02 August 2017

Belgian Beer Trip 2017 - Day 1

My first trip on new Eurostar stock was from London St Pancras International to Brussels Midi, before an Intercity train to Bruges, on Wednesday 21 June, 2017.


On a hot and sunny day there was precious little shade for the walk from Bruges station to Hostel Lybeer.
A winding staircase led to my room on the second floor where thankfully the window was open providing a breeze.
My original plan to find a table at 't Brugs Beertje was stymied by discovering that the famous beerhouse is closed on Wednesdays.
Plan B involved meeting up with Mark and Dave / Bod at the new home of the Bourgogne des Flandres brewery at Kartuizerinnenstraat 6 where entry through the red door leads to a courtyard.
Mark and Dave had enjoyed the brewery tour earlier that day but my first concern was to enjoy a Belgian beer as soon as possible!
We ordered a round of Bourgogne de Flandres (Brune / Bruin - 3.20 euros for 25cl) at the modern bar with windows overlooking a canal.
It was a relief to find that the canalside terrace enjoyed the shade at this time of day. It was a pleasant spot to hear about the brewery tour and watch the canal cruisers, full of tourists, pass by.
The second draught beer, Martin's Original Pale Ale (3.60 euros / 30cl) was even more suited to my palate and earned a 4.5 score for my log on Untappd.
We agreed to return to our respective hostels before meeting up at Le Trappiste later. The bar at the Hostel Lybeer with its high ceiling was attractive although the music choice was strange.
This was an appopriate spot to enjoy a bottle of Brugse Zot although Mark and Dave had improved on this with an earlier visit to Brouwerij De Halve Maan itself. They discovered that the sign to the underground 'beer pipeline' there may be purely for tourists and should not be trusted!
We met up again at Le Trappiste (Kuipersstraat 33) which opens daily at 5pm and descended the steep stairs into the vaulted basement.
Mark and Dave posed with copies of Ullage, the West Berkshire CAMRA magazine, which I had brought with me from Newbury.
My first beer here was from the long list of draught beers. The Belgian Coast IPA from Brasserie St Feuillien (4.50 euros 33cl) was pleasant.
Next a familiar extra hoppy pale ale from visits to Brussels - Taras Boulba by Brasserie de la Senne.
My third beer was surprisingly dark and redolent of blackcurrants - Troubadour Westkust IPA by Brouwerij The Musketeers. The basement was not too busy but Mark recognised a honeymooning couple at the bar who had been on their brewery trip earlier.
After a memorable first day in Belgium it was enchanting to walk back through the cobbled streets and past buildings dating from the 17th century on the way back to my hostel.

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