Fun And Beer Tour 2013---September 20th

 

Today, we had a long bus ride to the South of Belgium.  We traveled to Brasserie de l’Abbaye du Val-Dieu which is located in Aubel (the Wallonia region).   Apparently, we arrived too late to see the grounds of the Abbaye so we just toured the brewery and got to see the Church.  We learned that Val-Dieu means “Valley of God”.  A few monks built their lives here in the 13th century.  The Church was destroyed during the French Revolution but was restored in 1844 by the last living monks of Val-Dieu and four monks from the Bornem Abbey.  A brewery was established in 1997.  We got a chance to try the blonde, brune and the Grand Cru and sampled their cheese. 

         We found out that we couldn’t go to the grottos of Kane so we headed towards Brasserie Caracole located in Falmignoul near Dinant.  On the way, we stopped off at a Supermarket and Regnier  ordered us Ham and Cheese sandwiches.  After we ate our sandwiches on the bus, we continued to Brasserie Caracole.   When we arrived at the brewery, the tour guide greeted us outside and gave us a brief history of  the Brewery  He was very interactive, funny, and charismatic.  He told us that the brewery existed in 1766 under the name of Brasserie Moussoux  then in 1941 under Brasserie Lamotte and then finally in 1992 to Brasserie Caracole.  He told us Caracole means snail.
We went inside and he immediately put Regnier to work.  The tour guide showed us the brewing process.  This brewery is the only brewery that uses a wood-fire oven to warm the water.  He also stirs the mash by hand.  Another thing that is unique is that his bottling and labeling is all manual.  It was very different seeing that after going to all of these other breweries that were completely automatized.  After the very short tour, we went into the tasting room and tried some of his beers.  We got to try the traditional and organic Troublette, Caracole, Saxo, and Nostradamus.  During the tasting, we had some fun of seeing who could shoot the bottle corks the farthest.  

         After the tour, we went to dinner at Le Freyr.  Before we went inside the restaurant, we walked across the street and viewed the Meuse River.  It was beautiful.  We took a few pictures and then headed inside the restaurant to eat our dinner.  For the appetizer course, we had cream of mushroom soup and beef carpaccio. The main course was pork with gravy.  For dessert, we had a choice between a cheese assortment or an assortment of different chocolate desserts.  

After dinner, we headed back to Brugge.  Some of us went on one last pub crawl.  Goodnight!!! 

 

To Continue To Day 7 Of Our Journey, Click Here!!!