Monday, 10 August 2015

Dutch Beer of the Week

Stadsbrouwerij De Pelgrim Mayflower Tripel

De Pelgrim has been around since the early days of the Dutch beer revival having been founded back in 1996.  It's based in the attractive Rotterdam suburb of Delfshaven which is the place where the Pilgrim Fathers gathered before leaving for America in 1620.  The Pilgrim Father's church is still there and the Mayflower's passenger list is on the wall.  As you may expect it's something of a tourist hot spot for American visitors to the Netherlands,

The brewery and its tap are next door to the church and occupy one building with the brewery on one side and the cafe-cum-restaurant to the other. Last time I was there (which was a few years back now) we sat outside on the very pleasant terrace.  It's all well worth getting the Rotterdam Metro to Delfshaven to while away a couple of hours or so.

On to the beer. The Pelgrim range has always struck me as solid and well made but not necessarily the most go-to beers in the Netherlands. I do see from the website though that they have been winning awards for their autumnal and winter beers so obviously waves are being made.

A few years back they got a new brewer and it was about this time I tried something from them at Tilburg beer festival and which made me sit up and take notice. I was told it was an "Amarillo Tripel" and it was pretty damn good I must say.  So I picked this up hoping for something along those lines and to be honest I was a little disappointed. There was very little on the nose and the beer itself while nicely clean was essentially quite a sweet affair with the occasional hint of barley sugar. The finish was also short and sweet. I was hoping for something spicier and hoppier. All in all a perfectly good mid-gold tripel but nothing to get excited about.

However having said all of that I'm still a bit confused about this beer. RateBeer tells me that Amarillo Tripel (at 7.8%) has been "retired" and has separate reviews for Mayflower Tripel (at 7.2%).  The bottle in front of me declares its strength at 7.8% while the brewery website (as you may see) lists Mayflower Tripel at 7.3% and also tells me that Amarillo hops are added at the lagering stage (so it's dry hopped then I guess).  Clearly some tinkering has been going on here and to be honest I'm not sure it's all been to the best effect. I think a return visit to Delfshaven is in order to see what the beer's like on site.

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