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Month: June 2023

Brussel Breweries Tattoo Tour 2023

When I just had my Brussels breweries tattoo in 2022, featuring my seven favourite local breweries, I celebrated the occasion by visiting them all in one epic taproom crawl
Because that first edition was such a success, on the first Saturday after the 15th of June—the date I got my tattoo in 2022—I did it again!

This time around I was a little bit better prepared, and had stamp cards printed in advance, as well as iron-on patches, and stickers.

Again, there was a great turnout, and four people made it all the way to the end with me, two of them for the second time!

Mark your calendars for next year: the Brussel Breweries Tattoo Tour 2024 will be on Saturday the 15th of June 2024!

FyneFest Trip – Day 12

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If you want to read about this trip from start to finish, instead of in reverse order, click here!

Heading Home…

Eventually, there’s always that day you have to go home, and today was that day…

The original plan was to have breakfast at Snax Cafe, the very first I ever visited in Edinburgh, fresh off the MegaBus on my first trip to Scotland. However, it seemed I turned up just during their morning rush, and there was no space to sit at all. So the alternative was a breakfast with an Indian twist at Dishoom, a restaurant that had been on my to try list for a very long time. I picked a simple bacon and egg naan so it wouldn’t take too much time, but I’ll definitely go back there to try some of the other dishes!

From there I went straight to Edinburgh Waverley Station to catch my LNER to London Kings Cross.

With a couple of minutes delay, we arrived in London, where my first stop was One Shot Coffee for my daily dose of caffeine.

At BrewDog Camden I met up with Ryan to enjoy the last couple of beers of this trip, and some Buffalo dirty fries, since I’d be on the train during dinner time, and arriving in Brussels too late to still eat.

Getting to and checking in at the Eurostar terminal went without a hitch, only for the departure of the train itself to be delayed… Only a couple of minutes though, and the train to Brussels wasn’t even very full! Arrival in Brussels was just about ten minutes late.

So, that’s it, almost two weeks of travelling through Scotland, with some hashing, copious amounts of delicious food, and lots of beer!
Until next year, Scotland? Of course!

Done reading about this trip? Resume reading my blog in the usual order! 

FyneFest Trip – Day 11

Last Stop in Leith…

Thursday: my last full day in Scotland, and I was going to make the most of it! First order of the day though, was a nice toast with scrambled eggs and bacon at Fortuna Coffee Bar. Coffee as wel, obviously…

Around the corner was the Georgian House, again a National Trust of Scotland property.

From there it was quite a bit further to the next NTS location: Newhailes House. This place can only be visited if you book a tour, so I had done so. However, when I arrived there, it turned out I was the only one on the standard tour, so they offered to ‘upgrade’ me to a more extensive tour half an hour later. Which I happily accepted!

Since I was near the seaside already, my next stop was the Porty Vault in Portobello, Vault City Brewing’s second taproom.

From there it was just a short tram ride to Leith, the new hot spot for craft beer in Scotland..

The Newbarns Brewery taproom was first up, quickly followed by that of Moonwake Beer Co. The last stop in Leith was not a brewery, but a bar: Dreadnought Leith.

By that time I desperately needed food—especially since the Porty Vault didn’t have the smoked sausage subs I was hoping for, or any food, for that matter! Being in Edinburgh, it of course had to be Wings, to check off some more flavours on my list. Choice of the evening: 8 Flames, Thunderstruck, Taps Aff!, and Maximilian’s Molten Mounty, the three hottest sauces on the list, plus one a bit less hot… The 8 Flames definitely had a kick, and would still cause some tears later that night while taking out my contact lenses!

Last stop was of course BrewDog Edinburgh, on Cowgate, the bar that changed my perception of beer forever!

FyneFest Trip – Day 10

Tartan & The New Town

Breakfasts in Aberdeen just don’t seem to work out as planned for me: after being too late yesterday, I was too early today! As it turns out, BrewDog Union Square only opens at eleven nowadays, which was too late for me today…

So instead, I resorted to some breakfast at Black Sheep Coffee, where apparently they combine high-tech touchscreen ordering with low-tech name shouting.

No beer for breakfast either, so I was in Aberdeen station early, and luckily so was my Scotrail train to Dundee.

Arrived there, I left my very full bag at a Stasher location again. The reason for my stop in Dundee, was the temporary Tartan exhibition in V&A Dundee. While I was there, I of course also went to see the Oak Room, one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s most important interiors, formerly one of Miss Cranston’s famous tea rooms in Ingram Street, Glasgow.

After that cultural intermezzo, I went to BrewDog Dundee for a pizza—with mustard?—and some beers, before resuming my journey to Edinburgh.

This was actually the first time I crossed the famous Forth Bridge by daylight, as far as I know!

After arrival in Edinburgh I checked in at hotel Travelodge Edinburgh Central Rose Street , and after unpacking a bit, I immediately changed into my running kilt, since it was almost time for my last hash this trip!

The start of this The New Town H3 run was at the pub Bennets of Morningside. From there it went up, up, and again up, it seemed! Well, we actually went up, since we reached the top of Buckstone Snab at some point, and the views from there were amazing!

After getting back to the hotel for a shower and a change, I popped out for a couple of beers at the nearby Fierce bar, and at The Black Cat.

FyneFest Trip – Day 9

Something’s Brewing in Ellon

After a couple of mornings being woken by the sun around four in the morning, I slept in a little, in my nicely darkened hotel room. Unfortunately that meant I was just a bit too late to have breakfast in in my Travelodge, and had to go to a Greggs instead, if I didn’t want to miss my Stagecoach bus to Ellon.

My first stop there was The Coffee Apothecary, so unlike previous trips to to Ellon, I actually got to see a bit of the town itself. This coffee shop is actually somehow connected to BrewDog—James invested in it?—so Equity Punks get a 5% discount here. But more importantly: they have a couple of BrewDog and guest beers on draught. Coffee and craft beer: there’s definitely a market for it!

From there it was a twenty minute walk to DogTap. Through some bribing with a nice bottle of Cantillon, I managed to get a private VIP tour on a day they usually don’t do brewery tours at all… I got to see the offices, parts of the brewery that were only very recently finished, the canning line up close while operating, and heard loads of new tidbits of information and nice anecdotes. Thank you Craig, and most awesome guide Dan!

Back in Aberdeen, it was dinner time. Pick of the night: Jewel in the Crown! I first thought it was closed—nothing to see through the windows and a big closed door—but this Indian restaurant was in the basement, as restaurants and bars in Scotland often seem to be. The chicken Pasanda was quite a tasty discovery!

Foundations in place, a night in the town could begin. First up was the very first BrewDog bar, the flagship; BrewDog Aberdeen! It was followed by the other usual spots: CASC, Fierce Bar, and to again end the evening with, BrewDog Castlegate.