We had such an amazing time in Belgium (and the Belgium beers remain our favorite!) but it was time to head on to the other countries we were visiting, starting with Germany. Our first stop in Germany was in Freiburg - a university town where Holly and I studied abroad in college.
We stayed at a hotel that was right on the square where they hold daily farmer's markets.
Of course one of the main attractions in Germany is the bratwurst - and we were not disappointed!
No better way to wash down a bratwurst than with a beer at a beer garden overlooking Freiburg. This Weisbier was light and refreshing with a hint of citrus.
Our next stop was Austria and the Stiegl Brauerei in Salzburg. This was one of our favorite (and most modern) breweries with a great self guided tour. Of course we loved the tasting at the end too!
David was thrilled to get his ceramic liter beer stein. And I loved this Stiegl-Herbst-Gold beer, it had a fantastic herbal flavor to it and was so refreshing.
Our next stop that day was at the Augustiner Beer Hall in Salzburg. Such an authentic beer hall. One of our favorite memory was seeing a German grandmother's birthday with her whole family there drinking liters of beer - including the grandmother! I love this culture.
After Salzburg we were back to Germany for a stop in Munich and went to the Paulaner Brewery - great tour that started out with a 45 minute "all you can drink" tasting. Yes please! Below are the tasting glasses, one of their copper brew kettles, and the "portable kegs" that they bring to the tents in Oktoberfest.
And of course we had to do the Hofbrau Haus...
Our last stop in Germany was in a cute town, Mittenwald - they have the highest elevation brewery in Europe, and some of my favorite beers! We couldn't understand the whole tour because it was all in German, but the beer was delicious. And what a quintessential town, complete with cute streets, sidewalk cafes, and beautiful mountains surrounding us.
We then took the train to Chur, Switzerland where we stayed the night and then caught the gorgeous Glacier Express train to Zermatt, Switzerland. It was such a gorgeous train ride, and we were lucky enough for nice weather and to go through some amazing elevations - almost thought you were in a different world!
And now for the final leg of our amazing Europe trip - Zermatt Switzerland - some of the best hikes (Matterhorn!) and food (fondue!) of the trip...
Oh our hike down, we stopped in a tiny "town" that had a restaurant and had some of the best pasta of the trip - a "lemon and prawn" pasta which I plan to re-create on a blog post very soon here - stay tuned!
We enjoyed both fondue (melted cheese with bread dipped into it) as well as Raqulette (cheese that is melted under a broiler then shaved off onto your plate) served with bread, pickles and lamb carpaccio. Absolute perfection - I was in heaven.
In all, it was the most amazing culinary / beer tour experience that I could ever ask for. My appreciation for beer (and food of course) has only risen with this trip and I am so thankful for the experience. I will definitely be re-creating recipes and referring back to this trip - I appreciate you all reading this and experiencing it with me!
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!!!
This was an amazing bar called The Patterson House (David's friend from high school started it) where they specialize in cocktails and fresh ingredients. The bartender was so knowledgable. I got a Tom Collins which was gin, seltzer water, and some other yummy ingredients. They have great ice cubes there as well!
Ummmmm, yum - we went to The Flying Biscuit for brunch - of course I had to try the eggs benedict which was absolutely delicious. Oh, and a side of cheesy grits as well. I think this place is missing some greens, but when in the South....
View of downtown Nashville from David's house - lovely night for an outdoor BBQ!
David's amazing rib-eye BBQ'ed steaks - marinade consisted of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, worcestershire sauce, Tapatio, garlic powder...they turned out great!
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!