Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sign up now for Lonely Monks Trappist Tour in Oct.

Belgian beer expert Stu Stuart will be leading a group of people on The Lonely Monks Trappist Beer Tour of Belgium --Oct. 18-27, 2008. Ten days, nine nights. Visit to sign up or for more information.

Tour Update:

This tour is a go! We have our minimum number to go. We still have some seats available, but they will go fast, so book now if you are even thinking about this special tour.

Mike Smith, head brewer for Eel River Brewing Co. (Fortuna, Cal.) will be joining this tour, which is exciting because Mike knows his beer and has the uncanny ability to get technical and still have anyone understand him. Mike's passion for beer and brewing is contagious and I look forward to having him on this tour. Eel River is an award-winning organic and bio-fueled brewery. Visit for more information on these great beers!

It also looks like we will be teaming up with our English friend, beer author, beer tour guide and beer guru, "Podge," for at least two days ofthis tour.

If these two additions were not enough, we will also be visiting the famous Marbehan (In Wallonia) and Herentalse Beer Festivals (In Flanders), which luckily will occur while we are there. These are two exceptional festivals. I had the pleasure of being at Herentalse this past year and it was great. Got to taste a 12-year old bottle of Piraat! Read more about Herentalse in Chuck Cook's article elsewhere on this website. Chuck is one of America's foremost authorities on Belgian beers and Belgium.

The Basics of this Tour:

Beer is one of the few indulgences monks are permitted and thus one of the reasons they know how to brew special beers so incredibly well. On this very special tour we will visit the seven Trappist Abbeys that brew beer (six in Belgium and one just across the border in the Netherlands) and sample their beers. The emphasis of this tour will be Trappist and Trappist-style abbey ales along with some of my other favorites.

The designation of "Trappist" is a legal one and encompasses a range of styles rather than a single distinct one. The seven Trappist beers are Westmalle, Westvleterern, Orval, Chimay, Rochefort, Achel and LaTrappe (known as Koenigshoeven in the U.S.). We will also visit the WWI museum in Ieper and Flanders Fields. You¹ll experience the four corners of Belgium as we traverse the country to visit these abbeys, from the bucolic farmlands of West Flanders to the pristine Ardennes mountains of Wallonia, to the beautiful countryside of the northern Limburg Province and the Netherlands. As with all our tours, fine cuisine, inviting hotels, camaraderie will be front-and-center, along with sightseeing, shopping and plenty of free time to unwind, explore and discover the beauty of Belgium.

The exact itinerary of this tour will depend on the size of our tour group and tour vehicle. Belgium has strict laws governing how many days and hours professional coach operators may drive.

Plans now call for overnights in Bruges, Mechelen, Beauraing and Aalst. In Mechelen we will be staying at the Hotel Carolus, which is part of and next to the Anker Brewery, brewer of Goudon Carolus and other fine beers.

$2595 land only, $575 single supplement. Deadline to sign-up Sept. 18, 2008

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