Back in California now and unpacking, doing laundry, and figuring out where to put all these new beer glasses (I know, I have a problem). The trip was amazing, thanks at least in part to some of the suggestions in this thread and for having some tour guides in some of the big cities.
Akkurat was ridiculous (fun) and I was impressed by the beer list. I was bummed that they had "just" run out of the unblended St Lamvinus but it didnt detract at all from the experience of spending 5000 SEK between 4 people and having an awesome dinner. Next time I go to Europe I’ll definitely stop back in (and hit Helsinki as well). Viktor (vsxsv) was a great tour guide. Also got to meet Danko and a ratebeerian named Magnus (manker on RB). The Belgian admin gave us a tour of the Monks Cafe brewery set up and then of his own cellar from which we Advocated some bottles.
Munich was awesome, and I could actually speak the language. Oktoberfest is absolutely insane, even on a Monday night. Holy crap.
Dusseldorf was fun for the 4 or 5 hours we went brewery/bar hopping. Managed to try 8 or 9 different Alts inluding an eye opener at Uerige on the way out of town at 10 am. Sorry for the mix up Thirstybird. If/when I get back to Germany I’ll make sure to be there for one of the doppelsticke days.
A little further south on the Rhein in Koln we spent a lot of time walking around, site seeing, and Kolsch ticking (tried 11 different ones). Never made it to Braustelle to try the Eszett Gueuze but after meeting the guy that made that beer I’m hopefully that I’ll be able to trade for a bottle.
Met a friend from college in Bodegraven that is currently staying in Maastricht. There was some Advocating going on at Borefts. Very quaint little town with a canal running through the middle of it. Got to meet Thijs (brabander), Jeppe, spotted fonefan in the distance, Joris (joes), a few others that I can remember faces of but not names, a couple BAs inluding one thats muled beer for me (Mark, yinzer), and got to catch up with Jesper (yespr) and Jens (ungstrup).
Amsterdam is a big city full of tourists but I had a good time seeing it again after 15 years. Loaded up on ticks at Bierkoning.
Antwerpen was a great experience. Got a personalized tour from Matt (crooney5787) and went bar hopping along with the infamous Uli and were later joined by Kurt of Belgium in a Box who even chauffeured us around in his van to the bars and back to the hotel. Oh and he brought us a free bottle of the Bzart lambik to try while at Kulminator. Ran out of time to go to the warehouse and buy beer from him but he will definitely be getting some of my mail order business in the future. Ran into a guy named Phil (a BA from Portland OR) randomly at T’ Pakhuis who then went bar hopping with us. Also started the day by meeting with Wim (wimenels here) to pick up a few bottles for a long running trade we’ve had going.
Brugge is a gorgeous city but its crawling with tourists. Great place to spend a day (or maybe 2) but there wasnt a ton of beer stuff to do. Didnt make it to the Struise shop.
Poperinge/Watou was really neat. Stayed at the St Bernardus inn. The plan was to rent bikes (from the brewery) and ride to the destinations but it was raining so we drove to Westvleteren, the hop museum, Struise (no one was there and we couldnt call), a couple of bars (all closed), and finally the bar next door to Van Eecke where we tried some of their beers and witnessed a drunken bar fight before going back and drinking some St Bernardus at the source.
Brussels was a fun town but we stayed in a crappy area (right near Cantillon). Oh well. It was .7 km from Cantillon and about .3 km from Moeder, where we got to try an LH12 and I got to order a liter mug of Lamvinus on tap. Met with Eugene (77ships) and ran into Phil (the BA from Portland) again.
Thanks everyone, it’s been fun.