Archive for July, 2012

Beer News: a Brewery for de Eem

Ruud van Moorst and his de Eem beers have been welcome guests on the many festivals and in the many stores and bars this country has. But Ruud never had his own brewery, instead he brewed his beers at several locations. This is about to change.

Near the Amersfoort central stadium in an old building of the National Railways a brewery and tasting room will be opened in the near future, Ruud is aiming for the start of 2013. This building has been in his plans for about five years. To pay for the new brewery de Eem has been offering loans. Even though the economy isn’t great at the moment the number of people signing up for them is above expectations. Besides this there are negotiations with investors, foundations and banks.

The new de Eem brewery will be another place for people who are far removed from regular jobs. Ruud has brewed at de Prael for 3 years and at Praght for 2 so has a lot of experience with similar breweries. Ruud: “They are often very enthusiastic and it’s great to see some of them grow, that is why I want to offer them a place at de Eem”.

When the first beers will be brewed remains a question for now because Ruud is still looking for the right brewing installation. Let’s hope he finds one soon and that we can all make the trek to Amersfoort for some great beer.

De Rooie Dop – Transparancy and Awesome Beers

In the last article about the beerfestival in Utrecht I mentioned the long lines in front of the Rooie Dop stand. People were excited by the oatmeal stout and IPA. When I posted a review of their Chica IPA on RateBeer I remarked on the high carbonation. One of the three guys behind the Rooie Dop sent me a message saying this will be corrected in the next batch. When I looked on their website they were open and honest about it too, a transparency I can only applaud. This little back-and-forth led to more questions. Here is the result.

Beginnings

Three beerloving friends a few years ago decided to take their love of beer one step further and start the Rooie Dop (meaning nothing more that red bottlecap).

Right now they are brewing at two locations. The Rooie Dop website keeps track of all the testbrews they make in their little home brewery on a canal in Utrecht. This evolution of the recipes led to releasing the beers. There was a lot of demand for the beers so the idea arose of pouring them in a little tasting room for people to sample.

Two of those (the Chica Americana IPA and Double Oatmeal Stout) are now bottled and sold. They are made at one of the country’s foremost breweries: De Molen. Cees, Jos and Mark,  have been coming to the brewery almost since De Molen started brewing. As volunteers they help out at the annual Borefts Beerfestival every September and in this capacity got to know Menno and John from de Molen quite well. When they wanted to brew more and release their beers they went up to Menno and asked if they could brew with him. The daring question was answered positively almost straight away. Menno brings a long experience and knowledge of their favorite styles, IPA’s and stouts. And who would give up a chance to work with one of the most respected brewers in the country?

American

It is (perhaps too) easy to place them among the more American influenced brewers since they are all beer lovers who love everything. They mostly like the chance and variation but it is a fact that there are few American styles made in Holland.

Social Media

De Rooie Dop are the first Dutch brewery that I know of that has a website written only in English. Most choose to do it only in Dutch, some in both but that would mean writing the same message twice in two different languages. All the guys are active on social media so they know many beerlovers from all over the world, it only made sense to have the website in English. Only a few Dutchies might not be able to read it but since almost everyone in the country knows English that number is low.

De Rooie Dop guys are very active on social media sites like Ratebeer, Twitter and Facebook. They follow most reactions and often respond to them. Even though they mostly brew for their own fun and do not care too much about outside opinions it is sometimes worth reading a reaction that can aid them in improving their beers if that is needed. As I mentioned before I admired their openness about the batch of IPA that wasn’t entirely up to their own standard. They are foremost consumers of good beer and they would only appreciate if other brewers did this as well. Their motto: fortunately nobody’s perfect, and neither are we.

The evolution of the Rooie Dop mirrors that of many others. First brewing for own consumption, then releasing a beer on the market. They accomplished that with two at the same time. The experimentation will lead to the release of possibly two new beers next year. They will never release them at the pace De Molen does but experimentation is one of the most fun things you can do as a brewer.

The Rooie Dop line at the Utrechts Bierbrouwersfestival

Time for new ambitions but the main goal remains having fun in brewing and attending the many events and festivals where they are present. This next to the more serious side of running your own little company. In five years they could still be at the same place they are now, but they could also have their own brewing installation. Only time will tell but the circumstances of having an excellent knowledge of beer and brewing, being around great resources, a glowing start of their brewing career and an unbridled enthusiasm can only lead to more and even better beer, maybe even better than their heavenly double oatmeal stout.