Dutch Breweries (Part 1)
A - H (Alfa - Den Horst)


This page (along with Part Two, of course) lists the breweries currently operating in the Netherlands and the beers that they brew. However, please remember that the dynamic nature of the brewing industry and my own fallibility mean that a few ommissions cannot are inevitable.
Dutch brewing industry
Dutch beer styles
Old Dutch beer styles
Dutch beer statistics
Dutch Breweries

I aim to sample every beer brewed in Holland on a regular basis (be it for 12 months of the year or just in October). It's often more of a chore than you would imagine (like when Bavaria have a new realease, or Maibock season comes around). The limited availability of some Dutch beers and the short life of others will inevitably prevent me from ever completing the set. (what a disaster that would be - I wouldn't have anything left to do).

If it's bockbier (or bokbier) you're interested in, Bokbier Tasting 2003: has the results of my blind tastings of the 2003 vintages, Bokbier Tasting 2004: the 2004 vintages.

For my fellow obsessives, I've included an example of my tasting form to the right.
The Dutch Brewing Industry:
Everything you'll ever need to know about brewing in The Netherlands:
  • Dutch beer styles today
  • Dutch beer styles in 1900
  • Dutch beer styles in 1950
  • brewing industry structure
  • beer organisations
  • historical statistics

What is the pupose of this page?
  • to provide a complete a list of Ducth breweries
  • to describe and rate all the beers brewed in Holland
  • to indicate who owns each brewery

Why have I created it?
  • to complement my Dutch pub guides, providing extra details of the beers mentioned
  • to be used standalone reference to the world of Dutch brewing
  • to let visitors to Holland which Dutch beers, in my opinion, are worth trying (and which not)
  • to keep track myself of new Dutch breweries and beers

Lets be honest, if there was a Dutch publication, published annually, along the lines of CAMRA's Good Beer Guide, I wouldn't have bothered.

How has this page been compiled?
  • I have personally performed all of the tastings.
  • Most tastings took place at home, using the bottled version of the beer.
  • Whenever feasible, I have tasted beers "blind" - that is without knowing what they were.
  • The beers were served at around 15º C, regardless of style
  • I use a tasting form derived from Peter Crombecq's
How are the scores determined?
  • The scores are a total of the points awarded for 6 categories:
    • appearance - 5 points
    • aroma - 25 points
    • taste (on the tongue) - 10 points
    • aroma (first phase, while the beer is in the mouth) - 25 points
    • aftertaste - 10 points
    • aroma (second phase, while swallowing) - 25 points

  • Points are added for each distinct flavour I can detect in each phase.
  • Points are deducted for faults - off-flavours or characteristics inappropriate for the style.
After seeing Lees Moonraker marked down in an American beer tasting for "not being true to style", I've become wary of using rigid style guidelines. Such detailed and narrow specifications betray the homebrewing origins of the American beer scene. I rarely knock off points - normally only when a beer displays chatacteristics so completely inappropriate, that they must be unintended, unless the brewer is a total idiot.

What do my scores mean?
< 20 cut out the middleman and pour straight down the sink
21 - 30 pretty nasty, gulp down quickly or hold your nose
31 - 40 chill heavilly and pray
41 - 50 can be drunk unchilled without evoking nausea
51 - 60 safe to drink
61 - 70 you might actually enjoy this
71 - 80 can survive a serious examination
81 - 90 don't swallow too quickly
91 - 100 treat like 50 year-old Islay

Points to bear in mind:
My tasting notes cannot avoid being, to some degree, subjective. It isn't always possible to sample beers "blind".
Variation between batches can be considerable at smaller breweries me. No single tasting can ever be definitive. I have attempted to describe as objectively as possible the main flavour components of each beer. I can't imagine that my observations will please everyone, but I have tried to be as honest as I can.
Seasonal beers, bocks in particular, which can vary enormously from year to year. When I find the time for soaking, drying and scanning I will add considerably more Dutch beer label images.

