Europe Trip Part 2: Netherlands

And so we move onto the beer of Holland.  Yes, there’s lots of it. And more than what you’re thinking: Heineken and Amstel. Although, those two are pretty common in those parts.

And yes, we also drank those. They are definitely better on tap locally, than in a green bottle.  And Amstel, not Amstel Light, is popular there…..have you seen a regular Amstel here in the states??? I haven’t.  Maybe I just never really looked.

Above, you see an Amstel and a Brouwerij ‘t IJ Zatte. Very good beer…high alcohol at 8%, but I was preparing for Belgium anyway! It’s their triple and is unfiltered with a hint of citrus.

We stayed in Haarlem at a nice bed and breakfast. Here we had the local Jopen beer:

I believe this was the Hoppenbier, but we had it in another place and they said it was the Spring beer (Lentebier). Who knows. Well, it was very good stuff. Hoppy too (so I think it was the Hoppenbier). Tasted similar to an IPA, and unfiltered. On their site, it does say that the Lentebier is unfiltered, so……I don’t know, but it was excellent!

Here’s the group of three we enjoyed in Haarlem:

The Wieckse was a witbier. It was pretty good….just a little sweet. So apparently this beer was brewed by the De Ridder brewery in Maastricht, Netherlands. But, was bought out by Heineken….then closed in 2002…??? I wonder where it’s brewed now? If you find out, let me know.

Brand, yes, that’s the name of the beer. It was apparently also bought out by Heineken a while back. This was the Brand Pils, which was on tap everywhere. Pretty typical lager….not bad.

Typical grocery shelves:

(so they DO have Amstel Light…but only in bottles)

(Ignore the PALM in the back…we know that’s not Dutch!!)

(just had to get a quick snapshot of this one…)

We were able to hit up this cool beer bar, a bit off the beaten path in Amsterdam: In De Wildeman

I told the bartender I wanted to try some local beers, so he brought out several.

I’m not sure which are which at this point, so I’ll list them first.

De Prael Johnny – a tiny hint of grapefruit, slightly unfiltered. 7.5% alcohol (though on their website it lists it as 5.7%..??), and a little watery. Was pretty good, but had a bitter aftertaste. This one’s from Amsterdam.

Cask conditioned Wilde Porter-brewed just for De Wildeman by de Molen (center of Holland). Not at all like an American Porter. Smells like a liquer and is very dark. Has no hints of coffee and is quite strong. 6.2% alcohol, but tasted way too alcoholic for me.

Emelisse Barley Wine-VERY malty, 10% alchohol, very strong, undrinkable for me.

Here are some pics:

And then we were off to Rotterdam for a bit….more of a modern city. We stopped there on our way to Brussels.

Now, I’ve never had a Grolsch in the U.S. So I’ve got nothing to compare it to. But…we found a nice quiet bar that had two Grolsch taps.  Often, they only distribute one to the U.S. Anyway, they make a wheat! I was surprised. The Weizen was a nice, slightly unfiltered wheat…and it wasn’t too sweet! The pilsner was slightly bitter, but nice. One of the better Dutch pilsners in my opinion.

(here’s the Weizen….very good!)

….so then we were off to Brussels. See you in the next post: BELGIUM!






1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Beer Souvenirs from Europe « A Taste of Beer

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