Evening All I will have to try and catch up with my chronicling. I had a bit of a technological shocker in that I got a virus on my travelling computer in the last week of the trip and lost all my notes and most of my photos.
This caused a bit of a hiatus while I regrouped and I now have to go back to my handwritten, first draft, notes taken on the run. I can’t work out why these same notes become more difficult to read as the day of writing wore on – I think the pencil must have become blunt
I will also have to add a thought or two to my own blog which has also suffered après virus. Having thought about my trip since my return I think that, all in all, it all went of as well as I hoped in most cases. In no particular order I found that Dublin was not quite as good as I had hoped, I went to the ‘ Black Stuff” brewery in Dublin and this time I thought that the Guinness pulled at the Gravity Bar was not as good as the time I went five years ago, and I must admit that I did prefer the Murphys Stout and I also stuck mainly to Smithwycks which I became quite attached to.
Germany was terrific and I would go back to Bamberg in a shot and hope that I will be able to sometime. Munich, Frankfurt, Köln and Düsseldorf went down well though I don’t know that I would return to those places if there was a chance to go to places I haven’t yet been
I didn’t do Belgium right as I hadn’t considered some of the complexities with travelling around, while I found the trains easy to use getting to the Southern part of the country was a bit hard to fit in to the time I had, so I will have to try and get back sometime and try again.
I did however get to Ghent and visit the Gruut Brewery and spent very memorable afternoon there and I got a chance to talk to Mrs Brewer though she was paying more attention to a bunch of corporate trendies who where drinking wine and coffee, and as such was not able to learn as much as I might.
I will return with my Amsterdam chapter later
I don’t know that I found Amsterdam a Mecca for beer, this might have been more a case of lack of preparation by me, the pubs I went to seemed to have only the usual offerings of big brewery beers or beer imported from Belgium which is all good but I had just come from there and I could have the same there. it also seemed as though there was an Irish theme pub on every second corner and an English pub on every third corner (my exaggeration) and as I was going to Dublin between Brussels and Amsterdam both those where not a priority with me. I did go to a very interesting bar of the main street, a place hardly big enough to fit in more than three or four tables and a couple of stools which specialised in Dutch Gin, dozens of barrels lining one wall each apparently containing a different drink, I never knew exactly how many
I said in an earlier post that I was done by customs for my Belgium beer because I packed it in my carry on bag thinking only about keeping the bottles safe and forgetting about the dreaded customs, so this time I bought a couple of bottles in Amsterdam. I went to a beer emporium called the “Cracked Kettle” a place to be found in a tiny back street, one of those three storey houses, very narrow and leaning out over the street. You enter into this shop almost expecting to see a little old bloke carving long nosed wooden puppets or something, the shop hardly big enough to turn round in without knocking bottles of the shelves, the windiest and steepest spiral staircase I have ever encountered, with, allegedly 1100 or so different beers on sale. As it was it was run a by a young Scottish bloke.
I bought a couple of Imperial Russian stout style beers from the Model Brewer of Netherlands a —– bottle number 496 of the only ever run of this beer
and a ——– a beer which was blended with a beer from another brewery
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