Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Brussels Beer Festival: A Travel Recommendation

48 Belgian Brewers. 330 Belgian Beers. White, brown, fruit, triples. Sounds like the perfect weekend for us! With a group of friends, we headed up to Brussels for the weekend for their 13th Annual Belgian Beer Festival!

The festival itself was held in the Grand' Place, the main square in Brussels, which is picturesque itself. Now imagine the square with (or just look at my pictures!) 48 tents, lots of people, and a cute little parade walking through the middle. That's my kind of festival. The group of us headed up on Saturday morning, arrived at 11, and then walked down the Grand' Place. We bought our tokens, entered the festival, and spent the rest of the day socializing and drinking Belgian beer. Out of the 330 beers offered, we tried 30. That is not to say we each DRANK 30, we all tasted/shared/passed around our beers (w/friends, not strangers, don't worry!) and in total, tasted 30. We ran into people we knew, people we didn't know, some crazy Scottish guys, and all around just had a good time. After the festival, we headed to our fav Brussels Bar - Delirium Tremens, hung out some more, and then slept it off. Sunday, we went back down to the festival to stock up on some beer and chocolates, the typical Belgian dinner!

Sunday morning, however, as we check out and are looking to walk down to the festival again, we go to the hotel's garage to pack up our bags and a window in our car had been smashed in. Our car was not the only one. Many of the cars in the hotel without Belgian plates had the same thing happen to them. We were lucky enough that nothing was stolen, others were not so lucky. The owner of the garage insisted we head to the police station with another couple whose car underwent the same tragedy (they had things stolen AND they had a mercedes.. eek). We spent quite a bit of time with the two who wound up being fun and extremely entertaining! We filed the report (in French) which was yet another experience for the books. Frenchies... geez. While nothing will come of the police report (the wires to the security camera were cut), we needed the documentation to get the glass fixed/report it to Security Forces/drive back on base, etc.

Belgian Beer Fest is NO Oktoberfest, but it was a fun, close festival to attend for a night. We wanted to try new Belgian beers, which we did, and hang out with friends, which we also did. Overall, a very fun Saturday/Sunday. Then to top it off, Monday was Labor Day, so A was home an extra day!! Fun weekend! And ready for the next - a trip to Lavaux Vineyards, Switzerland!

Boys at Beer Fest

Brussels Beer Fest 2011

Me & Mir


Boys in Belgian Beer Heaven

Triple Karmelit - A's all-time FAVORITE beer


Some of the girls. Me, Marie, Mirjam, & Micael. Missing Holly in this pic!

Matt in his awesome Delirium Tremens Elephant Hat

The famous statue, Mannequin Pis, who changes outfits every day!

A & Matt's FAVORITE beer! At Delirium!

Grand' Place

Grand' Place

You HAVE to have Mussels in Brussels

dun dun dun

Make shift window

The Belgian Beers We Tried:

Batik Blonde
Batike Brune
Val Dieu Brune
Super des Fagnes Blonde
Val Dieu Grand Cru
Ename Blonde
Ename Triple
Ename Dubbel
De Silly Pink Killer
De Silly Scotch
De Silly Divine
Des Rocs Blonde
St. Bernardus Wit
St. Bernardus Triple
Brasserie Des Legendes Quintile Amber
Brasserie Des Legendes Goliath Triple
Kasteel Blonde
Chimay Triple
Delirium Nocturn
Ter Dolen Donnkee
Ter Dolen Triple
Strubbe Wittoen
Strubbe Vlaskop
Leffe Blonde
Leffe Brune

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