Exploring Belgium and France with Beer Cycling!
When it was the turn for my friend Marc B (featured on the Iceland Podcast!) to pick our annual guys trip he was direct and to the point.
He wanted to bike, he wanted to drink beer, and he wanted to do it in Belgium!
Ironically enough when you put those search terms into google you land with a niche and amazing form of adventure: Beer Cycling!
Beer Cycling is the brainchild of Evan from Portland OR and he has teamed up with his partner Henk from the Netherlands and Tom from Duvelo Bikes to put together unforgettable tours that get you from Pint A to Pint B!
I'll share some of my journey with them and why you should go on a future one with you if you are like Marc B and feel like bikes, beers, and one of the locations they do tours in is how you like to experience adventure travel.
The intimacy of the small towns, random places, and countryside views are a part of the reason that I loved the Farmhouse Tour. (We went on a pilot tour for this year and it sounds like they'll be launching more in 2019 so stay tuned to their site.)
We could have worked on finding these places for weeks leading up to the trip and would have never landed on them. The small towns that encapsulate the world between the big cities are a love and joy of mine and we got to experience them in an intimate way!
The trails, the woods, and the cobblestones were great! They would have never been found, and if we did stumble upon these trails via bike we would have likely gotten lost without the lead of Evan and Henk.
Hold on tight when you hit the cobblestones, it's all part of the European cycling experience!
The farmhouse brewery experience was unbeatable. From larger saison breweries like DuPont to upcoming craft brews like Alvinne we were able to have a behind the scenes tour, story, tasting, and experience that the public does not have access to. I am a beer drinker and lover but not a beer junkie; the homebrewers on our tour were in awe of what they got to experience!
Traveling the world no matter how you do it is supposed to be fun! The connections with both the people on the tour, the Beer Cycling team, the breweries, and all the people in between made the experience tough to beat. There's something soothing about being in the French countryside on a Sunday afternoon drinking Saison that was brewed a week ago and the only other requirement of your day is get back on your bike for another 10-15 miles of beautiful terrain.
This wasn't just a road tour on the bikes. We rode between 30-40 miles a day but it was at a pace that anyone who knows how to ride a bike and is in somewhat okay shape can handle. What I really enjoyed was the exploration and detours through National Parks, the Hell of the North tracks, and the city travel that keeps you on your toes!
Wine and liquor lovers be warned! This is a BEER tour!
The Beer Cycling team had a cool, calm, and relaxed manner to how they operate. It's a small operation run with care and energy that is fun to be around. As a result of that the same energy translates to the people and the groups I believe.
There were 16 of us on the tour and I enjoyed my time with every single person on the tour. It's hard to find that in a random group of people that you all of the sudden are spending several hours per day.
In summary the trip was amazing. And this is the beauty of adventure and being open to exploring new places. Belgium was not on my list of places to go and I had already been to France. We also went to Amsterdam for a few days which was not on my so called "places to go."
A biking and brewery tour also wasn't jumping out to me. But that's the beauty of going with friends to places they want to go. I saw places I never thought I would go, connected with people I never would have met, and had an experience I would have never seeked out on my own and therefore missed out on!
Beer Cycling is a great way to explore the world!
I highly recommend hitting up these peeps for a tour later this year or beyond, you won't regret it. Unless of course you were expecting a running and vodka tour :).
What about you? Cycle or beer lover? Questions? Throw 'em in the comments and thanks for reading and being a part of our Hashtag 59 community!
Because Adventure Travel Feeds the Soul,
Mike R and the Hashtag 59 Team
P.S Feel free to pin the image below to Pinterest!