One of the great pleasures of travelling in Belgium is to savour local beers. Mons and its surroundings have a number of breweries producing beers that are closely associated with the town. Saint-Feuillien is the most famous, producing beer in a variety of shapes and forms, including the delicious fruit beers called Grisette – more delicate and less fruity than you might imagine.
A good local product is simply called La Montoise. Sarazen, a beer brewed by the Brasserie DeseVeaux at Boussu (12km west of Mons), is, as its name suggests, made with buckwheat (sarrasin in French). You can sample these and many more at Mons Beer Festival, which takes place in the Grand-Place each year over a weekend in May.
Micro-Brasserie Le Brasse-temps 1–2 Blvd André Delvaux, 7000 Mons; 065 84 94 14; www.br-dubuisson.com, www.cuveedestrolls.be. 2km west of Mons railway station; guided tours by appointment. Here you can taste beers brewed on the premises as well as the famous (& famously strong) Bush beers, made by the Dubuisson family since 1769 at the oldest brewery in Wallonia at Pipaix (35km northwest of Mons).
Saint-Feuillien 20 Rue d’Houdeng, 7070 Le Roeulx; 064 31 18 18; www.st-feuillien.com. 13km northeast of Mons; guided tours by appointment. The Friart family have been brewing since 1873. St Feuillien comes in a variety of colours & strengths: Blonde, Brune, Réserve, Triple, Cuvée de Noël, Grand Cru, Grisette Fruits des Bois & Cerise.
Brasserie de Blaugies ‘La Moneuse’ 435 Rue de la Frontière, 7370 Blaugies; 065 65 03 60; www.brasseriedeblaugies.com. 15 km southwest of Mons; guided tours by appointment. Family-run brewery producing La Moneuse, La Moneuse de Noël, La Saison d’Epeautre & Darbyste.
Brasserie de l’Abbaye des Rocs 17 Chaussée Brunehault, 7387 Montigniessur-Roc; 065 75 59 99; www.abbayedes-rocs.com. 18km southwest of Mons; guided tours by appointment. Since 1979 this brewery has been producing beers under its own name, as well as Montagnarde & Blanches de Honnelles.