Dutch Breweries (Part One)
A - H (Alfa - Den Horst)

Brewery Index
Alfa Brouwerij Den Engel Bierbrouwers
Amstel Brouwerij Brouwerij Erve Kots
Bavaria Brouwerij Grolsche Bierbrouwerij N.V.
De Beyerd Brouwerij Groningse Stadsbrouwerij
Brand Brouwerij B.V. Gulpener Bierbrouwerij
Het Brouwcafé de Haagse Bierbrouwerij
Brouwers aan den Rijn Haerlemsche Bierbrouwerij B.V.
Budels Brouwerij Brouwerij De Halve Maan
Burg Bierbrouwerij Brouwerij De Heeren van Beeck
Huisbrouwerij Cambrinus Heineken Brouwerij
Dommelsch Brouwerij Stadsbrouwerij de Hemel
De 3 Horne Bierbrouwerij Hertog Jan Brouwerij
Brouwerij de Drie Kruizen Stadsbrouwerij Heusden
Amersfoortsche Bierbrouwerij De Drie Ringen Bierbrouwerij Hoeksche Waard
EleganT Brouwerij Brouwerij De Hopper
  Gooische Bierbrouwerij De Horste
Brouwerij het Ij Jopen Bier Haarlem
Bierbrouwerij Kasparus Brouwerij De Kemphaan
Klein Duimpje Huisbrouwerij Brouwerij het Koelschip
Stadsbrouwerij van Kollenburg Brouwerij Het Kompas
Brouwerij Het Kuipertje Brouwerij De Leckere
Brouwerij De Leeuw Brouwerij Lindeboom
Maasland Brouwerij Amsterdams Brouwhuis Maximiliaan
Mieghelm Huisbrouwerij Moerenburg
Brouwerij Mommeriete De Molen
Speciaalbierbrouwerij Oijen Brouwerij Oirschots Bier
Onder de Linden Verenigde Bierbrouwerijen Oranjeboom
Den Osche Brouwer Brouwerij De Pauw
Pelgrim Brouwerij Brouwerij De Prael
De Ridder Brouwerij Rijke Gewoonte
Museumbrouwerij de Roos Bierbrouwerij De Schans
St. Christoffel Bierbrouwerij Bierbrouwerij Sint Servattumus
De Snaterende Arend Stichtse Heeren
Stichting Noordhollandse Alternatieve Bierbrouwers (S.N.A.B.) Texelse brouwerij
La Trappe Brouwerij Friese Brouwerij Us Heit
Utrechtse Stoombierbrouwerij Oudaen Valleibieren Leusden
  Walhalla Brouwerijen
  Wijde Wereld

Alfa Brouwerij
Thull 15-19,
6365 AC Schinnen,
Tel: 046-4432888,
Fax: 046-4432835
Homepage:: http://www.alfa-bier.nl

Founded: 1870
Annual production: 175,000 hl

Beer alc Plato Description score (100)
Alfa Oud Bruin 2.5%   Dark lager.
Apple, treacle, cream and malt aroma; very sweet taste with apple and grapefruit aromas; sweet finish with apple aroma.
Very sweet, but that's what you expect with this style. Has some pleasant fruit flavours.
Alfa Edel Pils 5%   Pils.
Tobacco, sweet and citrus aroma; sweet/bitterish taste with tobacco and honey aromas; bitter finish with tobacco, pepper and butter aromas.
Too sweet, like many Dutch beers of this type. Has a bit of a hop-extract smell.
Alfa Lentebok 6.5% 16º Pale bock. Seasonal - Spring.
Every beer in this style is crap.
Alfa Bokbier 6.5% 16º Dark bock. Seasonal - Autumn. Thin and caramelly, but with some redeeming malt bitterness.
Colour 60 EBC; bitterness 24 EBU.
Alfa Super Dortmunder 7.5%   Pale lager. Lagered for two months.
Grass, hop and vanilla aroma; sweet/bitter taste with honey, vanilla, hop, apple and butter aromas; very bitter finish with grass, hop and butter aromas.
An interesting beer that is surprisingly bitter. It has the trademark Alfa butteriness. I'm not sure about the Dortmunder bit - it's more like a strong pale bock. They should sell it as a Meibock - it's much truer to that style than other Dutch attempts.
Alfa Midzomerbier 3.9%   Pale lager. Bottle-conditioned. Seasonal - Summer.  

