Half a year ago I moved out of Amsterdam and in to the province of Utrecht. Favorite hangouts like the Adelaarsnest and In The Wildeman are now farther away and my trips to De Bierkoning are less frequent. But both the province and city of Utrecht have much to give the lover of good beer. The province boasts at least 8 breweries, mostly located in and around the city if Utrecht and Amersfoort. Sure, there are more provinces with 8 or even more breweries but what makes Utrecht stand apart is the high overall quality. For this reason last year the first Utrechts Beerbrewersfestival was held and on May 19th the 2nd took place in downtown Utrecht, right under a rebuilt sawmill.
This is a perfect location for a festival, helped by the exceptionally nice weather. Not too crowded, a ramp to sit on near the water with farm animals nearby. Great setting for a nice beer. And nice they were. Present were De Leckere, Valleibieren, De Rooie Dop, Duits & Lauret, Houtens Brouwcollectief, Maximus, Oudaen and Eem. They brought a total of 20 beers. The booklet was informational and, first time I have seen it, had QVC codes linking to the websites of the breweries.
We started off with a beer from a brewery which I had heard a lot about already but had not tasted before. De Rooie Dop’s Double Oatmeal Stout
did not disappoint. We wanted to try their IPA later but the line in front of their stand was very long that we opted for something else. Rooie Dop’s beer is good enough that we will find it at more shops, bars and festivals. The Houtens Brouw Collectief brought a very nice honeybeer. A nice smooth beer with some hints of honey that was also a winner.
An earlier article about Duits & Lauret was the most read post ever on this blog. So I was more than excited to try a new beer: the Neder. Even though this beer is different from the other D&L beers it still felt like a Duits & Lauret. It is unfortunate that is limited, only available in 20 liter keykegs. This beer deserved a release in smaller bottles.
The Dutch Beer Pages are not the only fans of Duits & Lauret. A high profile panel that included Derek Walsh, Jeroen Carol-Visser, and Rick Kempen voted their stout the Most Valued Beer of Utrecht, something we can only agree with.
The festival was a huge success. The lines in front of the stands were long and the people behind it could do nothing else than just pour some delicious Utrechts beer. Great location, perfect weather and tasty beers make for a great festival. I am happy to have moved to this province.