Sunday, 17 February 2019

Three pints of Mild

That was my order at the bar yesterday. I was in my local brewery, Butcher's Tears, having a few beers with a couple of mates.

We were all on Flying Bed, a proper Dark Mild, brewed the English way. That is, not coloured with fucking chocolate malt or roast barley. No, done the proper way with crystal malt, No.3 invert sugar and caramel. A superbly drinkable beer. Enough flavour to keep your interest across a pint or five, but not so much that it overwhelms you. The epitome of a session beer.

As the pints steadily slipped by, we discussed the current insanity in the UK and the general uselessness of it politicians. All UK immigrants, we agreed we were lucky to have got out when we did. We were members of a fortunate generation, able to move wherever in Europe the fancy took us. And also the luck to arrive in Amsterdam before housing became unaffordable. What chance would current UK youth have? Fuck all, was the consensus.

Brewer Eric came and sat at our table. Handing over a bottle of S4, beer he brewed to an old Truman's recipe of mine. Which was nice. But then he got talking about the council's redevlopment plans.

Butcher's Tears is at the end of Amsterdam's most unusual street. A random collection of buildings or randomly different sizes. A row of single-storey garages. Odd bits of light industry and at its end, a lovely little brewery.

Which will have to move out in July. The council has been eyeing up this piece of, in their view, underdeveloped land for years. Gradually nibbling away at its edges one demolition at a time. This year they're going for the jackpot, clearing away most of what remains.

When I moved to Amsterdam it was an exciting, edgy city. Much of its energy was generated on the margins. In squats and repurposed industrial buildings. Every year a little more of that old city is lost. Replaced by a safe middle-class blandness.

Another piece of the fun old city is to be destroyed. It's a sad day.

But it's still way better living in Amsterdam than being trapped in the UK's madness.

Butcher's Tears
Karperweg 45,
1075LB Amsterdam.


Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, its the same in Berlin. Rents have gone up and instead of interesting laid back alternative culture and working class mixing together, its all heartless 'luxury' developments, air b'n'b and other stuff catering to the middle class (who all seems to be struggling a little in one shape or form).

From what I have heard about Barcelona, Venice, Paris etc. they are also having problems. Perhaps that is the problem - too many people can move too easily to both have holidays or to live. Therefore all the cool places are victims of their own success and not so cool places have been left behind as those who could leave, leave.

A Brew Rat said...

".....than being trapped in the UK's madness."

Oh, come on. Brexit isn't nearly as bad as living somewhere where your leader is a deranged lunatic. When Theresa May starts building a wall between Ireland and Northern Ireland, then I'll start feeling sorry for you Brits.

Anonymous said...

I would add greater Boston, MA, USA to that list as well. The regular people are being displaced by very well paid, highly educated, techies. This town is becoming less and less affordable and less and less interesting.