With the current status of the world I don’t feel like traveling abroad, so I took the opportunity to visit four of my favourite people in the Dutch brewing world; Carina and Gert from brewery Mommeriete and Arjanneke and Gijs from De Gooische bierbrouwerij.
We also took the opportunity to visit Wildlands Zoo, since this is half an hour by train from Mommeriete. Wildlands is a gorgeous zoo with some fun rides as well. I wanted to visit some megalithes as well while we were in Emmen, but I overestimated the amount of traveling I can do these days, so those are for another day.
De Gooische Bierbrouwerij
You can find De Gooische Bierbrouwerij in Foodhall MOUT near the city centre of Hilversum in the middle of ‘t Gooi, a former rural, now gentrified area in Noord-Holland. The brewery began in 2012 With a Gooisch Blond, based on a Belgian blond, a Gooisch Zwart, based on German Schwarzbier and a Gooisch Wit, based on Belgian Witbier. In 2013 Guido joined Arjanneke and Gijs. In 2017 they got their spot in the MOUT Foodhall, which is a story in its own, which I will leave to Gijs to tell. Arjanneke and Gijs are also international biersommeliers and we met them during a tour in Haarlem and since then stayed in contact. Hilversum is over an hour travel by train from my home city and easily accessible from all corners of the Netherlands. And Arjanneke and Gijs are about the sweetest and most fun people I know!
We visited on a hot, very hot spring day, so inside Foodhall MOUT it was… boiling basically. Outside the terrace was crowded with all the people enjoying the sun, the beers, the food and basically enjoying a very nice day. Arjanneke and Gijs showed us around the vicinity and their other building and everything, and let us taste a lot of nice beers.
‘t Gooi has quite a reputation in the Netherlands, not only due to TV series like Gooische Vrouwen (The Dutch version of the real housewives) which cashes in on that reputation. I have been told you have basically two types of people in ‘t Gooi: The originaal Goi farmers and the new elite, the noveau rich people that came from Amsterdam to live in more quiet and (not that) rural (anymore) surroundings, while still being close to thé city. The area has a very very very rich history, which is still very much alive today on all levels in society. this history of the MOUT building is actually connected to Eindhoven history.
The building began as a car shop. That sounds quite mundain, but not back then when the car was just invented and certainly not an average household item. The owner of the shop wanted a grand place to sell the cars, which is why the building looks a bit like an art nouveau marshalling yard. In the middle of Hilversum. Cars were so unique back then that you could (and most people had to) buy one with a chauffeur, since no one could actually ride a car. You can still see that gorgeous artwork on the outside, but also the shape of the building is very special. In the years to come it got several other functions, one of them was as a signal factory from Anton Philips, from the family that shaped our Eindhoven for a major part. It is said that he told his wife that the signal factory had to be in Hilversum because it was the middle of the Netherlands (a lot of cities and villages claim to be the middle of the Netherlands), but that he actually placed it there because of his mistress. Thát story led to a saying about a Gooisch Matras (Gooisch mattress), which led to a souvenir in the form of chocolate shaped like a mattress. Afterwards it became a cinema and since a few years it’s a food hall, with within De Gooische Bierbrouwerij.
Arjanneke and Gijs are very tongue in cheek about basically everything, from their logo, to their beer names to their beerstyles and it works. It helps that they just brew very good beers, quality wise maybe the best beers I ever tasted. And they brew them with as much local produce as possible. Which is a lot, because they have a very good understanding with a lot of the local farmers. Not everything can be produced locally, but they changed a lot of recipes to make it as local and ecological as they can. Buckwheat is a very local and important ingredient for their beers, but also for the locality. You see buckwheat grains in most of the local city coats of arms and also on the bottles of the brewery.
It took some time to think of a logo. They didn’t want some standard beer related thing and they did want something connected to ‘t Gooi. The designer already began designing logo’s with mythical creatures until one day Arjanneke decided on a chihuahua, a small dog that is more of an accessory for Gooisch women, it is said. Together with the mythological designs it became the winged chihuahua is it today with the legend: Parvus Sed Audens, which means: Small, but brave.
Some of the clichés about ‘t Gooi really are true. EVERYONE orders bubbles (champaign) to drink. Not just the women, not just the rich, everyone. It’s part of the Gooisch lifestyle and everyone calls it bubbles and orders bubbles for about every occasion. So how to start a brewery in the middle of a region where everyone drinks champaign? One day, Arjanneke and Gijs were looking at a list of yeasts to think of a new beer to add to their assortment. On the list was a champaign yeast and the knew they had to brew a beer with it! Back then, champaign beers were much less common then they are now. Either way, it was most fitting to their location. It took some tweaking, but in the end they produced the most gorgeous of beers. They had to think a bit about the name. After the logo, Gooisch blondje and more, it might be a bit too much. But they went for it anyway: De Gooische Bubbel was born! They sold that beer on events and all in the vicinity. Every time, women said: “oh no, I don’t drink beer.” And every time they tried the Bubbel they said:”Oh, maar dat vind ik wel lekker. (Oh, but I like that)” and that’s been a running gag since. All in fun and earnest of course, because the Gooische Bubbel really is popular, also in the champaign drinking region of ‘t Gooi.
Anyway, we had an awesome day, which I hope to repeat some day soon! And I really recommend a visit!
Have you tried De Gooische Bubbel? What did you think?