Home > Beer > Beneluxurious: North Bar’s Lowlands Bier Festival

Beneluxurious: North Bar’s Lowlands Bier Festival

Why, Sir, you find no man, at all interested in beer, who is willing to leave Belgium. No, Sir, when a man is tired of Belgium, he is tired of beer; for there is in Belgium all that beer can afford.

— Not Quite Samuel Johnson

I loved our trip to Bruges last summer and got to drink some remarkable beers in lovely places, like t’ Brugs Beertje and Staminee De Garre. The one thing that I did notice, however, was that the amazing beer menus were almost exclusively Belgian. I had hoped that there might be some Dutch beers on offer as well, as I had become very excited about the range of innovative breweries in the Netherlands following my short visit to Amsterdam, and the fantastic In De Wildeman.

Fortunately, back in West Yorkshire, North Bar’s annual Belgian Beer Festival has expanded its remit and annexed Holland; the 2012 version, running from 22 March 2012 to 5 April 2012, is a Lowlands Bier Festival. Kate and I visited yesterday when North was quite empty, suffering slightly from the lack of a beer garden in the unexpected March sunshine. Along with a waffle, we enjoyed four really good beers: bottles of Watou Tripel and Struise/Mikkeller Elliott; and from keg De Molen Op & Top and Emelisse TIPA. So that’s really two Dutch Beers, one and a half Belgian beers and a rogue half a Dane.

I was really impressed with the beer list, which also includes delights from the likes of Boon, Cantillon, De Dolle, all the Trappists you can shake a crosier at, as well as a couple of beers from rarely-seen breweries like Brouwerij De Prael, which I’ve never seen outside Amsterdam. I’m going back and this time I’m having cheese. I recommend you do the same.

If you’re above the Low Countries, perhaps preferring your beers single-hopped, Aberdonian and canine, on 28 March 2012 from 6pm North are also hosting a BrewDog IPA Is Dead Launch Night, a sequel to last year’s. The new batch of four single-hopped IPAs are Galaxy, Motueka, Challenger and HBC.

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  1. March 26, 2012 at 2:17 pm | #1

    I may have to twist a few arms tomorrow night and pop to North for a bottle of the Struise/Mikkeller Elliott!

  2. March 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm | #3

    I popped in last night and spied many bottles of Boon Kriek 2004! for sale of the very reasonable sum of £7.40 – a very well spent amount on a delicious bottle of 8yr old Kriek! ..was savored for quite a while.

    Had some Pannepot Gran Reserva from 2008 too, but that was a little more at £10 a pop.

    • March 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm | #4

      I liked the look of the Boon Kriek, will try it next time. And for God’s sake man, keep it quiet about the Pannepot! There’ll be none left for us!

  3. John Clarke
    March 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm | #5

    I’ve been wondering when UK geekdom would start discovering Dutch beer (apart from De Molen of course). Way to go yet I think but the signs are there at last. Latest hot to trot set up is Rooie Dop by the way (http://rooiedop.nl/ ) – I plan to pick some of these up in couple of weeks or so when I’m across for the Meibockfestival.

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