"There's a small food festival in the buurtboerderij* at the weekend. Do you fancy coming? There'll be beer."
Will got me with that last one. A promise of beer is always likely to set my legs in motion. "Sounds promising, what beer will they have?" He knew he'd got me when I asked that.
"Very small breweries and home brewers. I'll send you the list."
He didn't really need to send the list of brewers and beers to convince me. Though it certainly nailed the last few nails in the coffin lid down.
The thought of a Saturday afternoon away from town with artisan food to chomp on was enough to tempt Dolores, too. Especially the bread. Dolores likes a decent bit of bread almost as much as I like my beer. Almost.
We decided to get there relatively early after hearing that the food ran out early last year and arrived a couple hours after kick off. It was already busy, but not packed. And we managed to score the best seats in the house, a picnic table and chairs surrounded by greenery. And all to ourselves. At least for as long as Dolores could fight off the yuppie seat-grabbers while me and Will fetched beer.
"It's very white here, isn't it?" I remarked, pointing, Invasion of the Bodysnatchers style at the crowds of beautiful thirty-somethings sunning themselves on the lawn.
"At least there aren't any of those horrible young people here." Will pointed out. Not 100% true, but I knew what he meant.
While Will and I were getting beer, a woman dropped by our secluded
table to mix up vodka and coke. "I'll bring a bottle of wine and a
corkscrew next time." Was Dolores's comment. "No-one will notice."
Dolores wasn't impressed with the prices**, but was going all gooey-eyed over a rampaging four year old psycho kid. "He's just like Lexie." Yes. Exactly. The kid started picking up stones. Then bigger and bigger rocks. Then he started throwing them. He had quite an arm on him, for his age.
The twenty-something yuppies at our table at the time weren't impressed: "Aren't the parents going to tell him to stop?" A rock about the size of a half brick got two thirds of the way to a group of unaware yuppies. "Should we tell him to stop?" The parents were too busy to notice, sharing a spliff and fiddling with their phones.
It was brilliant. Someone was moaning about unruly kids and inadequate, inattentive parents and it wasn't my family they were talking about. I felt a bit sorry for the spliffing yuppies couple. Who knows what a nightmare the rest of the day might have been for them? Maybe this was their one half hour off in the whole week. Putting pity aside, it was still a super chance for smugness.
I suppose you want me to tell you about the beer. All the really small
local breweries plus homebrewed beer. Not sure how they get away with
selling the latter.
"This would be a great event for tickers, Dolores."
"Because every brewery has brewed a Farmhouse IPA specially for the event. Unavailable anywhere else, ever. Unrepeatable ticks. That's what they dream about."
This is brilliant. Because I did take notes this time, I can bore you with every beer I drank (almost). Magic!
Pampus Blek Hol
"I knew you'd pick that one, Ronald." was what Dolores said when I chose the strongest beer on the list'
Viscous and roasty.
Oersoep Black as a Cadillac
Whisky Stout. Boozy and fun, a Bet Lynch of a beer.
Spicy and bitter - nice.
A Tripel with an underlying honey sweetness, but nicely hoppy. Pretty good.
Doppelbock: sweet, toffee. OK
Chocolatey Porter brewed with English yeast.
De Vriendschap (homebrewer) Houthaven Porter
Brewed with "normal" yeast - tastes a bit infected.
Oatmeal Stout - a bit sour.
Deep Thoughts Brewery Smoked Scottish
Forgot to write any notes for this one.
Rooie Dop Daily Grind Coffee Porter
Actually looks like coffee, it's so flat. Smells like coffee. Tastes like coffee. Mmm. Definitive coffee theme.
Rooie Dop Double Oatmeal Stout
Nicely roastily bitter.
I started off with a beer from Butcher's Tears but was too busy to take notes. Devil's Nettle, it was called. Not to worry. I'll be writing more about them soon. Next weekend they're opening their brewery tap just a 10-minute walk from my house.
Not a bad festival, overall. Low-key, local. And sitting in a garden under mature trees has something of a Franconian Bierkeller to it. A bit of the pricey side, but probably cheaper than many a geek fest. I'll be going again next year.
* Neighbourhood farm.
** 7.50 euros for an admittedly quite nice hamburger. 1.75 for some
indescriminate measure of beer in a plastic glass. 15 cl, if you were
lucky. On the times I grasped the shitty end of the stick, it was at
most 10 cl.
Buurtboerderij Ons Genoegen
1014 AA Amsterdam.
Advice for Pub Staff, 1965, Pt.1 — the Beer - The 1965 book Bar Service offers a snapshot of what was going on in pubs at the time and contains lots of interesting, often amusing, details. It was wri...
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