The Belgium scouting trips.
The first time we scouted tours in Belgium was in 2007 with a good Friend Andy Douglas while watching the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, my favorite cobbled classic. While creating our tours we ride local routes, visit hotels and eat and talk with restaurants and breweries to find the best matches for each tour. Every group is different so every tour is special as well.
As we left you on our last blog post we were talking about Marco. Marco is the US trade rep for Visit Flanders. Within this job he creates FAM trips and helps businesses do business in Flanders. In 2015 Marco invited us to Belgium to learn about the Beer tourism industry and help expand our contacts and improve our tour offerings. On this first trip with Visit Flanders we travelled to over 12 breweries and visited a number of hotels, pubs, restaurants and small towns. It was on this trip we met Hans who helps on our Antwerp portion of the trips.
We also met Marie from Het Anker which is now a brewery, distillery and Hotel we stay with in Mechlen on most of our adventures. Do not get me started on the fun we have had in Mechlen. This is a town I really enjoy.
After this FAM was over we met up with the rest of the Beer & Bike Europe crew and scouted more routes and of course drank plenty of great beer.
With the information from this FAM we expanded the breweries and options for our guests further and also started offering Luxembourg tours that Simon from Whiskey and Wheels created. Simon is one of the first Beer & Bikers from our days in Japan and it is so much fun to travel and plan adventures with him. Few people can plan a crazy fun time with proper cycling and tasty craft beer. Of course Simon is the man who started me down the amber highway of whisky. I cannot thank him enough. If you come along on our Belgium trips you will likely meet Simon at some point.
In our next edition of this Blog series you will here read about lessons learned from each tour and the second FAM trip with Marco and the Flanders crew, at least the parts I can remember.