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Belgium Moving to Holland (Gorinchem) From the U.S

Discussion in 'Europe' started by trevorjk, Dec 21, 2012.

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  1. trevorjk

    trevorjk Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2009 Netherlands
    Beer Trader

    Ok Ok, you are thinking, not another "what beers should i drink thread blah blah blah"

    Ive been back and forth for the last 3 years and i am finally marrying the woman of my dreams.

    With that said, we both love our Belgian styles and our American styles and anything few and far between. Ill gladly sit down with a Hertog, or head down to the local pub (De Keizer in Gorinchem) and grab a bottle of some very fine Belgian style brews.

    I know that i can get De Molen and i can get Emelisse and even De Struise. But my question is this, as a "foreignor" who loves brews of all styles, what other micro-breweries are in the area or that are obtainable with a short drive (1 hour or so)? If i'm looking for a thick as oil American style stout, am i limited to offerings such as the variations from De Molen? Or are there other readily available offerings in central/southern Holland? I would like to stay away from the massive import prices of American beers unless i "Must" have it. Just like i now stay away from most imports here in the states because of the high import taxes.

    Basically, if you told me you wanted a great American style Russian Imperial Stout or Oak Aged/Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. I would be able to show you offerings from probably 20-30 different breweries that are readily available in the area. With that said, I just know of Belgian beers and a few select breweries. So can you enlighten me? Fill the void from what i know and what i do not?

    Thank you In advance, and hopefully i will be able to grab a brew with some of you in the very near future :slight_smile:


    -before anyone ask to trade. As much as i would love to... Im only bringing 12 bombers for the storage for when the wife and I feel like cracking open a nice stout. So space is VERY limited :slight_smile:
  2. trevorjk

    trevorjk Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2009 Netherlands
    Beer Trader

    Also, if anyone is interested. The wife and I will probably be heading to the Brugge Bierfestival as our mini honeymoon. So if anyone else is going, hopefully we could share a drink.
  3. Dennoman

    Dennoman Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2011 Belgium

    Will be there, would be most happy to meet the young happy couple! :grinning:

    Import is a funny thing over here. When it comes to purely American-style impies, for example, you're either looking at trading or a select few shops that does the occasional (very expensive) import. The beers done by De Molen and Struise are stellar, but are in a league of their own. They usually have more of a "beery" twist than most Americans like, if that makes any sense. Carbonation, big heads and sometimes a good kick of hops and yeast that you don't see in many American beers. You'll be hard pressed to find really syrupy, thick, rich stouts as most European hard-liners don't consider that to be beer. It's usually a bridge too far for the average beer lover as well.

    I'd say the one beer that really approaches that rich, thick mouthfeel of most American stouts is Black Albert and its derivatives. De Molen tends to have thinner, but of course equally flavorful beers.

    Bierkoning in Amsterdam does the occasional bigger name import, but other than that you're limited to what American brewers seem to get imported in the Netherlands, such as

    - Flying Dog
    - The Bruery (their most common brews such as Trading Winds, Autumn Maple, ...)
    - Southern Tier
    - Anchor
    - Left Hand
    - Hoppin' Frog
    - Rogue
    - Alaskan

    Usually this doesn't include their limited or really big offerings, but you can get BORIS and all of its derivatives fairly easily in specialized shops in both Holland and Belgium.

    The import situation is way better in Holland than in Belgium, as there are literally only two good steady shops for import over here. Both are in the Ghent area.
  4. Brabander

    Brabander Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2009 Netherlands

    MMm, Gorinchem is only 20 minutes away for me! Not coming to Brugge but maybe we can see each other in Gorinchem!

  5. trevorjk

    trevorjk Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2009 Netherlands
    Beer Trader

    Thijs, I am always down for meeting new people and enjoying a beer. :slight_smile:

    Dennoman, Thanks for the information :slight_smile:

    Bierkoning = Beer King? My Dutch is still bad, but i'm working on it. Anyways, i am assuming that Bierkoning is a beer shop/bottle shop? If so, are shops like this pretty few and far between and usually restricted to bigger cities? How about the Rotterdam or Den Hague area?

    Would be happy to share a beer and meet another BA member in Europe :slight_smile:
  6. doopiedoopiedoo

    doopiedoopiedoo Initiate (0) Oct 2, 2010 Netherlands

    I don't think there is a bottle shop like Bierkoning (Yes, Beer King) anywhere else in the Netherlands.
    De Molen in Bodegraven has quite a selection but it comes at a hefty price.
    Whenever you are in Utrecht shoot me a message and maybe we can meet up for a beer.

