Unless you’ve been living under a rock or turned off all social media platforms, you’ll know we visited Holland recently. Our main purpose for the visit was of course the EBBC16. We decided to fly in a day early and arrived on Wednesday. We stayed in Golden Tulip Central which was a short stroll from the train station. Upon arrival the staff on the check in desk were really friendly. There was a jug of fresh water and a box of fruit on the counter for you to enjoy!
We found our room, with a gorgeous bar of chocolate waiting to greet us and there was a stocked mini bar that we really only used to cool our water. So after a quick freshen up and dumping our luggage we begin to get our bearings. We had a walk around before we settled on a lovely bar to enjoy our first drink of the weekend.
Our first stop was a restaurant called Het Groote Genogen. We sat outside and a waiter came with a menu of their beers, and as it was in Dutch he kindly explained what they were. I chose TSTBRW 4 by De Koninck. This was an enjoyable herb/spiced blonde ale at 6.2% abv. It smelled of corriander but tasted quite sweet and paired really well with the croque madame sandwich made with salmon and goats cheese. Waynes first drink was of course something special, Trignac XII a belgian tripel at 12% abv by Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck. Why so special you might ask? Well this was the last keg of it in Holland as we were so proudly told by our waiter. It was barrel aged for 7 months and then aged in the cask for 2 years. Wayne loved it saying “its so balanced and smooth”. His dish was the croque monsieur which was also enjoyed.
From here we wandered around taking in the sights and made our way back to the hotel to meet a fellow EBBC16 attendee, Brett of Our Tasty Travels. He very kindly offered to meet us and show us around some bars. Our next stop was Café ‘t Root. Still being a balmy evening we chose seats outside. This is when i was craving some light and sweet so chose liefmans fruitesse. Apparently known locally as the ladies normal choice and suggested serving it on the rocks which i declined. This beer was indeed the fruit punch I was looking for, smacks of cherry, strawberry, raspberry, blueberries and elderberry. It tasted devine, so refreshing! Waynes choice was Mort Subite Kriek. It didnt say it was the kriek on the menu and he was expecting the gueuze lambic. Another refreshing beer for the heat we were in.
The next bar we visited was Tapperji Het Veulen where we decided to sit indoors at the bar. With so many beers to choose from my beer here was their own brand blonde ale. It was light, slightly bitter with a nice sweetness to it. Waynes choice was a little different, a lemongrass IPA by Brouwerji Kees. There wasn’t a whole lot of lemongrass or ginger from it, it was ok. We decided to stay here for another beer. But of course the munchies kicked in and thats when i noticed the monkey nuts on the bar. On first impressions of this bar I noticed all the shells on the floor and thought to myself “did they forget to clean” but Brett told me its custom to throw the empty shells on the floor. I’d “the craic of all craic” doing so! My next beer was of course another blonde ale called Veluwse Zomerliefde by Burg Bier Brouwerij. This one was rather fruity with a nice bitterness to it. Wayne had a hefeweizen style beer called Weizener by Hertog Jan.
After this we visited ‘t Paultje. I ordered 7e Gijtje 2.0 which is a session rye ipa at 2.5% abv. I found it lightly bodied but huge on flavour. Brett informed me its his go to session beer. He enjoyed it at a local festival and was “floored” by how good it was. Waynes choice was Hop Art an american style IPA by vandeStreek bier. During our time here conversation turned to the impressive bottle selection stocked and stouts Brett had or wanted to try. This is how I came about choosing Caramel Fudge Stout by Brouwerij Kees, an imperial stout at 11.5% abv. This was simply stunning. Literally like a liquified brownie. The tag line on my bottle “The Chocolate Imperial Stout will seduce you” and thats exactly what happened. It was my beer of the night and up there with my beers of the holiday. Waynes next choice was Mosaic Hop Explosion from the same brewery. Described as “an India Pale Ale right in your face” on the bottle, he agreed. Banging aroma and great body were the terms he used.
As it was getting late and we didnt want it to be a big night we made the thornbridge bar our last stop. This was located near the train station. Here i finished my night on “I love you will you marry me” a strawberry blonde that was very enjoyable. Wayne drank Crakendale citra pale ale.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Brett for showing us around and sharing some laughs along the way.