A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
With my thesis handed in and the sun making eventual appearances in Leiden, it’s time to talk about things that matter… like beer. As a student blog, this is a topic that could not go incognito for a long time, I mean, beer and students go almost hand in hand, cup on cup, bottle to bottle… But enough of chit-chat for now, grab an ice-cold beer and come along!
If you are a foreigner like me, your background on Dutch beer can probably be described in one word: Heineken. The green bottles with the red stars are all around the world and in Brazil we hold them in high esteem. Yet, when it comes to the Netherlands, the picture becomes really different. Heineken is here, you can buy it by the dozens and almost anywhere, but it is far from being the cherry in your stroopwaffel. It is one of the everyday beers, just like Grolsch, Hertog Jan, Dommelsch and the fellow Belgian Jupiler. Fancy a biertje? Having a large party? These will probably be the options in your tap. These are sold on bulks and it is not an uncommon sight to see people carrying these beer crates on their bikes ( of course, where else!?), getting ready for the next feestje.
And of course there are the other beers, those that have an extra twist. Here the proximity to our dear friends, the Belgians, increases the options in the menu and your expectations in terms of beers. Fancy a beer brewed in the Dutch islands? Have a Texel. Is it warm outside and you can sit in a nice terrace? A good white beer is then a must, with a twist of lemon, Vedett or Korenwolf being a good call. Like something a bit stronger? La Chouffe, De Koninck, Duvel and Palm are there for you.
Beer is not really your thing? Prefer something sweeter? You can always have a Kriek, made out of morello cherries. Or are you into something more organic? Limburg brewery Gulpener has a line of bio-beers that won’t disappoint you. Going for a more local taste? Then Amsterdam-based Brouwerij ‘t IJ is definitely worth a visit. Add to the equation the endless seasonal beers (bockbiers, lenteboks) and you got yourself something to explore all year long.
Nice you may say, and where can I find all this? Surprisingly, most supermarkets have a very good beer selection and Leiden is not short of cozy places to sit and have a glass, like Lemmys, Olivier, Meneer Jansen, Boente Koe and so on… There is always a place that will suit your mood of the day.
I could extend this post longer and longer, but in the end, it is much better to experience it yourself. So when you are packing your bags to come to Leiden, be sure to pack your favorite beer glass (and your favorite hangover cure). Trust me, when it comes to beers, you will not be disappointed, au contraire, you’ll become a true specialist 😉 .
Disclaimer : No mom, I’m not an alcoholic 😉