Beer tourism near Poperingue

Poperinge isn't a town to hide its pride and joy under a bushel. In fact its pride and joy is a bushel (of sorts). Though more a pile of cones in fact. And not of wheat, but of hops. Welcome to 'hoppe stad', the Capital of Hops in Belgium, the globally-acknowledged Kingdom of Beer. This is a town so steeped in hop-growing and beer-making that you can smell it over the horizon, even before its spired churches have rolled into sight. A good dose of Belgium's brewed beverages owe their hoppiness to the flat open fields surrounding this small town, which lies just short of the Channel coast, in the far north-west of the country. And two of the most legendary names in Belgian beer call its hop-fields home: Westvleteren and St. Bernardus. This area is best visited by bike or car.