Dinant: The heart of Leffe

Dinant in the valley of the Maas in Belgium is home to the beers of Leffe. Though the brand has been sold to one of the big players, you can still see the original abbey – and you can visit a really nice beer-museum!

Is this a place to see or a place for a drink? Let’s agree on this: It’s both!

Dinant is a middle sized town in Belgium’s region Wallonie. The river Maas passes by in a really picturesque way. And an old fortress is guarding the city from high above, looking down from majestic greyish rocks.

And Dinant is the home of the Leffe-Brewery. Leffe is actually a city district of Dinant and the Abbey that used to produce the beer is located here.

Used to? Yes, Leffe (the beer) has been sold to AB/ InBev and only the abbey is left in Leffe (the place). The abbey itself is closed to the public, ss the order of the Premonstratensians wants to pray in silence. So in Leffe (the place) there is nothing to see from Leffe (the beer) anymore.

But capitalism is unstoppable, so AB/InBev simply bough a nearby old chapel (actually much more central then the abbey) and turned it into a museum for, well, Leffe Beer. Though I am not a fan of big business, I have to say: it is well done! The museum is called Maison Leffe and the exhibition is really fancy and rather digital. And even if you are deep into beer-talks and nerdy knowledge of brewing, you might still get something out of it (at least the option to go for a tasting at the end of the exhibition).

So if ever in Dinant, have a look, enjoy a tasting! And then, strengthened by a beer, go for the fortress and enjoy the brilliant view of the Maas valley!

Locations: Check here for the location of the old abbey and over here for the museum, the Maison Leffe.

Brasserie Val Dieu (Pays de Herve)

Brasserie Val Dieu is the most heavenly place in all over Belgium to have a pint of beer! The former Abbey might be left be the Cistercians, but the brewery stayed and its beer is better than ever.

Looking for a day out in the green fields of Belgium? Maybe you even want to go hicking, cross some gently rolling hills? And then, of course, you would like to find a nice place to have a decent pint of beer. Well, welcome to Val Dieu Brasserie, located in the Wallonian idyll of the Pays de Herve! Brasserie Val Dieu is situated just in between Herve and Aubel, both rather villiages than cities. The brewery is part of an old abbey, that till 2000 was part of the Cistercian order, but is nowadays run by a worldy enterprise. You will be offered a good handful of traditional Belgium styles and if you desire you could go for a guided tour through the brewery – of course with a degustation of beer and cheese. Yes, there is local cheese, too! My advice is: Go for the jubilee-beer „Cuvee 800“, grab some cheese and take a seat in the wonderful beergarden. Surrounded by medieval walls a beer at the abbey of Val Dieu is simply: Heavenly!

Adress: Val Dieu 227, 4880 Aubel, Belgium