6.15am start from the Woolpack. Stop for a coffee at the terminal and on the 9.20 Chunnel.
First stop at noon is Struise Brewery. An old school house where Urbain and his team give brewing talks and have a trial brew plant; the main brewery being a few miles down the road. A quick Struise Witte and, thanks to me asking too many questions, not really enough time to try the Pannepot or the other big beers that have given Struise an international reputation so quickly.
Back on the bus for a 1.30pm lunch at t'Rusteel a cafe with 300 strong beer list but now with Gulden Spoor Brewery next door. A steak and a home brewed IPA beer but the highlight is my eagle eyed spot the Boskeun from de Dolle Brewery, their Easter beer, blonde, tasty but a mighty 10%.
Back on the bus and a short ride for a 4.30pm visit to a bar with a 400 strong list, Heeren van Liederkercke. The list is pretty strong on sour beers, so my choices were a Cantillon Lambic on draught and a Hanssens Oedbeitje, a strawberry steeped lambic.
Quick check in to the Keizershof Hotel in Aalst at around and round the corner at ten past to the local pub, Kastenjehof. A straightforward, fairly small beer list but a Rodenbach Grand Cru, an Affligem Paters Vat and one of the Worlds greatest beers, Rochefort 10, at an unbeatable €3 set off the day perfectly.
I am sure some of the travellers are giving it large at bars in the main square or the hotel bar. For me that is something for another night as I am turning in early to write this blog.
Bring on day 2.