If my blog is the only thing you read about Dutch beer you would almost think that Utrecht and Amsterdam are the only places where good beer is made. These two cities have high concentrations of new breweries but Twente is a region that should not be ignored. Twente is part of the Overijssel province located in the middle of the eastern part of the country, bordering Germany. Its most famous beer by far is Grolsch whose iconic fliptop bottles are known all over the world. But Twente has a lot more to offer these days. A look at a map of breweries and specialty beer café’s will make you notice a cluster in this area too.
Berghoeve is one of the breweries from Twente and so far their beers have pleased me. A lot actually, and I was happy to see the closest store to me (De Schans in Uithoorn) was selling a variety of Berghoeve beers. Time for a chat with Jurgen and Geralda.
Local – yet International
On the right side of this blog you will see links to all the Dutch breweries. To make it easier for the non-Dutch speaking reader I made a special list of websites both in English and in Dutch. For Berghoeve I might have to make a completely new category since their website is also translated into the local dialect.
This was chosen because these days having a local base is important. It is here where you can generate the most income through tours, tastings and workshops. These also bring in extra income with a larger profit margin than just bottles of beer. And like most brewers they see it more as an instrument to make the range of Berghoeve beers more known to a bigger audience. Berghoeve beers are available in a few good beer stores so the distribution is fine and you don’t necessarily have to be in the region to buy their beers. The region might be too small to make a decent living from the beer, but owner Jurgen realizes that he needs the region just as much.
With their own brewery and the many events going on there you might almost be tempted to think that running Berghoeve is a fulltime job. This is not the case. Jurgen works 3 to 4 days a week in the food industry and Geralda spends about 3-4 days in the brewery next to taking care of the family.
The local attention is the reason why they started out making your ‘regular’ specialty beers like a tripel, dubbel, white or bock. Styles most people not that much into beer will at least know. When these are established beers they hope to develop the really special beers who are not so known in Twente. They have already made some interesting brews like a Chili Porter, a Scotch Ale and a Black IPA.
Until recently their blonde beers, the IPA (Khoppig) and the Belgian Ale Vuurdoop were mainly brewed at De Molen. De rest is from their own kettles. Last June a new 750 liter installation started producing beer and now all their beer is made in Den Ham.
One of the newer beers they made was a onetime experiment with the Brett yeast for the festival in In De Wildeman a few weeks ago. This was a very exciting enterprise. Jurgen:
“you never know what Brett will do. Besides that bringing Brett into your brewery poses a risk because it might infect your other beers. That is why we only worked with disposable materials. The reactions have been very positive and ask for another attempt, but I am not sure we will do that. We want to develop our beers and not break down the others. But time will tell..”
The future of Berghoeve
Jurgen is very excited about the future of the brewery, even asking how much space I have to write about it. Here a short list of plans and actual things that will happen in the near future:
- Berghoeve will soon be selling beer in kegs
- Keeping all the beers available; because sales are doing very well some beers can be sold out.
- The release of two new beers: An Imperial Black IPA called “Tjuster” and an Orange Pale Ale called “Tevreden Oordeel” (meaning as much as a “satisfying judgement”) that only a few people have tasted so far.
- A new line of beerlabels in the fall
- Brewing a new beer after that! It will have been more than four months after the last new one. They are now contemplating which one because there are many to choose from.
- Maybe a collaboration brew…?
The future looks good and on this hot day I am going out now to hunt some refreshing Berghoeve beer.