We asked Hayo Fink, blogger at Bestetotnutoe in The Netherlands, to send us a review of beer in his country. Hayo is on the EBBC Advisory Board member and has attended all five European Beer Blogger & Writers Conferences. He gives us an unadulterated account.
Slow, that would be a fairly decent description of the Dutch beer scene. Where other European countries had jumped on the craft beer wagon early, we in the Netherlands were more stand offish. But who can blame us? For years the Dutch beer drinker had everything he (or she) could ever want.
And in this corner
Major lager brewers dominated the beer landscape in the Netherlands, and even the world. Heineken and Grolsch both produced (and still do) decent pilsners. Why look any further if these two giants are omnipresent?
And on the other side of the spectrum we had Belgium. A true beer Valhalla just around the corner. Duvel? Our supermarkets stocked it in abundance. Rochefort? A quick trip to the off license and problem solved. Feel like an Orval? Pop around to the pub and drink as many as you want.
So yes, it took us awhile to take the first careful steps in the craft beer revolution. And to be brutally honest, the first steps were shaky at best. Some excellent beers were brewed by Dutch craft beer pioneers but, unfortunately, quality changed from batch to batch. Drinking the early Dutch craft beers was kind of like playing Russian roulette. You never knew…
But in recent years the Dutch craft brewers have stepped up to the plate. Quality is consistent, the output is increasing almost on a weekly base. And new and exciting breweries are starting up all around the Dutch country side. Now that we have really started we are not to be stopped.
On one side we have brewers who are experimenting with new techniques, different styles and some strange and weird ingredients.
Other brewers are looking to classic styles and recipes, brewing great dubbels, tripels and IPAs.
One of the perks of living in a small country? Everything, and we mean everything is very close. So for us it doesn’t really matter who brews where, it is never far away. Craft beer is growing and growing, and the end is not in sight.
The European Beer bloggers conference 2016 not in Amsterdam? Unthinkable! Yet, it is the best place it could be held.
We have everything. Classic pilsner, age old tradition and a whole lot of exciting craft breweries all to be found in a country the size of a large shoebox.
We are very excited to have the conference in the Netherlands. It gives us a real chance to show you first-hand how far we have come, and to show you that we really are just at the beginning.