Monday, December 19, 2011

It's The Little Differences

After spending ten days in the Netherlands and Romania (with a brief incursion into Germany as well) on business, I couldn’t wait to get back home to savor the hoppy pleasures of good ol’ American craft beers again. Don’t get me wrong, the European beers are plenty tasty, but it’s more difficult to find the variety that you do on this side of the pond. This might not have been the case had I been able to find my way to Belgium or spend more time in Germany. As it was, I did have a chance to add the following beers to the ratings list:

Palm Belgian Amber
Westmalle Dubbel
Westmalle Tripel

Brinkehoff’s Number One Pilsener

Bavaria Premium Pilsener

Ursus Dark
Ursus Unfiltered
Ursus Pilsener

The two beers from Westmalle were the best of the bunch while Palm’s Belgian Amber is a nice alternative that’s pretty widely available in the Netherlands. I did try a couple of other good Dutch beers that I didn’t have a chance to rate. In general, they seem to not stray far from the Heineken, Grolsch, and Amstel type offerings. And if you show up in Amsterdam expecting to find twenty-four hour party people quaffing Amstel Light (as in the commercials), you’re going to be disappointed. The regular version is all you see. I was pleased to notice a bar in Amsterdam boasting of having over twenty American craft offerings on tap, although I didn’t get to see what they were. The Romania beers were decent and the bear logo employed by Ursus is sharp.

If you too have a need to satisfy a craving for hops, there’s no time like the present. Glen Lake Wine and Spirits is offering a special on cases of Surly Furious for $55.99. Having twenty-four sixteen ounces cans of Furious on hand can help ensure that this is indeed a most merry Christmas.