David and I spent an absolutely amazing 16 days traveling throughout Belgium, Germany, Austria and Switzerland - in which the main focus was around one of David's favorite things - BEER. David did an amazing job researching breweries in each of the cities we were visiting, and the experience was one that made memories to last a life time - some maybe a little hazier than others, depending on how strong the beer was that day. :)
I would like you all to know, the first thing I ordered in the Frankfurt airport during our layover to Brussels was burrata - and it was delicious with a nice pesto over heirloom tomatoes.
We hired a car to drive us around Belgium, which was great to get us out to the countryside so we could visit the Abbeys where the monks make the beer. To be considered a trappist beer:
The first abbey visit was to Westmalle. We could only walk around the abbey exterior, but they do have a cafe right next to the abbey where you can get their beers. They taste so fresh right next to the source!
Val Dieu was an amazing abbey and had some of our favorite beers that we tasted. We also loved the outdoor courtyard that we had some beers, cheese, more delicious potato croquettes and an amazing piece of ham on the bone called "Le jambonneau cuit au four" with a mustard cream sauce.
Our third Belgian brewery of the day was Floreffe - this was such a neat small local place - and the beers were cheap! They had a gorgeous outdoor sitting area, but the true treat was the traditional beer hall in which everyone was enjoying their beers. The bartenders couldn't have been over age 13 or 14, and spoke no English, so I had to try out my German skills in order to get us the beers! The beers were pretty good - David made a mistake and ordered a fruity red beer, which I knew he would not be a fan of - and needless to say, he was not. Out of the three breweries we went to that day, I would say it was the least favorite beer-wise. But we still loved the experience!
The next day we went to one of David's very favorite beer's brewery - St. Bernadus. His very favorite beer is the ABT 12 - a wonderful Belgian beer that has that amber color and a smooth finish. We even got to see a choir from Estonia sing a beautiful hymn in the tasting room - they make the trip to St. Bernadus once every three years, and it happened to be our tour that they were on - what an experience.
Below is video of the Estonian choir that David uploaded - just beautiful.
David pouring the ABT 12!
Note: you can get this in the US!
We journeyed on to the abbey Westvleteren where we got to try the #1 rated beer in the world. It was good (although we didn't feel like it quite lived up to it's #1 in the world title). I did love the cheese and paté that they made!
Our last brewery of the day was one of the most unique and memorable experiences that we had on our trip - Het Sas - a small brewery with an 8th generation brew master. They were so welcoming and took us on a private tour, complete with tasting an unfiltered Pilsner right from the source (the brewmaster is pouring it for us)!
Our last day in Belgium we visited abbey Orval - you can get this in the US and it is delicious!
More to come on the European Beer adventure - next stop, Germany!!!
Welcome to our blog! We are twins who love cooking, trying new restaurants, and taking photos of food in San Francisco. We love to improvise and come up with fun, creative and easy recipes. They are meant to be inspirations for you to come up with your own unique recipes, or follow along with what we do - your choice! We enjoy taking pictures of food whether at home or out at restaurants, and of course, we love our burrata and chardonnay. Enjoy!