Alfa Oud Bruin Alfa  Edel Pils Alfa  Super Dortmunder
Alfa  Lente Bok Alfa  Midzomer Bier Alfa  Bokbier

Owned by the Meens family. The beers are all brewed with water from a spring. That's why the bottles are numbered - they're only allowed to use a certain quantity of the spring water each year.

One of the few remaining long-established independent lager breweries.

Amstel Brouwerij
(See Heineken)

Beer alc Plato Description score (100)
Amstel Pilsener 5% 11.2° Pils. Vegetable aromas, sweetish taste, musty finish with a hint of bitterness.
Bitterness 21 EBU, colour 9 EBC.
Amstel 1870 5% 12.2° Pils. Vanilla aroma, bittersweet taste, bitterish finish with some biscuity malt flavour. One of the better Dutch commercial pils (though that's not saying much).
Bitterness 26 EBU, colour 12 EBC.
Amstel Gold 7% 15.7° Pale lager. Wort, smoke and grass aromas; sweet taste with honey and herbal aromas; bitter finish with a tobacco and hop aroma.
Strangely herbally hoppy. Either my tastebuds have been destroyed or this beer keeps changing. Up from a low score of 31 on my last tasting. (Tasted 12.11.2004.)
Bitterness 29 EBU, colour 12 EBC.
Amstel Lentebock 6.5% 16° Pale bock. Seasonal - Spring. Sweet and uninteresting.
Bitterness 25 EBU, colour 18 EBC.
Amstel Herftsbock 7% 16-17° Dark bock. Seasonal - Autumn.
Fruit and expresso aromas; bittersweet taste with liquorice, dates and black toffee aromas; a long bitter finish with espresso, cream and burnt aromas.
Surprisingly good - probably the best traditional bottom-fermented bock. It has exactly the right blance of bitterness and sweetness for the style. Easily Heineken's best bottom-fermented beer.
2003: the beer is up to the high standard of previous years.
2004: still a bitter-sweet delight.
Bitterness 28 EBU, colour 70 EBC.
Amstel Light 3.5% 7.5º Pils.
Bitterness 18 EBU, colour 7 EBC.
Amstel Oud Bruin 2.5% 9.2° Dark Lager.
Toffee, raisin and metal aroma; very sweet taste with toffee and pear aromas; sweet finish with pear aroma. Pleasantly fruity aroma, OK in the mouth but very thin finish.
Bitterness 14 EBU, colour 120 EBC.

Amstel Pilsener Amstel  1870 Pilsener Amstel  Gold
Amstel  Herfstbock Amstel  Zomerbier Amstel  De Beproeving
Amstel  Bock

Part of Heineken. The Amstel brewery was closed in 1972 and demolished in 1985. Not a trace of it remains. Where is Amstel brewed - in Zoeterwoude and Den Bosch.

Amstel remains as a brand and seems to get the slightly better beers of the Heineken range. Amstel Herftsbock is the best bottom-fermented beer produced in Holland. You really should try it if you get the chance.

Bavaria Brouwerij
Burg. v.d. Heuvelstraat 35,
5737 BN Lieshout
Tel: 0499-428111
Fax: 0499-423451
Homepage: http://www.bavaria.nl

