Lambic-Geuze route

The Lambic and Geuze route is one with some very special gems. We get to know both these unique exponents of Belgian beer as well as the wonderfully rolling landscape of Pajottenland and the Zenne Valley. We prepare ourselves for some tough climbs.

Lambic-Geuze route




Start: Halle

The cycling adventure of today is all about lambic and geuze. These are two of the pearls in the Belgian beer culture crown. That deserves a word of explanation, for those who may not be familiar with them. Lambic is a thirst-quenching, tart, complex and refined beer that is mentioned in the same breath with Pajottenland and Zenne Valley. It is fermented spontaneously according to centuries-old tradition and then aged further in wooden barrels. Lambic is a beer in its own right, but it is also the foundation for the famous geuze and kriek beers. A geuze beer consists of a unique blend of different lambics. Moreover, they are made only in this region, Pajottenland and Zenne Valley. Nowhere else in the world are brewers permitted to name their beers with that label. In some cases, this brewing and sampling process is also enriched with cherries or other fruits, which leads to the typical fruity beers of this region.

After that beer intro, now for the cycling adventure. It starts in Halle, a town just southwest of Brussels. We push the pedals a little harder and cycle past the Grote Markt with St. Martin’s Basilica, a Gothic icon whose foundation stone was laid back in 1341. It still proudly towers above the landscape today. And so we quietly leave city life. We make our way to the open landscapes of the Zenne Valley. After barely ten minutes, we find ourselves out in the green, on a separate cycle path. The fresh outdoor air and a lonely rotating windmill welcome us. 

Langs de Zenne

Brewery Boon

Meandering through the fields, we get to know the contours of the Pajottenland. In this region the road is never entirely flat; we are always going up and down a bit. Further down the road, we will have to overcome a some challenging climbs, but that is for later. First we make our first pit stop, at our first geuze highlight.  

To do so, we take a pleasant little detour from the route to Brewery Boon (the signposts in the centre of Lembeek show you the way to the brewery). The first traces of this beer institution go back to the year 1680. Today, it is still active. Brewery Boon makes its own (magnificent) beers, but also supplies lambics to several geuze producers. These are the craftsmen who blend different lambic beers to create their unique geuzes. We get to know this wealth even better on a guided tour of discovery through the brewery. The adjoining Boon Bar beckons, but we skip it for now. There are still many kilometres to ride and gems to discover. We pedal a little further. 


Peace and quiet in the Hallerbos

We cross the canal, pass by the Malakoff nature reserve, and shift to a lighter gear. Indeed, the road is starting to climb quite steeply. The narrow but immaculate asphalt road rises between the greenery. The first challenge of the day is upon us, but not to worry for a beautiful resting place soon awaits: the Hallerbos. This gorgeous forest covers more than 500 hectares and existed long before we counted time. Back then it was part of the primeval Silva Carbonaria. Today, it is a beautiful nature reserve to get lost in for hours. Every year in April, the allure of this place becomes even larger. That is when the wild hyacinths are in bloom. They transform parts of the forest into a magnificent, light purple carpet of flowers. A very special sight. For kilometres we cycle along in peace and quiet, among the meters-high trees.

Oud Beersel

Welcome to Beersel

After this wooded interlude, we continue our exploration of the Zenne Valley. We cycle past Hanssens geuze blendery, where a fourth family generation is already proving to be geuze masters. Unfortunately, a visit is not possible; Hanssens only opens its doors in exceptional circumstances. For example, during the Toer de Geuze, the biennial celebration of the lambic, geuze and kriek. A wonderful experience, a weekend you will definitely want to note down in your calendar.  

About halfway through our journey, we are greeted by a new challenging climb. Sometimes an electric bike is no luxury. While enjoying the panoramas, we see the place name sign ‘Beersel’ by the side of the road. Connoisseurs of lambic and geuze already know that something beautiful is coming. Meanwhile, the road goes downhill, so we naturally arrive at De Lambiek, a visitors’ centre that immerses you in the flavours, smells, sounds and textures of lambic beer. 

3 Fonteinen - Fietsroute Lambiek-Geuze

Oud Beersel and 3 Fonteinen

In the meantime, we pedal up and down hills through the beautiful Zenne valley. And so we are gradually coming to the end of our cycling and beer adventure. The toughest part of the route is already behind us, but there are two absolute highlights that await us. In Brewery Oud Beersel, since 1882, old and young lambics have been blended and cut here into bewitching geuze. Of course, we are welcomed here with open arms. After a tasty stop at the cosy Oud Beersel beer house, we cycle on a little further to 3 Fonteinen, an iconic brewery of traditional lambic. In an imposing barrel warehouse, the lambics grow into Oude Geuze or fruit lambic.  In the accompanying Lambiek-o-droom, we can enjoy a guided tour and – how could we not – a tasting.


Bierhuis Oud Beersel - Vlaanderen-Fietscampagne-Groenegordel-HR-002

Finish: Halle

It was a brilliant ending to a wonderful cycling adventure through the Pajottenland and Zenne Valley. But our journey is not quite over yet. There are still a few more kilometres to go. Fortunately, they are almost entirely flat. The cycle highway along the water takes us back to our starting point in Halle. Tired, but satisfied, we think back on a wonderful cycling adventure.  

See you again soon, Pajottenland and Zenne Valley! See you soon, lambic and geuze!