Saturday, September 10, 2016

Brugge Food and Drink Touring

6 years ago today we did some food tourism while on our travels in Brugge, Belgium. The two places we ended up seeing were Brouwerij De Halve Maan, the local brewery, and Chocolatier Dumon. Both places were very interesting to see and taste, and we were very happy to have done some local business sightseeing.

Having already gone to a local brewery in Amsterdam (twice), we wanted to get a tour of a local brewery in Brugge as well. De Halve Maan does brewery tours for a fee, currently €8.50. They're run in either Dutch, English, or French and run approximately 45 minutes. They also now offer an "XL tour" that includes a private beer tasting and tips on how to properly taste beer. This option wasn't available when we went, though, so we didn't get a chance to do it. Be warned that the brewery has a lot of stairs, some of which are steep and narrow, and the ceilings aren't always extremely high. I had to duck a lot to get in and out of places since I'm tall, but if you're like M and more vertically challenged, you probably won't notice.

The tour itself was interesting for me. I always enjoy hearing about the history of breweries, and this one is especially old (established in 1856). It was also very interesting to see how the brewery adapted to fit into the building they were housed in to maximize space usage while also providing adequate facilities to brew the beer.

At the end of the tour they give you a glass of their Brugse Zot Blond in their restaurant/tasting room. They describe it as: "Brugse Zot Blond is a golden blond beer with a rich foam collar and a fruity yet spicy bouquet. The beer is brewed with four different kinds of malt and two aromatic varieties of hop which give the beer its inimitable taste."

I don't remember much about the beer, but I do recall that I had ordered one recently at a restaurant since it was local. What I do remember is that it was crisp and refreshing but without much of the hoppiness that I've come to love in recent years. It was refreshing and a perfect end to the tour.

After the brewery tour we went to Chocolatier Dumon, a chocolate store that I believe is famous as I had heard of it prior to doing any research into Brugge. That could be an entirely false memory, but I definitely remember hearing of it long before we went. Regardless, whether or not my potentially false memory had anything to do with it, I'm glad we made the visit. The smell of chocolate hits you as soon as you step in the door, and the lady working behind the counter was very patient to answer all of our questions and also offer samples. They had a special Ecuadorian dark chocolate that they had just gotten in of late, and the sample we had was amazing. In the end we opted to purchase a sample box full of a lot of their chocolates (white, dark, and milk) including a piece of the special Ecuadorian. It was supposed to come with a marzipan piece as well, but M mentioned that she wasn't (at that time) a fan of marzipan. The lady was very nice and offered to substitute another piece of the Ecuadorian in its place, and we were more than happy to accept.

We really enjoyed our time in Brugge a lot, and this day of local food tourism was incredibly enjoyable. It's so great to sample locally made specialties when we travel, and we definitely recommend visiting both if you have the time.

No comments:

Post a Comment