Beercycling was founded in 2011 by Evan Cohan, a Portland, Oregon-based systems administrator and, not surprisingly, a beer and cycling devotee. Before the Beercycling concept had taken root, Cohan’s appreciation of Belgian ales had prompted a biking pilgrimage to Belgium, where “I just fell in love with the country,” explains the adventure-loving 33-year-old. “The business came together just out of not wanting to sit in an office anymore and wanting to do something active. Cycling around and drinking beer was something I was doing anyway.” Early on, Cohan connected with Henk Wesselink, a former investment banker turned beer event organizer and hop grower from the Netherlands. The duo have been leading tours together ever since.
Beercycling ventures are easy-going and high-spirited affairs and attract an eclectic clientele bonded by a common appreciation of great beer. One couple who met on a tour are now married. They spent their honeymoon on a Beercycling tour.
The Flanders tours are self-contained. That is, you carry your belongings in panniers provided by Beercycling. On the more challenging Ardennes tour, your luggage is transported by vehicle between overnight destinations. For all tours, the price includes overnight lodging in hotels and B&Bs, breakfasts and lunches, brewery tours, train tickets and bicycles. You get a discount if you bring your own bike. Airfare, dinners and beer are not included.
For those who prefer independent travel, Beercycling offers several self-guided tours. For these, Beercycling provides an itinerary and handles the travel arrangements, so your only responsibility is getting “from Pint A to Pint B,” to use the company’s catchy slogan.
Dan Rabin is a beer and travel journalist and cycling enthusiast based in Boulder, Colorado. He is author of the guidebook, Colorado Breweries. For information about visiting Wallonia, visit the Belgian Tourist Office-Brussels/Wallonia website at belgiumtheplaceto.be.