I was in Holland last weekend visiting friends. We were walking around the town of Den Bosch and decided to pick up some food for lunch at Albert Heijn, a major Dutch super market. Guess what I found there? A six pack of La Trappe Tripel for six euros! Can you believe that? That is one euro per bottle of an authentic Trappist product. La Trappe Tripel is brewed by Koningshoeven, the only Dutch brewer amongst the seven remaining Trappist beer making monasteries (the others are all Belgian). Such a fine beer would likely sell for about $10 a bottle in Canada. I was so dumbfounded and excited that I took the picture below. Curse BC and it’s stupid liquor laws.
What trip to the Netherlands is complete without a visit to Amsterdam? None I say. Sadly our day was soddened by the weather, but we did manage to visit Anne Frank’s hiding place and a fantastic Dutch beer bar. On the other side of town, far from the hookers and stoners Amsterdam is famous for, we found ‘t Arendsnest on a peaceful canal street. It’s a cosy “brown cafe“, complete with beautiful wooden bar, filled with locals reading the paper and eager foreign beer nerds such as myself. They serve only dutch beer, thirty on tap and a hundred more in bottles. I love such examples of beer national pride. Sadly, I remember little of the first two beers I tried. Dutch is not an intuitive language for me, neither in spelling or pronunciation. However, I do recall the IPA and the porter I had as being excellent. The standout was an oak barrel aged La Trappe Quadrupel, definitely worth the trip. If you’re ever in Amsterdam, I highly recommend ‘t Arendsnest.