As of last week we are with almost 250 certified biersommeliers in the Netherlands. We have our own guild: Nederlands Gilde der Biersommeliers, and our goal is to share all information about beer. Several times a year the guild organises events for biersommeliers and a week ago Tastewise and I guided a group of biersommeliers through beery Eindhoven. I’m not going to tell the whole tour, if you want to know more about historic beery Eindhoven, I’d like to recommend De ouden brouweryen van Eyndhoven by David Hendrich or go on a tour with us!
Although it made the walk quite a bit longer than originally intended, we started our tour at Strijp-S and Brouwerij het Veem . Brouwerij het Veem is one of the five (Arguably seven) currently active breweries in Eindhoven and the perfect starting point for a beer tour. Also Strijp-S is very uniquely Eindhoven. In the last century some organisations had a major impact on Eindhoven and made the city what it is today. One of those companies is Philips, and Strijp-S was one of their industrial areas. It still has some perfect examples of the Philips power on display. For example ‘t Strijps Bultje, still one of the main roads of Eindhoven, goes óver the terrain as an overpass, because Philips did not want a road to disturb their railroad system between the several Philips terrains. But back to beer.
The argument was whether breweries De Mouterij and Papa Brews count as active Eindhovense breweries. De Mouterij hasn’t brewed anything the last few years. Papa Brews has, but interestingly he doesn’t count himself as one of the Eindhovense breweries. Papa Brews is also known as Casper Pennings from De Bierbrigadier and the Bier&Big-festivals. Only a couple of weeks ago he organised the Eindhovense bierfeesten (the Eindhoven beer fest) at which the visitors could vote for the best beer of Eindhoven, and he specifically advertised that the FIVE Eindhovense breweries would be present, explicitly not counting himself. He argues that he hasn’t brewed in a while and he only brews collabs anyway.
Brouwerij het Veem is active since 2016 and has a wonderful spot in Foodhall Het Veem. You can go there for a beer, while eating lunch from one of the other stalls in the hall. They also have a small shop.
From het Veem it was a bit of a walk into the city center, which we entered via some other Philips constructions: De Witte Dame and De Lichttoren (the light tower), which got its name because it was the testing place for the Philips lamps. Fast forward to the Keizersgracht
At the Keizersgracht you can still find the director’s building of Brewery Het Hert (the Deer). You can still recognise that building by the golden deers on the wall. Almost next to that building we took our first break at Van Moll brewery, an industrial like taste room with a brewery in the basement and one of the big five in Eindhoven. Van Moll is a brewpub with an extensive beer menu, ciders, also some other drinks, pretzels and an interesting board game collection.
From Van Moll we went to the Bergstraat where you can find the Bierbrigadier, but also one of the buildings still standing from the old Lucifer factory Mennen & Keunen. Most people think Eindhoven got her name Lichtstad (City of light) from Philips. That’s not true. We got the name because of this lucifer factory which was active in 1870. That’s the same period that the deer brewery was active in the same neighbourhood as well. The Bergstraat is in the neighbourhood called De Bergen (the mountains). It got this name because it was slightly higher than the rest of Eindhoven. It is said that was probably because this was one of the bigger hops fields in Eindhoven. In the 17th century Eindhoven dominated the hops market in Cologne, and a lot of it came from this area. You can still find a lot of the plants in the cracks and against the walls. At the Grote Berg you can also find De Baron, which is now forever closed unfortunately. De Baron was probably the first new specialty beers café in Eindhoven in 2001, about which I told you before.
A small tour through the crowded city center. Since 1917 you can find the V&D on this spot (although they have been bankrupt since a few years now), but until 1916 you could find the biggest Eindhovense brewery here, namely Brouwerij de Haes (the hare). Around the corner you can still find the building of brewery De Rooden Leeuw (the red lion). We quickly walked further though, because of the crowds, to the Catharina Church and from there to the canal. At the canal you can still find the buildings of the first and second steam breweries of Eindhoven: Brewery De Valk (the falcon) which was in the current DAF-museum and brewery Zeeland. We entered brewery Zeeland which was closed in 1906 due to a huge fire. In the cellars, where we drank a Kölsch beer, you can still see all the damage from that fire. Although the building is in use as partly a house, partly a studio, partly storage, it’s still in roughly the same state as it was in back then, which gave us a chance to really dive back in history.
From Zeeland we walked back to the city centre via Stadsbrouwerij Eindhoven, another one of the big five. After a quick beer we had to run to Belgisch Bier Café Eindhoven, because our dinner was ready.
After that we walked to the Drinkers Pub via De Bierprofessor, which was closed, and its neighbour, the old building of Brewery De Moriaan, which also doubled as postal services for the soldiers in the Eighty Years’ War.
What I love most about guiding people like this through a city is that you can show them every day sights in another light. Most people think Eindhoven is an ugly city. It has been severly bombed in the world wars and gorgeous buildings like the city hall, that survived the bombing, were later demolished because of reasons. So we have a lot of 50s and 60s architecture, with a lot of artwork in the walls, which is nice. We also have a lot of 70s, 80s, 90s architecture, which is more practical than beautiful, which is less nice. And especially in the city centre, everything on eye level is one big wall of advertisement. But between all the concrete blocks there are still gorgeous buildings with a lot of history, you just have to look up once in a while.
Would you be interested in a beer (historic) tour through Eindhoven?