Founded: 1719
Annual production: 4,600,000 hl

Beer alc Description score (100)
Bavaria Pils 5% Pils.
Vegetable, smoke, cardboard and dusty aroma; sweetish/bitterish taste with smoke and celery aromas; bitterish finish with dust, sugar and cardboard aromas.
Vile stale hop aroma, thin in the mouth, disgusting hop extract finish. It tries very hard to be nasty and succeeds totally. The low quality of the raw materials shines through in every phase. I can't imagine that anyone can derive the slightest pleasure drinking this muck.
One of Holland's worst.
Bavaria Oud Bruin 3% Dark lager.  
Bavaria 8.6 8.6% Pale lager.
Grass and cardboard aroma; sweetish taste with a musty aroma; cardboard bitterish finish. Positively nasty.
(The version sold in France is, confusingly, only 7.9% alcohol.)
Bavaria 8.6 Red 7.9% Amber lager. For the French market only.  
Bavaria Hooghe Bock 6.5% (16.5º Plato) Dark bock. Seasonal - Autumn.
Metal, pear, caramel, cherry, toffee, sweet aroma; very sweet taste with cream, sourish, raisins; very sweet/bitterish taste with sugar and cream aromas.
Far too sweet. Without the 18 points for quite a good aroma, the score wouldn't look so clever. Still, a big improvement on their old Tarwebock. Top-fermented.
Bavaria Millenium Brew 5% Pale lager.  
Moreeke 5% Amber lager.
Horrible pasteurised boiled sweet aromas coupled with pear drops. Far too sweet and totally revolting.
Insipid bottom-fermented beer supposedly in the De Koninck/Palm niche. It's been moved to the La Trappe brewery so perhaps it is now top-fermented.

Bavaria Moreeke Bavaria 8.6 Bavaria Tarwe Bok
Bavaria Hooghe Bock Bavaria Pilsener Bier

Bavaria is the largest independent brewery in Holland and concentrates unashamedly on the bottom end of the market. The low quality raw materials they use are easy to spot in the taste of the beers. Tasting their beers is enough to make you appreciate Heineken.

They bought up and quickly closed the tiny Kroon brewery a few years back. More worryingly, they own Holland's only Trappist brewery, Koningshoeven. The Kroon brands they decided to keep are now brewed there.

In addition to their own crappy brands, they also contract brew low-quality beers sold under supermarket names. I've never had a beer from this brewery that wasn't total crap. Take my advice; don't waste your time trying their beers.

worldwide sales of Bavaria (hl)
year sales inside Holland sales outside Holland total sales
1999 1,900,000 2,100,000 4,000,000
2000 1,900,000 2,200,000 4,100,000
2001 1,900,000 2,200,000 4,100,000
2002 1,900,000 2,100,000 4,000,000
2003 2,000,000 2,300,000 4,300,000
Bavaria website

De Bekeerde Suster
Kloveniersburgwal 6-8,
1012 CT Amsterdam.
Tel: 020-6242778
Fax: 020-6393184
Homepage: http://www.beiaardgroep.nl/brouwerij/

Founded: 2004 (1992)
Annual production: 1000 hl

Beer alc Plato Description score (100)
Witte Ros 5%   Unfiltered witbier. I think they brew it here now.  
Blonde Ros 6% 14.9° Blond ale. Unfiltered.  
Bock Ros 6.5%   Dark, top-fermented bock. Unfiltered. Seasonal - Autumn.  

Brewpub. The original brewery, Maximilian, went bankrupt in 2002. Now owned by the Beiaard beer pub chain, brewing restarted in late 2004. They have taken over the chain's house beers, previously contract brewed. At least the Bock. I'm not sure about the Witte.

De Beyerd Brouwerij
Boschstraat 26,
4811 GH Breda.
Email: info@beyerd.nl
Homepage: http://www.beyerd.nl/

Founded: 2004
Annual production: hl

Beer alc Description score (100)
Drie Hoefijzers Klassiek 5% Blond ale.
Brewed in the Oranjeboom brewery in Breda between 1987 and 1993, when it was dropped in favour of Palm. Interbrew has given De Beyerd the original yeast and permission to use the name.
Beyerd Blond "Zeuven"   Blond ale.  
Beyerd Speciaal Tripel   Tripel.  
Beyerd Herfstbok   Dark bok. Seasonal - Autumn.  

Brewpub in beer café De Beyerd. They will continue Breda's brewing tradition when Interbrew close the Oranjeboom brewery in the town.

