Year in Beer – Belgium & the Netherlands Preview

YiB-12It’s pretty hard to fathom that I’m writing the last preview for the Year in Beer. It seems like just yesterday we were making sure we had enough winter clothes for our first ever trip to Alaska.

Being the last month of this amazing journey, we decided to finish with a bang, a flourish and a lot of beer. And what’s a bigger bang than visiting the most distinctive beer brewing country, Belgium. With their 100+ breweries and unique styles, the Belgians are the mad geniuses of the brewing world. We will also manage to make our first ever visit to the Netherlands.

There will be no rest for the weary on this trip as we step off the plane in Brussels, head straight to Antwerp to meet up with our friend Ute, and see Flogging Molly and the Street Dogs perform that night. Prior to the show, we, of course, will be taking in Antwerp’s beer scene.

Day two, we are off to Amsterdam to see another Flogging Molly/Street Dogs show as well as sample the unique treat available in that liberal city, Dutch beer. There are two brewpubs plus two world famous beer bars to check out before we see the last show of the Antidote Tour.

With the Flogging Molly portion of the trip behind us, it will be time to concentrate on beer. We have two main goals for this portion of the trip:

  • Visit all seven Trappist breweries. Whether we will get to drink the beer is another question
  • Reach 450 breweries on the list which means we will need to visit 16 breweries on the trip

We will be concentrating on two areas, Namur and Luxembourg (the Belgian province) in the south and West Flanders in the northwest to reach 450. The non-Trappist brewery hit list includes:

  • Brasserie de Bouillon
  • Brouwerij ‘t IJ
  • Caracole
  • De Bekeerde Suster
  • de Bie
  • Fantome
  • Halve Maan
  • Kerkom
  • Pakhuis
  • Rodenbach

And if that hasn’t been enough, we will be finishing up our trip at the Kerstbierfestival, a Christmas beer festival in Essen, Belgium. In two days, approximately 100 Belgian holiday beers will be poured. And from what we have heard from friends, there isn’t a festival quite like this.

And then the Year in Beer will be behind us. But there is the book to look forward to and then maybe the ‘made-for-TV’ movie. I want David Boreanaz to play me.