Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Dutch Beer of the Week


I've always had a soft spot for De Eem - I first encountered them many years ago at the Great British Beer Festival when I picked up a bottle of something called Rosebud. It turned out to really be a Centennial-hopped IPA and was remarkably good. It was also another milestone on my road to realising that something very interesting was starting to happen with Dutch beer.

They have been around since 2006 when the company was founded by Amersfoort-based Ruud van Moorst (he's pictured here far left doing something with lambic and yoghurt at the 2015 Carnivale Brettanomyces). For most of the time since then he's been a cuckoo brewer and although my update to Tim Skelton's excellent  Beer in the Netherlands  tells me he was about to get a brewery in the Gelderland town of Elburg I'm not sure that's actually happened yet.

What has happened though is a rebrand as you will see from the original website here and the rather slicker (but work in progress) here. Rosebud became Centennial some years back and I also have fond memories of a session on draft Warrior at Amsterdam's Gollem a  couple of years ago (the one on Ramsteeg - other Gollems are available).

Perhaps the most impressive beer was Dark Hops, tried at the Utrechste Bierbrouwers Festival a few years back and a collaboration with Amsterdam's Brouwerij Pampus (who are cuckoos themselves). This called itself a black IPA but tasted deliciously barrel-aged. It was memorably good. 

So then, Dorstig (or "Thirsty") which, at 3.5% is certainly an easy-going thirst quencher.  There's Plisner and Munich malts in the grist so its very pale copper rather than golden, and with some malt character to balance out the hops (Warrior, Saaz and Centennial). There's a slight touch of spice on the nose alongside a malt-kiln sweetness and piney hops.  These are all there as you drink but alongside is a peppery hop bitterness that lingers into the moreish finish. Eem have never let me down and this is another winner in my book.

There will probably be nothing on here next week as on Thursday I'm off to Brugs Bierfestival when I'll be wading through this lot supplied by these. Highlights to follow of course.

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