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If you are a regular follower of our blog, you may realise we love to go on food tours when we are travelling. A couple of months before the trip to Brussels we did a bit of research online and came across a ‘Chocolate and Beer tasting tour’ with The Brussels Journey (rated number 1 on TripAdvisor). Belgian chocolates and beers are renowned worldwide for their excellent quality so this tour sounded like a real treat.
The culinary experience lasts a good long 4 and a half hours and is divided into two parts – the first being dedicated to sampling handmade chocolates with a guided walk around the city, whilst the second half is all about drinking the local beer!
My boyfriend and I visited Brussels on a weekend break in June 2018 and booked the tour for 4pm on a Saturday afternoon. It was so popular that they had two different tours running that day, and the group size was big with around 20 people (couples, groups of friends and solo travellers which were 95% English speaking Brits, Americans and Canadians).
Our guide was full of enthusiasm and energy and was also very funny. He also had an assistant at hand to keep the group together and prepare the food and drink at each venue. Both were very knowledgeable, friendly, and attentive.
A beer and chocolate tour in Brussels
We were taken into four different boutique chocolate shops around the city centre and in the historic Sablon neighbourhood. At each stop we sampled around 2-3 different pieces of delicious artisan chocolate in a variety of flavours – dark ganache, salted butter caramel, raspberry caramel, rum, pistachio, ginger, tea, coffee, chilli and my personal favourite – crunchy hazelnut (it tasted like Ferrero Rocher!).
The guide gave us a bit of background about each place and an insight into the chocolate making process. I love that the chocolatiers are always experimenting with new flavours, and the presentation of the stores and the boxes/chocolates on displays were like mini works of art – so many bright colours and shiny looking pieces of chocolate. I was in food heaven! Some of the shops offered us a small discount, so many people in the group made purchases during the tour.
A guided walk around Brussels
As well as eating our way around Brussel’s finest chocolate shops, we were also given a bit of a guided tour around the winding streets of the old part of the city. We stopped for photo opportunities at landmarks such as the Grand Place, The Mannekin Pis and the Mont des Arts. The guide also gave us many drinking and dining tips for our stay in the city.
The second part of the tour is devoted to beer tasting (hooray!) with the guide giving us an overview of the many different Belgian beer styles. We were taken to three different bars and small taverns around the city centre (including a very quirky historic pub that is also a puppet theatre!).
At every stop we got to sample 2 half pints, each one being a different style. We tried abbey beers, double browns, Krieks, Trappists, Belgian IPAs and triple blonds. The majority of these were VERY strong and I was pretty tipsy by the end of the tour! We were also presented with some lovely cheese and charcuterie boards at the second pub as our tummies were in need of filling to avoid us getting too drunk!
The tour was definitely the highlight of my stay in Brussels and I would totally recommend it to any chocolate and beer lovers out there. The time completely flew by as we were having so much fun and I met some lovely like-minded travellers in the group. I gained brand new knowledge of the chocolate making process and the many different varieties of beers you can try in Belgium. We left the final pub around 10pm in a very merry mood and headed off to Chez Leon to devour some ‘moules frites’ (one of the guide’s recommendation for food).
You can book onto this tour by visiting the Brussels Journey website here. The tour is available Tuesday to Sunday with a start time of 3pm (4pm if the first group is full), and costs 80 Euros per person. It is great value for money.
Brussels beer and chocolate tour – add to Pinterest!
Photography by myself and Neil Hassall. Please do not use without permission.
Disclosure: The tour places were complimentary but as always, opinions are all my own.