Last week, a coworker of mine told me about a small craft brewery run by a former professor of brewing science at KU Leuven (the university here) and his kids. He said the brewery had a great patio that he and his friends would visit after mountain biking. The only problem is that the brewery is about 12km from the Leuven.
I thought this would be the perfect evening run followed by some great beer and delicious food, so I left work a bit earlier than usual and started running south toward Brouwerij De Kroon.
My coworker gave me directions for the best running path there, so I had an idea of where I was going and only got lost once, finding myself in the woods. I headed out from the city, across the ring road, and down along the perimeter of the university. Then, I found my path and spent the next 5 miles running along the Dijle River through pastures and along farms. I stopped along the way and took pictures.
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It reminded me a bit of England — endless pasture, few hills, and plenty of cows. It was truly peaceful. I ran into maybe 5 people on the whole 7 mile stretch and for the rest of the time, I just enjoyed peace and nature.
When I arrived at the brewery, I was a real sight: sweaty, stinky, American, non-Dutch speaking. But I sat down — luckily one of the waiters spoke pretty good English — and ordered a beer and food. I tried all three of their house beers. It was definitely worth the run just for that. Those beers were great. I also ate a delicious dinner of shrimp croquettes. Belgium might get a lot of credit for waffles, beer, and chocolate, but they know how to fry potatoes. From fries to croquettes, it is all delicious.
After dinner and beer tasting, I walked around the corner and caught a bus back to Leuven. It was a great evening for running, eating, and drinking.