to learn more about Bruges and take post-card-like photos at every turn. This afternoon you have plenty free time to take in the many sites of Bruges, rent a bike, take a carriage ride, visit museums, climb the belfry, or just people watch, while savoring a Belgian beer in a sidewalk café. Evening is free to have dinner on your own in one of Bruges many cozy and romantic restaurants.  (Breakfast & lunch)

Day Three, Fri. April 26 • Bruges  This morning, we transfer historic Ghent for a day trip to this grand university city.  On the way there, we'll visit Brewery Contreras, a small farmhouse operation which traces its roots to 1818.  Their beers and history will amaze.  They are known for their many fine beers, including Valeir Tripel.

After a short walking tour, the remainder of the afternoon is free to do as you please: Buy some famous Ghent mustard, visit genever bars, or perhaps tour the Gravenstein Castle and Torture Museum.  Lunch is on your own today.  Ghent has many alluring restaurants and cafe from which to choose.  In late afternoon, we'll return to Bruges, where armed with a list of suggestions, which I will provide, the evening is free to explore on your own the many atmospheric beer cafes of this historic town. Dinner is on your own.  (Breakfast)

Day Four., Sat. April 27 • Leuven  The morning is free to sleep in, shop, have lunch on your own and explore Bruges. Then we pack up our suitcases and it's off to Breendonk for a grand tour of the Duvel Moortgat Brewery and the Duvel Depot hospitality room, where they feature most of the beers made by the company, including Duvel, Maredsous, Achouffe, Vedette, De Koninck and Liefman’s.  This evening, we'll have dinner at the taproom for the Brewery De Kroon on our way to the historic university town of Leuven, where we will spend the final two nights of our tour.  You’ll have the late night free to explore the city. (Breakfast & dinner)

Day Five, Sun., April 28 • Leuven   The morning is yours free to sleep in, hold up in a coffee shop and people watch and further investigate this intriguing and picturesque city.  We meet late morning in the lobby of our hotel to depart to what this whole week has been building toward, the legendary Zythos Beer Festival, which is being held about 4 km away in a convention center called the Brabanthal. We’ll spend the better part of the day there in this wonderland of Belgian beers.  Afterwards, we will meet up for our farewell dinner.  (Breakfast & dinner)

Day Six, Mon., April 29  Breakfast concludes our grand tour and we say our goodbyes to our new beer friends and figure out how to carefully pack the dozens of bottles of fine Belgian beer you have somehow amassed.  A quick train ride (15 min.) is available to BRU airport for those heading home and those continuing on your own in Europe.  (Breakfast)

* Itinerary subject to change.

 

 

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