Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours

Tour 98 / In Flanders (Hop) Fields Tour

Friday 27 September – Tuesday 1 October 2019

This is great new four night Tour staying at the pretty Oude Abdij Hotel in Lo, West Flanders, at a beautiful time of year. It will explore the beers and hops of West Flanders at the end of the hop picking season, but will also include a unique chance to find out what was going on with beer 100 years ago in this area. More particularly, what British soldiers were drinking in Flanders which caused so many courts martials for drunkenness to take place, making it one of the top ‘crimes’ in the British Army. Siobhan will give a couple of evening lectures revealing new information coming to light in her researches into alcohol and the British army in the Great War from findings at The National Archives in Kew.

British and Australian Soldiers enjoying a coffee. But was it always just coffee? (Image AWM).

Our first stop will be at the new Bar Bernard Brewery Cafe restaurant and Tasting room built on the top of St Bernardus Brewery in Watou. It has 360 degree views over the Flanders landscape. We'll have a group meal here and slake our thirst with a beer or two from this great Flemish brewery. There will be plenty of other visits to battlefield sites, Commonwealth War Graves Cemeteries - one especially containing men from a forgotten group of soldiers in the Great War - NCOs or Non-Commissioned officers.

Siobhan has been doing work on courts martials and Sergeants and will focus some of the tour on her findings. We will visit cafes and pubs or as they were known in the war estaminets some of which were actually serving soldiers behind the lines ion the Great War and we'll look at what happened to brewing in Flanders during the war and what soldiers actually drank when in the Salient.

A Trappist beer at Sint Sixtus Monastery Brewery, Westvleteren.

Australian Sergeants Mess Christmas Dinner, Siobhan's research reveals strains on Sergeants as the war progressed (Image AWM).

No battlefield tours are quite like these. Tours for the curious, led by the passionate.

This Tour is still being built so keep an eye on this web page or our newsletters for updates. If you want to join Siobhan on this Tour please send her an email or call on +44 (0)1245 354677 for details.

Tour Price to be issued in 2019 and will be per person based on sharing in a twin or double room

Single Supplement: £to be advised later in 2019

If you are travelling alone and want to share a room with another traveller please contact Siobhan as we are regularly able to pair up travellers in twin rooms to avoid the need for payments of Single Supplements.

Included in the cost of this Tour are:

Hotel accommodation and breakfasts;

Hotel city taxes;

Luxury coach travel on a 49 seater coach with toilet;

All brewery visits, tours and brewery beer tastings;

Entrance fees to attractions, museums and historical sites;

All items marked with an asterisk above and on the individual detailed tour itinerary when issued;

Copies of Podge’s City Bar Guides and Maps for the town where we stay or spend some time;

Still and sparkling water on the coach;

Pick up from Ipswich (at bus shelter outside Crown House, Crown Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 3HS (opposite NCP Car Park), Colchester (Southway Chapel St South Layby) or Chelmsford (The Woolpack, Mildmay Road). Arrangements can be made for different joining points on the way to Folkestone or even on the other side of the channel.

Travellers are responsible for the costs of all food and drink apart from items marked with an asterisk on the detailed itinerary plus all passport and insurance costs.

All itinerary times are local and approximate.

Personal insurance is not included in the Tour price but is strongly advised, as is carrying the European Health Insurance Card available online, by phone or via the Post Office.

If you have any questions or would like to join us please send Siobhan an email or call on +44 (0)1245 354677.

All Tours are subject to our Terms and Conditions.

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Travellers on Podge's Beer & Battlefields Tour contemplating the Dodengang - the Trenches of Death.