Last updated on April 22nd, 2018 at 08:15 am
We enjoyed a quick 48-hour trip to Brussels and took a food and drink tour early on to make the most of our time there. We thought doing so was a great way to learn about Brussels and the things it's best known for- delicious beer and divine chocolate! We're confident we tried the best of both during our stay.
So, how did we track down the best beer and chocolate in Brussels?
Taking a food tour at the beginning of a trip is our favorite way to orient ourselves in a city and learn about local culture the places we visit.
It wasn’t hard for us to decide what tour company to go with in Brussels. After a little research on the city’s tourism website and TripAdvisor, one thing became very clear. The Beer and Chocolate Tour by The Brussels Journey was the one we were going to take. The details of the tour and the hundreds of five-star reviews on TripAdvisor narrowed down our choices to only one. The tour that delivers the best beer and chocolate in Brussels!
What makes this tour special became clear right from the start
Brussels offers many surprises architecturally and gastronomically, and Marie, the Brussels Journey founder, helped us find some of the best ones in the city.
The tour began with the chocolate, and the beer tasting was reserved for the latter part of the tour. Marie’s brilliant idea to keep tour goers energy high and minds sharp throughout the action-packed walking tour of the city center.
Our tour group included 12 excited people from different corners of the world. We all met outside the first chocolatier we would learn about that day. Marie gave an overview of the tour before we began.
She explained that the tour focused on local businesses, as opposed to large chain operators, to learn about, and of course taste, the different types of chocolates and beers made in Belgium.
We would enjoy specially selected varieties of each. The choices could be customized depending on allergies and preferences as well. Everyone knew we would taste what each establishment did best, Marie assured us she did regular market research to keep her tour fresh and unique. One look at The Brussels Journey Facebook page and you know this is true!
There are hundreds of chocolatiers in the center of Brussels and each offers a wide variety chocolates. We were glad to have a local chocolate expert explain the different types of chocolates and select the best ones for us to try. We visited four chocolate shops, learning about, and tasting different cocoa varieties and techniques.
The chocolate choices in Brussels are overwhelming. Belgian and French, praline and truffle, Marie helped us taste a variety of Belgium's best. We know we wouldn't have done as well had we set out to try on our own!
Brussels old town is loaded with stunning architecture
Brussels old town is an absolute feast for the senses. The architecture, sweet scent of waffles, and festive sounds of pub goers and street performers helped us fall in love with this stunner of a city. There are 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Belgium and The Grand Place in Brussels is one of the most beautiful.
Marie explained the history and shared personal anecdotes about Brussels, her home and a city she clearly loves. She is incredibly knowledgeable and her commentary was relaxed and funny. We learned about the city's history and modern day culture as she wove through the cobbled streets in the center.
Marie had told us at the start of the tour she'd take us off the beaten tourist path. The group followed her through crowded arcades, down narrow alleys, and up skinny staircases to discover hidden gems Brussels.
And we learned so much about Belgian beer!
We visited three pubs including one incredible beer shop on the tour. The samples we tried were generous and diverse. Like with the chocolate, Marie explained the origins, processes, and cultural nuances of all of the beers we tasted.
We tried Lambics, Abbey beers, Krieks, Belgian IPAs, Trappists, Triple Blonds, and Double Browns. All were wildly different and specific to Belgium. Marie did food pairings for part of the beer tasting as well. She picked up chocolates along the tour and specialty cheeses and cured meat to complement the different styles of beers.
Again, blown away by the huge selection we benefited from Marie's expertise. She expertly provided us with the best traditional and modern beers to try in Brussels.
We see such great value in taking food and drink tours when we travel. The Brussels Journey Beer and Chocolate Tour is the best one we've taken yet! If you want to try the best beer and chocolate in Brussels we highly recommend this tour.
Marie's interesting anecdotes combined with her obvious passion for Belgian beer and chocolate are what made our so experience great. We would have missed out on so much in Brussels if we hadn't participated in the tour.
Additional bonuses included Marie's personal suggestions for restaurants and discounts to purchase chocolates and beers at each of the establishment we visited. She helped us save precious time and money during our stay in Brussels, thanks so much Marie!
Do you enjoy food and drink tours when you travel? How have they impacted your travel experiences? Please feel free to share thoughts in the comments below.
Disclaimer: Marie generously hosted us for this tour with The Brussels Journey. All of the opinions expressed above are our own true feelings.
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