Blimey! It has been a little while since I have written, indeed this entry is rather delayed itself as I left my prized moleskine notebook 200 miles away. Now the poncy stationary is back in my possession, this from August…
Brouwerij De Molen (The Mill Brewery, Bodegraven)
Craft beer lovers will probably be well acquainted with the name De Molen, a brewery situated in Bodegraven around 1 hour south of Amsterdam by train.
I was introduced to De Molen through bottles and a cask at last years GBBF and having booked a holiday in The Netherlands this year it quickly made it on the to-do list. De Molen follows a number of brewing traditions, with it’s US-style IPAs and British derived beers being of note alongside the continental styles.
As usual I failed to make any detailed tasting notes, but we did get as far as rating the beers by our own tastes and to try quite a few. Ruth particularly rated the Zomerhop IPA, pictured above. The clearest tasting note I made was for Wit & Waarachtig, a wheat beer we thought tasted a lot like banana cake! All beers were served in distinctive glasses, aligned against style – much like the Belgian tradition.
The brewery also offers a traditional Dutch food which we took pleasure in sampling.
The stew was contained in a crispy batter hat, possibly something a little like a deep-fried Yorkshire pudding! Very tasty but very rich. Possibly my favourite beer of the day was the Tsarina Ersa, a strong Imperial Porter that slipped down all too easily.
De Molen has an on site shop, which is opened to visitors when it’s quiet; the atmosphere of the place was very laid back and our waiter was very happy to open the shop for us when it came to head back into Amsterdam.
Brouwerij ‘t IJ (Amsterdam)
Rather less planned was our visit to Brouwerij ‘t IJ. Having hired bicycles (as you do in Amsterdam), we came across it having done a lap of the city. Note made, we returned another day when we had a 24 hr tram pass and didn’t have to worry about wobbly cycling…
Situated in the north-east corner of Amsterdam, close to one of the tram lines (no 10 if I recall correctly) the brewery tap is much simpler than De Molen. Beers come in one size and type of glass and are poured from keg fonts, the pace is also little more city-like.
This time there are a few more notes – the IPA has a very big hop flavour (as one would expect), but does not give away it’s 7% strength. The Plzen was similarly well brewed to type, we picked up green banana flavours. Possibly the best part of this visit though was to enjoy the ‘virtuous circle of cheese’:
The brewer disposes of the left over ‘dregs’ to a local sheep farmer, who after feeding the sheep uses their milk to sell in the bar. It was excellent and went really nicely with the beer – I hope an English brewery finds and excuse to do something like this.
Another well enjoyed visit and well worth finding if you are in Amsterdam.