Recently my wife and I decided to take a trip to Brugge, Belgium over Thanksgiving holiday. So we packed our bags, left our humble home in England and caught a ride on the Chunnel and drove straight into the heart of Brugge! We booked our hotel at Hotel de Medici, which is conveniently located near the Markt (Market Square). Brugge had some amazing historic architectures, which most of them I found to have a Gothic theme to them. I just couldn’t believe how well the Belgians maintained their historic infrastructures. We got to enjoy some of Belgium’s finest beers available along with the finest chocolate from their Chocolatiers, and indulged on Belgian Waffles and Fries!
During our stay at Brugge, we visited the touristy areas at day for the most part and pub crawled at night. We visited some of the best bars that Brugge has to offer and even found some of the most hard to find bars in the area. At the end of every pub crawl, my wife and I always ended the night with some Belgian Waffles! One thing I did notice about the Belgians, they know they have some of the best beer in the world and they’re damn proud of it. I know I would be too if I was a Belgian.
So on to the best part about Brugge, the beer! My original plan was to take notes on every beer I had the privilege to enjoy. Well, I was so overwhelmed with Belgium’s finest beers I completely forgot to take notes, but I did remember to take pictures of every glass of beer I ordered. I made sure I didn’t order the same thing twice, so on with the show!
Overall, I will say that our trip to Brugge has made me greatly appreciate the wild beers even more than I did before. I found out from one of the locals that the wild beers (Gueuze, Flemish Ales, etc..) are in danger from the Belgian government. According to them, the wild beers aren’t made in “sanitary” conditions and allow spiders and other contaminants come in contact with the beer. The Belgian government wants to shut down these breweries that make these legendary beers all because of the way they are brewed and handled in the process. Quite frankly, I enjoy these kinds of beers for what they are. I really hope they get to stick around because if those beer styles die, some of the greatest beers known to man will no longer exist.
If any of you ever get the chance to visit Belgium, be sure to visit Brugge! In the meantime, I have to get ready for my tasting party tomorrow!
James (Head Brewmaster)