Archive for August, 2012

Gooische Bierbrouwerij, a winged chihuahua taking on the world.

Hilversum: Holland’s Hollywood. The center of Dutch media and part of ‘t Gooi, a region of about 15 miles east of Amsterdam and a region that makes the rest of the country think of wealth. Mansions for the elite in a landscape of beautiful forestlands, lakes and golf courses. Not exactly the surrounding you would expect a brewery would flourish, but the Gooische Bierbrouwerij is attempting to do just that. ’t Gooi hardly has a brewing history, the small ones that once existed have folded. Let’s hope this one will last.


The logo of the Gooische is a winged Chihuahua. While looking for an animal that fit ‘t Gooi all the animals (fox, badger, rabbit, sheep) were already taken by other breweries. The Chihuahua is a typical animal for the rich people in ‘t Gooi. It also fits the identity of the brewery: small but ready to take on the world. The wings give it a mythical twist.


I wrote before about Duits & Lauret and the class they show in their logo and website. The same can be said about the Gooische Brewery. It is a website that, as brewer Gijs tells us, also tries to convey how they look at beer: a beautiful and honest product. The style and attention might not be such a surprise if you know that three of the four people behind the brewery are designers, the fourth a history teacher. And they are serious about the brewery, considering it not only a hobby but also a second job.

Beer as wine

In their eyes beer is a product that can be used like wine or next to it. Often brewers tell me, why do people give bottles of wine as a present and not a bottle of beer? Why is wine served at dinner and not beer? Gooische is trying to become a beer with the status of wine.

The first beer I tried from Gooische was a Schwarz, not a style a brewery usually starts with. It is however a favorite style of the brewers, who have a preference for black beers, porters, stouts and German or Czech schwarzbeers. It is also a good accompaniment to food. So it was natural to brew a Schwarz brewer Gijs tells me. Besides the Schwarz and the blond they made a new beer: a white where the wheat has been replaced by (of course) buckwheat. Fall will bring a chestnut beer with locally picked chestnuts. New beers might come in the future, but the main focus is on continuing the present beerline. There isn’t an actual brewery in Hilversum yet, only the testbrews are made there


Gooische tries to use as many regional ingredients as possible. Het Gooi is mainly peat and sand. Barley and wheat does not exactly flourish in this part of the country. One of the crops that was traditionally grown was buckwheat, a crop so important that two of the local counties have buckwheat in their shield. After some investigation it turned out that using buckwheat as starch worked as well and it made barleymalt an important ingredient, and it adds a soft touch and a beautiful head.

Gooisch’ aim is to make a local product, made close to the source and the consumer. Easier logistics, lower energy costs etc. There are hardly any local products but there is a market for them and Gooisch is trying to fill that demand.

Catch the Gooische on the 4th Noorderlijke Speciaalbierfestival in Groningen November 3rd and during the months of September on October on the regional market in Bussum.!/gooischbier

Beer News: A Brewery for Ramses

Go to any specialty beer shop in the country and you are bound to see Ramses’ colorful labels on the shelf. Ramses Snoeij isn’t your ordinary brewer. Where in most cases the brewers of today started in the last decade Ramses already has decades of experience.

He was in Oregon in 1990 and got the brewing bug, and where better to get that than in beer’s new capital. In the years following his experiences in North America he studied biology and during his university years in Utrecht kept brewing, sometimes more than 1000 liters at a time. But moving and children and a lucrative part-time job kept the passion at bay, but like the beers the idea of making beers kept brewing in his mind, he was just looking for the right moment to start. In 2008 Ramses had a talk with Sjef from De 3 Horne in Kaatsheuvel. The first brew was successful and he decided to brew his beers there.

Ramses’ parents used to own a café and restaurant and here his passion for beer started at age 16. He spent five in North America and thought about starting a microbrewery, this was around 2001. If he had known that it was possible to rent a brewery he probably would have done that.

Ramses has a special way of looking at brewing, and also about the installation used for brewing. “On the one hand it’s core of your business so it has to be efficient and modern as possible. On the other hand a good cook can make a great meal on camping equipment. It’s now a matter of guts and money. Even though the rise of interest in Dutch brewing leads to a little more guts, I am still a proponent of gradual growth. I am looking for a second hand brewing installation. I’ve asked Constant Kleinemans to advise me about this. He has finished a few good projects successfully.”

To afford the new brewery and installation at the Thijssenweg 20A in Wagenberg Ramses issued obligations, starting at €1000 with 6% interest. This high interest is because he needs the investors as soon as possible. They can also can their interest in beer, in that case the interest is 12%. If investors want to turn their entire investment into beer they will get 18% extra interest in beer. Investors can also choose other variations. Even though there have been plenty of investors there is still room for more.

People interested in helping a new brewery can contact Ramses on People who sign up will also get a box of Ramses beer and an invitation to the opening!