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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Dutch Beer of the Week

Baxbier Kon Minder

The great revival in Dutch beer has been slow to catch on in the three northern provinces. While the country as a whole now has now fewer than 318 breweries and beer firms only 27 are located in Friesland, Drenthe and Groningen. Possibly it’s something to do with the Protestant Calvinist tradition historically prevalent in these parts – although Groningen at least had a notable brewing tradition in the past.

It’s starting to move though. Indeed, with De Friese Bierbrouwerij  established in 1985 Friesland has one of the oldest surviving new-wave brewers in the country.  One lively centre is the university city of Groningen which has a scattering of good beer bars and a growing number of craft brewers.

One of these is Baxbier which has been in production since about April last year. When I say “in production” I mean that Sepp Jansen and Jeroen Bax currently have their beer produced elsewhere – this bottle of Kon Minder (5.1%) was brewed to their specification at Brasserie de Marsinne in Belgium* – although the plan is to get their own premises in Groningen.  

I first tried this on draft at the Nederlandse Bieren Festival in Delft and my typically perfunctory notes say “pale, light, citrus and very good”.  It was described there as an American Pale Ale and the website calls it a Citrus Pale Ale. For me though it’s an interesting hybrid.  While it’s beautifully hoppy from the use of Cascade and Citra, there’s also wheat malt in the mash and additional ingredients are orange peel and coriander seeds so there are notes of a classic witbier in there too. The end result is a beer that’s crisp and refreshing but with an added depth, or an extra dimension if you like, from the very restrained spicing.

I’ll certainly be looking out for this one again.

* While the label tells me it was brewed in Belgium, Ratebeer says it was made at Brouwerij De 7 Deugden in Amsterdam

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