Monday, August 27, 2012

Drie Ringen Stadsbrouweri in Amersfoort, The Netherlands

The second part of my time in Europe was in the Netherlands (and after my much needed nap), I woke up and Mike and I rode bikes to the grocery and liquor store. Again, I wasn’t really on top of things due to my jet lag, but I know that I bought some Dutch beers to bring back to his house (since I was able to hit an ATM machine, which was helpful). When we got back to the house, we waited for his wife, Willemijn, to get home so we can figure out what to do that night. I really had no plans for what to do in the Netherlands, which was fine with me. Never being in the Eastern Hemisphere, or the “Old World” as some of you like to refer to it, I was just happy to see whatever my hosts wanted to do. They suggested heading into Amersfoort, a nearby town, to get dinner and walk around.

Luckily when we were there, it was one of the few Thursday nights of the year where all of the stores and restaurants stay open late, so there was a really good crowd out. I didn’t know much about Amersfoort before getting there, and what I can tell you know is that it is 753 years old and really beautiful. They had a really big church there which is apparently where the central most point of the Netherlands is located. It was inside the church, so I couldn’t see the exact point, but the church was really impressive from the outside. The whole town was awesome, and really what I would have expected Europe to look like. I loved it.
Mike and Willemijn took me to over to the port, which is probably (and rightfully) the most famous part of the town, at least in terms of having pictures taken, and then we were going to head to a restaurant to have dinner. On the way, Mike told me that he wanted to show me where the local brewery, Drie Ringen Stadsbrouwerij (“Three Rings Brewery”), was in case I wanted to take a picture of it. According to their website, they weren’t open Thursday nights, but it would have been cool to see. As we walked up to it, we noticed that the door was open and there were people standing behind the bar. Willemijn and Mike looked at each other, and she went in and asked them (in Dutch) if it was possible for us to have a beer there. They had just given a private tour to a small group, and they were very friendly and said that it would not be a problem at all. So we each ordered a beer, and sat a table in the brewery. I believe that Willemijn ordered their Amersfoort Blond, Mike ordered their Dubbel, and I got the Tripel. We all really liked them, as they were brewed well for the style.

The inside of the brewpub wasn’t anything remarkable, but it was nonetheless pretty nice. They had the copper kettles right in the sitting area, and had an upstairs that I didn’t check out. Another thing I should  have done. They dining area was a comfortable place to hang out and have a beer, and I really loved the Tripel. I also wish I would have bought bottles of it to go, but since we still had to go to dinner and I had to go to India two days later, it was probably for the best that I didn’t. But I really want to go back there when I have more time, hang out for a while, and try more of their beers or get a tour. It was a pleasant surprise that they were open, and I liked the beers a lot. As we left, we asked what we owed and they seemed surprised. I paid what they said, and when we walked out Willemijn and Mike both said that they probably weren’t expecting us to pay for whatever reason, but I don’t mind paying. Especially when it was as good as it was.

After we left, we went and had dinner at an Argentine steakhouse, then went to a local pub for a beer. One thing that did surprise me was how young some of the people were at the bar, until Mike told me that the drinking age in the Netherlands is 16 years old (at least for beer). We had a few more Dutch beers before I wimped out and said that I need to sleep. I was really excited that we would be going to Amsterdam the next day, and wanted to be well-rested to enjoy it.



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