One of the best parts of living close to Belgium was the vast multitude of opportunities to visit local breweries. Especially as so many of these are located within scenic environments, such as monestaries and castles. One such example is Kasteelbrowerij Ter Dolen in Helechteren.
Ter Dolen Castle is a 16th century castle once inhabited by the abbots of Sint-Truiden. Since, 1994, this castle has been renovated and turned into a family-run brewery, pub and bed & breakfast. During the winter months, the pub is the place to be, with a nice fire to warm your chilled bones. In the summer, there is a wonderful terrace to sit down and relax with a glass of the tasty Belgian beers being served up.
I’ve been to Ter Dolen a couple of times, as it is one of the closest breweries to Eindhoven, the Netherlands. My first time was in April, 2004 when some colleagues from work brought me down on a weekend. We managed to snag a table at the terrace, and even enjoy the tour of the ultra-modern brewery itself (Saturdays and Sundays at 3PM, approx. 45 minutes, €5 per person including 1 drink. Dutch language only)
Ter Dolen beers are typical Belgian Abbey Beers; at present, the beer line-up at Ter Dolen consists of Ter Dolen Lager (6.1 %), Ter Dolen Dark (7.1 %), Ter Dolen Triple (8.1 %) and Ter Dolen Kriek (4.5 %). My favorite among these is the Triple, as the Ter Dolen Dark is the style of dark that I find to be a little too sweet at times, but not overpoweringly so like many others. The Kriek is one of their most popular beers, especially when combined with a nice sunny day in the courtyard (and a drive home afterwards).
The beer is available in the following packaging:
It’s a very convenient drive straight south from Eindhoven to get to the castle/brewery, with signs located along the main road as you enter Helechteren. You can combine a visit to Ter Dolen with some other breweries in the area, such as Achel Trappist, or make a day of it enjoying the nice weather in the courtyard.
October until March
Friday from 18.00
Saturday and Sunday from 13.00
Public holidays from 13.00
April – May – June – September
Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 12.00
July – August
Seven days a week, from 12.00 hrs.
Kasteelbrouwerij Ter Dolen
+32 11 606 999