The Duch and the beer
According to recent estimates, Netherlands produces around twenty-seven millions of hectoliter of beer per year, and a consumption on average of 80 liters per capita. The industry and the culture of beer are influenced by the closeness with Belgium and Germany, countries where there is a real worship dedicated to this drink. It is not a case, in fact, if the greater part of the production of beer is concentrated in the southern part of Netherlands, closer to Belgium, in particular in the province of Limburgo and Brabante. The most known beer is the Dutch tradition is the classic lager , blond, thirst-quenching and light, but also dark beer, the structured stout with their complex aromas. According to the world trend of the recent years, moreover, the Netherlands is spreading also the craft microbrewery
The giants of the Dutch beer
Probably, the first name that come up in mind talking about beer and Netherlands is Heineken. Brand is now really famous at a international level (for instance, it was one of the first brands introduced in the American market at the end of Prohibition, and it is easier to find a pint or a bottle of this beer in the bars and pubs all over the world. In the centre of Amsterdam, the ancient building of Heineken becomes a real multimedia museum, and now it is among the main attractions of the city.
The thing to say, however, is that because of its fame, Heineken is blown in the land by the experts. It is considered too popular and with a simple taste, not particularly refined for the palate of the beer lovers.
The same happened to the beer Amstel, another glorious brand that was born in the 1870 and taken in the 1968 by Heineken itself.
A beer that, to use a metaphor of the cinema, it reaches a good compromise between success and approval of the critique, instead, is the Grolsch. Less popular, at an international level, appreciated by the Dutch and that since 2008 is controlled by a multinational. The SABMiller.
This three “giants” produce different types of beer, the clear one and the dark one, and also the non-alcoholic one.
The universe of the medium-small producers
Besides the three main brands of beer described before, in Netherlands it is possible to find a series of factories and small-medium breweries, which production is close and as good as the beers of the Old Continents. One of the most interesting is for sure La Trappe, produced in the Abbey of Onze Lieve Vrouw. It is the only not-belgian beer produced with the authentic Trappist method, the only one that can be called like this. The Belgian influence is evident, the monastery is located in Koningshoeven, few kilometers far from La Trappe and it produces a classy blond, a dubble with an amber colour, a triple, gold, and a quadrupel, dark, which alcoholic volume reach the 10%.
We suggest, moreover the Christoffel, in particular in its blond varieties, (a pretty hopped pilsner), bok and Norbertus (red, like the famous Bavarian dunked.
Besides the the mentioned beers, it is important to remind finally the world of craft beer and the microbreweries. Passionates and neophytes will be pleasantly surprised by the variety of beers that they can taste during a travel in Netherlands.