Tour creation - Belgium Part 1

Have you ever wondered how we put together the tours we offer? The next few blog posts will give you a glimpse of how we created our Belgium adventures. 

Creating a new adventure is some of the most fun I have as the owner of Beer & Bike Tours. As with many of our tours this one began over a few beers after a ride. I have always loved the Spring Classics and living in Fort Collins we learn early to love Belgian, or at least New Belgium, beer.  As our conversation evolved we started to think about the best times to go and our past travels in the Flanders region.

Fun with maps and books

 Vintage Belgium map session while in Kortrijk in 2007 - yes we have been at it that long.

Vintage Belgium map session while in Kortrijk in 2007 - yes we have been at it that long.

I like to begin with a paper map to get the overall lay of the land in a bigger picture. With a map laid out we selected the cites we felt showed the best parts of the region of flanders and greater Belgium. With a list of cities we begin to connect the dots and locate the breweries we want to visit. This is a difficult task in a country with 180 breweries and 1/4th the size of Colorado. 

Of course the next step is to head to our local bottle shop and purchase as many bottles of beer from the breweries we want to visit as possible. For us that means heading over to our friends at the Craft Beer Cellar

 Beers From our tasting party at the Craft Beer Cellar

Beers From our tasting party at the Craft Beer Cellar

With beers in hand we begin to narrow down which breweries we would most like to visit and contact them to arrange a visit to make sure they can provide the experience we want to deliver to our guests. Making great beer is only half of what we need is to create a successful trip. Our goal is always to find the smaller spots with amazing beer and the ability to share the story of what they brew and how they do it. 

 From  Peloton de Paris  in Mechlen

From Peloton de Paris in Mechlen

The next step to planning a tour is putting pedal to pavement and physically scouting the route. To do this we contact local companies to show us around and the tourism offices for help. Asking for help is never something I used to be good at. Thank goodness I started listening to Katy's advice. All things go so much smoother when you ask for a hand. In Belgium our helping hand is named Marco. Marco is not only a good friend but also one of our contacts at Visit Flanders.

 Marco showing us around in Brugge

Marco showing us around in Brugge

Marco arranged what we in the travel industry call a FAM trip. More on the fun and adventure of this step in our next blog post.  Until then let us know your favorite Belgium beer in the comments on the blog and we will enter you to win a gift certificate towards a Belgium Holiday.

Sante - Bob Williams