Brand Brouwerij
Brouwerijstraat 2-10,
6321 AG Wijlre,
Tel: 043-4508282,
Fax: 043-4501354
Email: info@brand.nl
Homepage: http://www.brand.nl

Founded: 1795
Annual production: 500,000 hl

Beer alc Plato Description score (100)
Brand Pilsener 5%   Pils.
Vegetable aroma, neutral taste, short bitter, musty finish. About standard for Holland, i.e. pretty bad.
Brand Urtyp Pilsener 5.5%   Pils. Bitterness 33 EBU, colour 7 EBC.
Hop, lemon and resinaroma; bitter/sweetish taste with wood, lemon, tobacco and vanilla aromas, bitter finish with tobacco, hop and tobacco aromas.
A nicely hoppy beer that is among the better Dutch beers in the pils style. The use of good-quality hops shines through. First brewed in 1952.
The recipe has supposedly changed recently. It seemed to have lost dome bitterness in the finish, though I haven't drunk it regularly enough to be able to say that for sure.
Brand Cuvée 5.5% 13º Pils. Top-fermenting. Bitterness 21 EBU, colour 12 EBC.
Tobacco, grass and butter aroma; bitter taste with tobacco, cream, butter and mint aromas; bitter finish with grass, wood and fruit aromas.
A "top-fermenting pils", as the label says. "Try the other pilseners from our collection." I was ready to hate this beer before I had even opened it. Actually, it's not bad. Doesn't particularly taste top-fermented, but it is nice and hoppy. Shame about the label.
Brand Oud Bruin 3.5%   Dark lager.  
Brand Meibock 6.5%   Pale bock. Seasonal - Spring.
Typical Dutch Meibock - too sweet and without any balancing bitterness. Seasonal - Spring. First brewed 1994.
Draught only.
Brand Dubbelbock 7.5% 18º Dark bock. Seasonal - Autumn.
Toffee and apple aroma; sweet taste with toffee, cream, fig and toast aromas; bitterish finish with caramel and fruit aromas.
The 2002 version was better than it had been for a while. Still too sweet, but not as ridiculously sweet as in some recent years.
Colour 65 EBC; bitterness 27 EBU.
Will this be brewed again? In 2003 it was draught only.
Brand Sylvester 7.5%   Seasonal - Winter. First brewed 1984, top-fermenting.
Draught only.
Brand Imperator 6.5%   Amber lager. First brewed 1949.
Caramel and pear aroma; sweet/bitterish taste with toffee, fruit and cream aromas; bitter finish with toffee and raisin aromas. Quite pleasant fruity, bittersweet beer. I'm not quite sure what style it's meant to be, but it's still one of Holland's better bottom-fermenting beers.
Draught only.

Brand Pilsener Brand  UP Brand  Imperator
Brand  Meibock Brand  Dubbelbock Brand  Sylvester

Bought by Heineken in 1989, but still run pretty much independently. All the beers still come its own brewery in the South of Holland and it retains its own house style. Heineken have shown some degree of commitment to keeping the plant open. After a serious fire in the late 1990's, considerable sums of money were invested to rebuild the brewery. But then again, you can never be sure with these multinationals, as the people at Ridder recently discovered.

The gradual paring down of Brand's bottled range is a cause for concern. After all, this is how it started with De Ridder. Next thing you know, the brewery is gone. What is it with multinational companies - why can't they help ruining any decent brewery they get their hands on? Surely they bought Brand for its good selection of bottom-fermenting beers? Now Heineken have turned it into another pils factory.

The quality of the individual beers varies greatly: the standard pils is worse than Heineken, Urtyp Pilsener is one of few decent Dutch beers in the pils style. When ordering a pils in one of their pubs, make absolutely sure which of the two you are getting.

Heineken uses Brand as its up-market brand (sorry about the awful pun) and is commonly found in its pubs which are striving for a classier image. In Amsterdam a reasonable number of cafés which have some sort of tie to Heineken take the Brand beers (Café Belgique is a good example).

