Any visit to Belgium is more than likely going to involve sampling some of the local beers, and Bruges’ De Halve Maan Brewery is one of the best working breweries you can visit. De Halve Maan is the only brewery still working in Bruges’ city center.
The first recorded mention of the brewery dates from 1546, when Bruges was home to more than 30 breweries. The same family has run De Halve Maan since 1856 and is currently run by Xavier Vanneste, the sixth generation in charge. The focus of De Halve Maan is the golden blonde Brugse Zot and the tripel Straffe Hendrick.
During the summer months, the brewery offers guided tours every hour, 7 days a week (tours are still offered in the winter but slightly less often). The tour guides take visitors through the family’s brewing techniques; it takes 45 minutes, and is available in English, French and Dutch. A glass of beer and a visit to the top of the building, which offers views across the city, is included in the tour price.
The brewery is situated in the heart of Bruges’ historic city center, close to the cathedral, and also has a pub-restaurant, courtyard terrace and banquet room.