A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Beer tasting festival in the “Week of Dutch Beer”
Students like beer? Not so sure about that
Having failed to get anyone of the 200 students of the class to join me to a beer festival, the poor stereotypically beer-loving German guy needed to go there by himself.
Indeed, I am rather one of those awkward people who is actually interested in the science of beer and the taste, rather than the” how to get drunk the cheapest and fastest”. Hence, the “week of Dutch beer” is perfect for me! And the best part: the important events are hosted in The Hague!
Off I went -> to the great church that was transformed into a paradise for beer lovers. For a little entrance fee and 1 Euro per extra beer, you got a glass, some tokens and could choose between more than 100 beers of over 35 local breweries. Honestly, I did not expect that the Dutch were actually able to brew proper beer! But they are! You could get beers ranging from Grolsch and Brand to small micro-breweries in an unforgettable atmosphere. Yes, OK, it was kind of weird drinking beer in a church (especially for a catholic guy such as me), but I actually did enjoy the irony! Life music was playing; places to sit down where I actually productively did some readings for University were there, free weird stuff (some kind of dutch food which is kind of indefinable) was served as well as all kinds of cheese. It all added to my Dutch experience in The Hague and an amazing evening! Over there they also taught me something that I have not learned in my Water Mangement seminar: “Save water and drink beer”… but well… tonight I just agreed!
– Reuzen Beeren: Dubbel; a 7% strong, full beer with a light aroma. It was the last beer I had in the evening and I enjoyed it very much! The free peanuts and lovely dutch men wearing traditional clothes totally added to this experience.
– Brouwerij de Uiltje: Meneer de Uil: Barrel aged Stout; a whiskey floavoured beer where you could actually taste the whiskey aroma; suggested by a nice man from Ughanda who tried to keep me from getting a different one; The community of beer-lovers works together. But! Strong: 11%
– And my favourite: De Budels: zwarte Boder; I was sitting happily on the altar bench with my glas of beer (different one), and a middle aged woman came up to me seeing how happy I was, and she made me get this one: it was worth it: one of the best beers I have had in my life (And I do not say this very often)~usually very critically of (especially dutch) beer!
A 8,5%, full beer made with organic hops with a rubost aftertaste!
And suddenly I didn’t even feel alone any more. We got into a conversation so easily -> Beer connects!
Before I left, I did a quick driving test and failed tremendously! I also learned that you are not allowed to bike in Holland having had ANY alcohol -> so of course, I walked home 🙂
To say it in the words of Benjamin Franklin (got a tshirt with this quote for years but now it finally makes real sense):
“Beer is prove that god loves us and wants us to be happy” so I guess that’s why it was located in a church!
I am excited about next year’s edition of largest bier trying festival in The Hague – whether people join me or not, you always meet nice people and get to practice your Dutch!