Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Antwerp to Bosteels Brewery and Back to the Barge

It was a long and enjoyable day, but dinner is in half an hour, and I want to finish this post before then. So, here is the picture that tells the whole story:
In the tasting room at Bosteels Brewery.

Well, it is not quite the whole story, but it is the best part. We started out from Antwerp in cold, windy, and overcast weather. Pedaling out of the city was very easy with the excellent bike paths, and then we had to go under the river via a 500 meter pedestrian/cyclist tunnel. You get to the tunnel via an elevator or escalator that descends 31 meters (about 100 feet) and then pedal under the river and reverse the process. Unique experience.

Most of the rest of the ride was uneventful, except that the wind continued and was quite strong most of the day. We regrouped at the Brewery where we were to get a three hour guided tour and tasting. I was early and stopped in a sandwich shop recommend by Burt, our marker for the day. The hamburger was precooked and served cold, along with cheese, on a very tasty baguette. Not what we Americans think of as a cheeseburger, but it was just what I needed after fighting the wind for so long. 

We started our tour of the brewery shortly after 2pm and were there until 4:30. Bosteels has been family operated for seven generations. It was recently purchased by AB InBev, but they still operate with the old family recipes and produce about 2.3 million liters of beer a year. Our guide was very informative and we learned a lot about the history of beermaking, the process of beermaking, and history of this particular family operation. At present they are making only two beers, and we had generous samples of each. Good thing that we only had four miles to bike back to the barge!

Today's video only shows Antwerp to the brewery.  The last four miles was simply a retracing of our steps.


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