Who am I and what is this blog about?
- Favorite beer: Probably still Van Moll’s Ons Blacky and Põhjala Must Kuld. Although my recent trips have learned me to really appreciate that German clean taste as well, I’m still in love with Stouts and Porters. The not so sweet variety though; it may have alcohol sweetness. I know abovementioned beers are a tad bit sweet, so if you know a nice bitter stout I should try, let me know!
- Do not like: I have a very strong aversion to Tonka Beans and Vanilla. I also don’t like a too sour a beer, although I’ll probably learn to appreciate those way before I’ll ever start to like Tonka Beans.
- Beer plans: I want to restart the brew group for the PreHistoric Museum in Eindhoven. For that I’ll probably have to practice home brewing first.
- Most recent beer related activities: I have been a judge at one of the biggest Dutch beer competitions, the best bock beer competition, I organised several beer history tours and treasure hunts through Eindhoven and I trained a next generation of biersommeliers to name some activities.
Like every person born in the 70s and 80s in the Netherlands I grew up in the beer wastelands. It was a time where pils/lager was synonym to beer. Needless to say I, and probably most teenagers then with me, began my alcoholic adventures not with beer, but with mix drinks and liquor. It were different times back then, the drinking of soft alcoholic drinks was already legal at the age of 16, and it was quite easy to buy other alcoholic drinks at that age as well.
Fast forward, life happened. After some alcoholic adventures at high school, I didn’t drink as much during my university years and stopped drinking altogether the years after during one unmentionable unhealthy relationship. I got out.
I found my love for life again and I found a new love for beer. Not the pilsners though, that were and are still most common around, but all those other beers that were finding there way (back) into the Netherlands again! I probably started with Belgian beers, but the first beer to impress me back then was Guinness at the Trafalgar pub in Eindhoven. I never had something like it, but it was much better than Bavaria (I grew up in Eindhoven, so that was almost as synonym to beer as pils was as well) and I didn’t want to go back to what I now know to be pilsner again if I could help it.
A few years later I met my now husband. He is also a big fan of beers and together we went for a tour in the Hertog Jan brewery in Arcen. That tour was for me the start of my quest for knowledge about beer. There I found out what a pilsner actually was, that it wasn’t a synonym for beer. I found out about the difference between so-called bottom-fermented and top-fermented beers and I wanted to know more! I found beer in a box and I looked for options to educate myself in beer and came across StiBON. After a false start in Amsterdam (life got in the way again; I became ill again, they found my first tumor, I had surgery, I switched jobs, I moved town) I began anew in Eindhoven in 2017 and kickstarted my beer life.
March 2019 I became Diplom Biersommelière and now I’m really ready to dive into the world of beer. In this blog I want to take you with me on that journey.
I still don’t know much yet, there are so many things to research, so many books to read, so many beers to taste. I’ll probably come back to certain subjects better educated in a few years than in the first blog posts of mine. I certainly want to explore and research some specific subjects that are important to me personally like beer and health and beer and history. And I want to tell you about my beer travels, about beer board games and about our training for the Dutch Championships.