A combination of cycling and tasting the best Belgian Beers? It is surely a great idea on this great cycling trip between Ypres and the St.-Sixtus Abbey.
Learning about hops and how this product made beer. Having a stop in one or two local cafés, where the smell of hop is almost visible. A cycling tour that also pays attention to the historical burden of the Flanders Fields Landscape. Behind the lines of the Front Poperinge has its own rich history.
Option to stop and visit the Museum of Hops in Poperinge and to visit the brewery ‘the Plukker’ – open for the audience on Saturday afternoon from 15.00 hrs.
Other possible stops (and moments of tasting) are:
- The STRUISE BROUWERS (only when made reservations on a 15 persons basis group on TUESDAY- THURSDAY-FRIDAY AFTERNOONS for guided beer tour in the brewery. On Saturday open for the public. It costs €10 for the beer guiding including 4 beer-taste moments.
- ST.-BERNARDUS BREWERIJ in Watou
- KAZEMATTEN BREWERY in Ypres
Part 1: 12 KM Location: Sint-Sixtus Abdij
We can’t afford us not to stop at the famous and historical Abbey of St.-Sixtus in Westvleteren. We can only enter the café of the monastery, as the religious buildings only open their doors for the monks or their guests that are looking for contemplation and prayer. Still, the Lourdes-like cave (Grotte) just on the edge of the monastery garden is quite a spiritual experience.
Part 2: 20 KM Location: Hops farm & brewery "De Plukker", the real smell of hops
Before we turn back, whether it’s up to Ypres or Poperinge, you’ll certainly appreciate the showing around in this authentic hops farm that has been developping some great artisanal beers for the last six years. Open on Saturday afternoon from 15.00 hrs. Tasting and explanations for about €6.
Part 3: 30 KM Location: Struise Brouwers (Oostvleteren)
The Struise Brouwers (only when made reservations on a 15 persons basis group on tuesday, thursday or friday afternoons) for guided beer tour in the brewery. On Saturday open for the public. It costs €10 for the beer guiding including 4 beer-taste moments.
If integrated in the program, we must check-out where your start/finish is situated. Often a rural gite not so far from this ‘beer walhalla’ can be interesting.
Part 4: 40 KM Location: Brewery of St.-Bernardus (Watou)
If you start this tour from Ypres, we must calculate a total distance of about 50 km when visiting the St.-Bernardus Brewery in Watou. They have their own guided & taste-tours in the brewery. It’s often a good option to have your lodgings or our starting point in Poperinge if you want to visit this brewery.
Alternative tasting is at our finish back in Ypres in ‘House Brewery’ the Kazematten (under the Vauban ramparts). The special Wipers Times-beer is a local brewed beer, that’s part of the St.-Bernardus-family.
Part 5: 50 KM Location: Local café-stops everywhere
As we want to compete our beer-tour description, we just want to add that in every 30 to 50 km cycling tour with focus on the beer culture, but also on other aspects of this historical and rich natural environment we easily can pick out local cafés with a very specific atmosphere in which you can discover other famous beer, such as: Nunnebeer, Hommelbier, Dulle Teve, Papegaei, …
Part 6: 10 KM Location: The Museum of Hops (1400 Belgian beers are shown)
If Poperinge is your start/finish, this might be a must to visit at the beginning or the end of our day. You can also add it to another day-program.
When coming from Ypres, the shortest cycling way up to the Museum of Hops is about 10-12 km.