Hmmm! It appears that all I wrote about the Half Moon Brewery Tour was: “back through town to the brewery for a drink and then a tour. Al asks why all the Belgian breweries offer so many high-alcohol beers; our guide tells us it’s the fashion and the breweries must keep up.
A group of women are munching chocolate/fudge tidbits all during the tour and I am so jealous; Bruges is the chocolate capital of Belgium and here I am, on a brewery tour, drooling over other people’s chocolate.”
Looking back over my photos I see a took a number of videos. I suppose I thought they would tell the story for me but I’m afraid not…
De Halve Maan Brouwerij, the half moon brewery, has been in the Maes family since 1856.
The brewery was very old and atmospheric. In this brewery they use real hops, although we found that many breweries actually use hop pellets.
According to our guide, Belgians have a history of using beer to preserve some of the summer’s fruit bounty, resulting in Kreiks (cherry beer, my favourite afternoon beer), Framboise (raspberry), apricot and apple being among the most common fruit beers. Then there are the ‘secret ingredients’ (below): cardamom, cinnamon, orange peel, camomile flowers, coriander seeds, juniper beers, star anise and others whose labels I can’t translate such ‘zouthout’ and ‘panamahout’ (types of wood?), and more…
A beer was included in the tour price. This is the tasting room at the Bruges brewery.
One of the beers produced by this brewery is Brugse Zot. My tasting notes say: from the brewery, blonde, decent, two stars (out of four) from me.
(above) A neon sign. (below) The base of the proper glass for serving Brugse Zot. Every single bar in Belgium seems to have a different glass for every single beer, even bars that advertise 400 different beers!
We had a beer while we were waiting for the tour and another beer afterwards.
Our trip was roughly based on the Beer Route through Belgium, and here it is so far.
Some visits to a few of the many traditional bars in Brussels:
- a 300 year-old bar in Brussels
- a la Becasse, a traditional pub in Brussels
- a la Mort Subite, a historic brasserie in Brussels
More on fairytale Bruges (Brugge):
- lunch at the Cambrinus
- tour of the Brewery in Bruges
- t’ Brugs Beertje in Bruges
- dinner at the Cambrinus
- warming up a chilly day in Bruges
- the Verdi B&B
- beer and museums on our first day in Ghent
- beer, food and museums on our second day in Ghent – Part 1
- Ghent SMAK exhibit, the conceptual Bulgarian artist Nedko Solakov
- beer, food and museums on our second day in Ghent – Part 2