Back in the days when Amsterdam was still the most important harbor in the world, ships that wanted to enter the city had to pass a sandbank. If they ship was too full and therefore too heavy it had a chance of running aground here. The sandbank is now an island with a fort and its name, Pampus, made its way into the Dutch language in the saying ‘to lie before Pampus’. This now means to be so drunk or full of food you can’t move. It is now also the name of the sixth brewery in our Amsterdam series. Pampus has made some great beers so far, including the wonderful Dark Hops with De Eem. An introduction:
The BeerTemple, a new school for beer.
Pampus was started by the two-man team of Timothy Wareman and Nando Servais. If you have been to Amsterdam and went to the great beer places we told you about earlier chances are you have met them already. They got to know each other while working at the Beertemple, yes, that cathedral of beer in downtown Amsterdam that is turning into a school for beer with some of the Oedipus people also ‘graduating’ from here.
Tim then went to that other temple of beer het Arendsnest to become the manager there. After doing this for a long time he returned to the Beertemple where he currently is the manager there. For those who don’t know, both places are owned by the same guy (Peter van den Arend).
Until recently Nando was tending the bar there. Next to working in the wonderful world of beer he is hard at work getting a Masters in Religious Studies after first getting Bachelor degrees in History and Religious Studies. In February he will likely start full time for Pampus.
Their first taste of craft beer started in the Beertemple where they had the privilege of tasting new beers from all over the world and learn about it. This gained knowledge and enthusiasm led to try some home brewing. The results must have been great because only a few months in 2012 Pampus was created.
Tim and Nando don’t have their own brewery yet so they are forced to brew at different locations. Working at the Arendsnest has its advantages and they got into contact with the Naeckte Brouwers in Amstelveen (city to the south of Amsterdam) who do have their own installation. They chose to brew here because they the capacity and the Naeckte Brouwers gave them the freedom to experiment with styles, flavors and ingredients. Often breweries renting out their equipment have a list of do’s and don’ts, limiting the personal input of the contract brewer. Not so here. Nando mentions that a brewing installation is like a musical instrument with its own quirks, possibilities and shortcomings, things you will only get to know through experience.
One of Pampus’ strong points are their collaborations from Holland like Naeckte, Italy (Birrificio Aurelio) and the United States. Their Dark Hops made with Ruud from De Eem won the prize for best beer from Utrecht at the Utrechts Beerbrewers festival in May (De Eem is located in the province of Utrecht). A big deal in a province abound with great beer. And it is a great beer, one of the best from the country I have had this year.
Collaborating is something they intend to continue for a number of reasons:
- It is yet another confirmation that the brewing world is one where the brewers are colleagues and not competitors. They all need each other to give craft beer the credit it deserves and these collaborations help.
- They are educational. Brewers teach each other some tricks of the trade the other one doesn’t know yet and that can be used to improve the beer next time. The quality and creativity will only get better this way.
Nando and Timothy keep introducing new beers and with increasing quality. Amsterdam, it’s pretty cool place. Pampus is making it even better.