Day 2 • A long way to go to meet folks from New Jersey!
Special Note: The links marked with [x] are the same tour.
We get an early start, as we are to meet the Ale Street News tour at Dupont. At 09:30 we are nearby and decide to go to Dubuisson [x] first; they are closed, but the store is open. We buy a four pack of Bush Amber and 12, and head off to Pipaix in search of the naked pigs.
After some weaving around town, we find the Brasserie á Vapeur and Jean Louis. He is alone at the brewery as his wife is at the beer fair in Lille. However, he has time to show us around the brewery. The only steam powered brewery in Belgium. After a quick visit to the shop for some beer, we head off to Dupont.
We beat the ASN group there, but find Oscar who is to conduct the tour. After a short while, Jack and the gang arrive and the tour begins. It is announced that our guide Oscar is, at 35 years old, to be the new head of the brewery. At tour end, we have a couple of beers, buy some to take out and a glass, and bid farewell to the ASN group who, on our recommendation, planned to head to Vapuer.
On the way north, we make a quick pass at Bavikhove, home of Petrus [x] They were closed, so we went to the nearest town, Harelbeke, and found De Lindeblomme at Kortrijksesteenweg 178 where we had lunch and a Petrus brew. Daisy explained that they are a company store owned by the brewery and sell only the products distributed by Bavik. Not far from the brewery, we encounter a very large religious structure which seems to be a convent and school... quite interesting!
Heading toward Bruges, we stop at Ingelmunster [x] Castle. A foot race in underway so we walk across the canal to the castle a quite interesting and attractive place. We have a beer and take photos. The girl at the next table was wearing a pair of Pussy jeans. I try for a photo, but she shifted in her seat and I had to resort to Photoshop to help fix the image. Dessert with beer seems to be the attraction for the locals. We accidentally order pancakes due to asking for an interpretation of a Flemish word that we determined to be whipped cream. We slide out after buying a glass and taking more photos.
Finally we arrive at Bruges. I seem to recall that someone made a post on the BBB about not driving though town... I know why... limited parking, no hotel rooms available. Some waving around finds us an underground parking lot and we head to den Dyver, which is a too nice restaurant...
so we instead go to the brewpub Nieuw Walnutje Brasserie [x].
A short beer later, glass in hand, we head out of town toward Diksmulde. Only two hotels in town, Hotel De Vrede has no rooms and the other has only one... that's easy. We eat dinner at the hotel with no rooms after which we walk around the square and encounter Mr. Fry... I think he had been drinking! We head toward the hotel but unfortunately, the ÔT Brouwershuys, a pub blocks our way!
The locals showed up around 10:00 mostly drinking Maes.
A few Rochefort later, we met Ronnie and his friend who claims to have some old beer at home and will bring some to the hotel the next morning. Considering their condition, we don't expect to be seeing them at the early hour we expect to be on the road.