Bikes and Beer! What could be more European than that. From July 25th through July 31st I get the pleasure of joining Beercycling.com on a bucket list bike ride across the Belgium and France border visiting several farmhouse breweries. Since we opened Alesong Brewing and Blending three years ago, we've spent a lot of time creating Belgian inspired beers, many with a nod to the traditional farmhouse styles. In fact, our original Saison, Saison Lorane, was made with Brasserie Duponts famed yeast strain. Dupont will be one of the many breweries we get to tour. I am excited to leave town this summer to dig deeper into the many styles that inspired Brian, Doug and I to open this oak barrel focused brewery out in the country.
How did this co-sponsored trip come about? I met Evan Cohan a year or two ago, as he resides in Portland. His Business partner, Henk is based in Europe. Together, they lead trips in Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and even Portland to Hood River here in the states. Each trip is a multi day bike ride touring a regions breweries. Everyone I have come into contact with here in the states that has ridden with Beercycling has told me how great it is. I'm guessing my first (and hopefully not last) pedal with them will be life changing, at least for a brewer of these rustic beers.
When I told Evan that I would LOVE to go with them on a ride, he told me they had partnered with a brewery in the past and would love to again. We blasted it to our fans, club members, and newsletter list (have you joined that communication channel? Our newsletter sign up is at the bottom of our membership page)
Am I ready? I think so. Our longest ride day is 45 miles with the shortest being only 22. Since I dropped a few pounds this winter to get into bike shape and have spent quite a bit of time on my old mountain bike, I think I can make it without fail. Plus, I've purchased all the crazy cycling gear that I thought I would never own. I just received my 'tie-less' shoelaces from amazon. I can't get all caught up in the chain! For further training this past weekend, I did 40 miles with several beer stops in between. I have to be game ready, and I think I am.
If you'd like to 'ride along' on my beer-fueled journey in Belgium and France, follow @Beercycling & @alesongmatt on Instagram and facebook. I will capture as much of the trip so long as the wifis cooperate. Regardless I'll be sure to recap the ride when I'm back in the states in August.