    Happy Hollidays and welcome to Holland!
  7. Morningstorm

    Morningstorm Initiate (0) Jun 29, 2011 Netherlands

    Stop on by at the beershop I work for, Flink Gegist in Delft. The selection can be compaired to de bierkoning (we stock around 750 beers atm, including a huge selection of American beer like Hoppin', jolly pumpkin, jester king, left hand, anchor and so on.) Website: http://www.flinkgegist.nl/site/assortiment/

    If you wanna meet up for a drink or visit the shop feel free to BM me.
  8. Vanlingleipa

    Vanlingleipa Disciple (363) May 19, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Holy Smokey! That's some collection of de Molen!
  9. doopiedoopiedoo

    doopiedoopiedoo Initiate (0) Oct 2, 2010 Netherlands

    I stand corrected.
  10. trevorjk

    trevorjk Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2009 Netherlands
    Beer Trader

    Very nice! How much for the Hoppin Frog Silk Porter? Just so I can get an idea. As they run about €6 for a 650ml here stateside. Also the wife actually works in Delft. So im sure I will be in :slight_smile:

    Still got 25 days before im there :slight_frown:
  11. Dennoman

    Dennoman Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2011 Belgium

  12. trevorjk

    trevorjk Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2009 Netherlands
    Beer Trader

    Thank you very much everyone!

    So that leaves me with 1 question i guess. Besides the few breweries discussed, how is the micro brew scene in Europe? Stateside i could find a micro brewery or brewpub just about anywhere i go. Would i be hard pressed to find the same thing over there?
  13. doopiedoopiedoo

    doopiedoopiedoo Initiate (0) Oct 2, 2010 Netherlands

    The beer scene here is different from what's happening in the US.
    Great (micro) breweries are everywhere but no release parties, standing in line to buy one hyped beer kind of bull... (yet). Not every brewery has a brewpub either.
    Here you are better off going to pubs that serve offerings from several breweries, or visit one of the festivals around.

    No worries... you are in between Germany and Belgium, this is the beer equivalent of Disneyland. While you might not be able to get all the stuff you can get in the U.S., there is plenty of great beer to be had here.
  14. Dennoman

    Dennoman Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2011 Belgium

    Most breweries are few and far between by our standards, but then again for an American they're "all over the place" :grinning:
  15. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    ping: Tender

    Don't be shy about jumping over to the U.K. You might want to hit it over there before Germany.
  16. trevorjk

    trevorjk Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2009 Netherlands
    Beer Trader

    Ive thought about it. But alot of travel depends on how soon i can find a job :stuck_out_tongue:
  17. trevorjk

    trevorjk Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2009 Netherlands
    Beer Trader

    Well im from the Chicago area, and breweries are all over the place here. give me 1 week and i could hit easily 100+ different breweries doing many very different styles. So that is why i'm curious as to how the brewpub/micro breweries are over there.
  18. Dennoman

    Dennoman Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2011 Belgium

    There's not really a brewpub culture, not everyone has their own economic model all worked out for them. It's all fairly ghetto and garage-based, if ya catch my drift :slight_smile: No launch parties or anything, just walking into the brewery when they announce the beer is ready.
  19. trevorjk

    trevorjk Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2009 Netherlands
    Beer Trader

    I would be completely ok with that. Just knowing that there are options besides the mainstream goodies is all that matters. I just love to try any and all brews, because just about anyone who is passionate about beer can come up with their own variations and styles that will always keep it interesting.

    Im just very excited to see the beer culture first hand and actually become a part of it. Just kind of stinks that i have not been able to immerse myself into the beer culture in Holland and neighboring countries except for only a few weeks at a time. I'm just looking forward to learning about and trying all of the new offerings that will be available, and also meeting all the people behind the scenes that make it happen.

    One thing im going to regret when i move there is that my buddy and I have been home brewing for a while now and we have a fantastic chocolate porter that still needs a little tweaking. Now i wont be able to help with this anymore :slight_frown:
  20. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (625) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    Since no-one has mentioned Jopen in Haarlem yet, I will. There's one brewery that does have a brewpub, and a lovely one, too. They brew some interesting stuff based on historic Dutch beers that aren't like anything anyone else is doing.

    They recently released a Grätzer. I would say how great it was, but I was involved in its creation, so it's not appropriate for me to comment.
  21. trevorjk

    trevorjk Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2009 Netherlands
    Beer Trader

    And which brewpub would you be associated with?
  22. Morningstorm

    Morningstorm Initiate (0) Jun 29, 2011 Netherlands

    Just checked, Silk porter runs for 14 euros a piece. The import prices are quite insane. But set aside the American beers and buy the stuff from De Molen and other dutch brewers, equally good (SNAB Pale Ale is my favorite APA so far from a dutch brewer.)
  23. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2006 Massachusetts

    What he said. The beer scene in London is real real real good right now. Kernel is killing it. It is expensive but a beer bar like Craft Beer Co (leather lane) has awesome American imports, Belgians Cask Beers, Danish micros.
  24. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (625) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    I worked with Jopen on the Grätzer.
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