Bier drinken in Nederland

The Dutch are a beer drinking society, much like the rest of Northern Europe. Heineken is the most famous of its native brews and its sister beer Amstel, named after the river from which Amsterdam (Dam on the Amstel) derives. Grolsch is another brand, its main offering a very good pilsner, notable for its hinged cap that remains with the bottle. These days all bottles and cans are returnable but these Grolsch bottles have long come with a deposit.

Other beers include La Trappe Trappist Brewery, Brouwerij’t IJ, Brouweri De Molen and Arcense Bierbrouwerij (a term meaning ‘beer brewery.’) And there’s a brand called Brand.

A bit of terminology will help you understand what you are about to drink. A Double is 6-7.5% dark beer. A Triple is a 6-8% strong pale ale. A single, a term that I have never seen in use, is a 4-5% every day beer like a Heineken and the less expensive house brand beers. A ‘witbier’ is what we call a white beer in English, made from wheat versus the usual barley. Indian Pale Ales have become popular in recent years. For a good review of the topic see https://www.expatica.com/nl/lifestyle/food-drink/dutch-beer-100786/

texel
Texel, one of the Netherland’s craft beers

The Dutch drink a lot of Belgian beers, but little from elsewhere, even the ubiquitous Guinness, one of the most widely distributed beers in the EU. Affligem is a widely available Belgian brew coming in the form of a Double or a Triple. I have seen Duvel and Chifou and a variety of Trappist Beers. To use the term ‘Trappist’ they must be brewed at a Trappist monastery and there must be at least one monk around. There are 13 Trappist brewers, however theĀ International Trappist Association only recognizes 10. In one case the recognition was withdrawn after the last Trappist monk died. That’s picky. The beer is what counts, no?

Since 2010 the craft beer scene has developed extensively as drinkers look for more character in their beverage and seek to support local products. From what I see online there are about 500 of them. Catching up to the Belgians, are we? We like Texel, brewed on the barrier island of that name. It seems to be the most widely available of the craft beers. See Texel’s website