As part of the “Haarlem Culinair” festival the city’s Botermarkt was the site for a nice small beerfestival. 7 Dutch brewers, mostly from the region, and Belgium’s Scheldebrouwerij showed up on an afternoon that was pleasant weather wise; A dry day in an otherwise rainy summer.
Engine behind the festival was Haarlem’s own Jopen whose brewery is located a few hundred meters away from the market. Besides their regular beers they showcased some special beers like a Trinitas from a wooden barrel, a rye pale ale called Jacobus and the Ippon Weiss. Jopen understands the true nature of the beerfestival; to give the drinkers something they cannot easily get or have never had. Our Jopen choice was the Fokkerbeer, a decent Dunkel Weizen.
Breugems was there with their beers including the debut of their Stout. So far my experience with Breugems beers was slightly disappointing but their Stoutert has give me new hope for their future.
Other brewers there were Klein Duimpje, who deserve kudos on naming on of their beers Ouwe Gespikkelde Kip which translates exactly into Old Speckled Hen. SNAB had their honeybeer with Canadian and Sicilian honey, nice but not the proclaimed King of Honeybeers and premiered their 1410.
Texelse and Emelisse also had a stand at the festival. Unfortunately they didn’t bring anything really special to the festival. Texels’ Skuumkoppe and Eyerlander are fairly easy to find. Emelisse had some beers and tap, but since we prefer having beers we had never had before we left those for what they were, though the bottle of Black IPA on our shelf will be opened quite soon considering the usually high quality.
Giants De Molen are on every festival it seems. After some start-up problems you could see the lines forming in front of their stand. The dryhopped ‘Blond met een Pond Amarillo’ was nice but the most exciting beertasting experience we had in a very long time was the Hot & Spicy, an Imperial Stout to which the Surinamese Pepper Madame Jeanette (Scotch Bonnet) was added. Fortunately having some experience with Surinam and Indonesian food helped making the heat somewhat bearable. A Madame Jeanette pepper scores a hefty 150.000 – 325.000 on the Scoville scale. A bit of the foam was like biting right into a jalapeno. A unique experience, the pepper infused beers from Rogue and Mikkeler we have had are nothing compared to this intense heat.
The Botermarkt beerfestival is a nice festival. It needs some help from the weather but the open character led some people to go to a festival where they otherwise would never have gone, and that can be the biggest pluspoint. Well done!
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