After checking out of our hotel in Ypres, it’s a very quick drive to the nearby town of Poperinge, the hops capital of Belgium. Here we’ll visit the small, hop-fanatical De Plukker brewers, who will lead us on a tour of early-springtime hop plants and sample us on their (you guessed it) hop-forward brews. Having immersed ourselves in the bittering element of Belgian beer, it’s time to explore the malty side, and what better place to do so than the legendary, elusive Abbey of Saint Sixtus? We’ll enjoy a rustic lunch at neighboring café In De Vrede, accompanied by a range of Westvleteren Trappist ales — and maybe a rare peek at the actual brewery (TBD!). Heading east into the Wallonian region, we finish this perfect beer day with a tour, tasting, and charcuterie meal at the marvelous Brouwerij De Ranke, with its famously hoppy saisons and dreamy, far-away countryside sunset views from the tasting room. Depending on one’s capacity for beer (or wine, or cocktails), it’s then on to a free night of bar-hopping or a restful evening in after we cross back over into France and check in at Lille.
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included