Het Brouwcafé
Dr. Lelykade 28,
2583 CM Scheveningen
Tel: 070-3540970
Fax: 070-3548734
Email: hetbrouwcafe@proximedia.nl
Homepage: http://www.hetbrouwcafe.nl

Founded: 1996
Annual production: 400 hl

Beer alc Description
Frisse Wind 5.3% Golden ale.
Malle Mok 5.5% Amber ale.
Tripel 7% Tripel.
Voorjaarsvreugde   Seasonal - Spring.
Bokbier 7% Dark Bock. Seasonal - Autumn.
Winterverlangen   Seasonal - Winter.

Brewpub on the small harbourfront in Scheveningen. I found the beers technically good, though a little dull, when they first opened. The beers do seem to have acquired more character since.

Brouwers aan den Rijn
Koraalzwam 57,
2403 SR Alphen aan den Rijn.
Tel.: 06 – 27311474
Email: brouwers@rijn.nl

Founded: 2003
Annual production:

Beer alc Plato Description score (100)
Rijngoud 6.2%   Blond ale. Bottle-conditioned.  
Rijnaak 8%   Tripel. Bottle-conditioned.  

rijngoud label rijnaak label

Contract brewer. The beers are contract brewed.

Budels Brouwerij B.V.
Nieuwstraat 9,
Postbus 2026,
6020 AA Budel.
Tel. +31 (0)495 49 13 69
Fax +31 (0)495 49 51 25
Email info@budels.nl
Homepage: http://www.budels.nl/

Founded: 1870
Annual production: 20,000 hl

Beer alc Plato Description score (100)
Budels Oud Bruin 3.5%   Dark lager.  
Budels Biobeer 5%   Organic pils.  
Budels Pils 5%   Pils.
Piney hop aroma, bitterish/sweetish taste with some fruit, medium length bitterish finish.
Budels Batavier 5%   Amber ale.
Top-fermented. Disgusting stale hop character, lots of off flavours, medium length bitterish finish.
Budels Parel 6%   Kölsch.
Cabbage, metal and tobacco aroma; bitterish taste with tobacco, grass and milk aromas; bitter finish with herbal, tobacco and grass aromas.
Poor aroma, but OK in the mouth. Has a decent hop character. (Tasted 12.11.2004.)
Budels Alt 6%   Alt.
Rotten hop aroma and off cardboard flavours all the way through. Some pleasant malt flavours in the mouth but very thin finish.
Budels Meibock 6.5%   Pale bock. Seasonal - Spring.  
Budels Capucijn 6.5%   Abbey dubbel. Top-fermenting.
Candy, toast and chicory aroma; sweet taste with cream, biscuit and honey aromas; bitter finish with smoke, chicory and date aromas.
Quite a lot of malt bitterness, but only a touch of fruit. Good aroma, but a bit thin in the mouth.
Budels Bock 6.5% 17º Dark bock. Seasonal - Autumn.
Revolting stale smell with an underlying boiled sweet pasteurised taste. Horrible.
Colour 80 EBC; bitterness 35 EBU.
Budels Winterbier 7.5%   Strong dark ale. Top-fermented. Seasonal - Winter.
A pretty reasonable bittersweet beer.

Budels Alt Budels Batavier
Budels Capucijn Budels Pils
Budels  Bock Budels Meibock
Budels Parel Budels Winterbier
Budels Kikbock  

An independent lager brewery with an extensive range of products. I've never been too impressed with their bottom-fermenting beers. There are some good ones amongst the newer range of top-fermenting beers.

Burg Bierbrouwerij
Putterweg 45,
3851 GB Ermelo.
Tel: 0341-564934
Fax: 0341-559922

Founded: 1995
Annual production: 100 hl

Beer alc Description
Veluws Blond 5% Golden ale.
Burg Dubbel 7% Dubbel.
Gulle 8.5%  
Lente Spring bok 6.5% Pale bock. Seasonal - Spring.
Burg Bok 7% (16.5º Plato) Dark bock. Seasonal - Autumn.
Winterbier 8.5% Seasonal - Winter.

Tiny brewery attached to a beer shop and pub. The beers are available nowhere else, apart from the Arendsnest pub in Amsterdam.

Huisbrouwerij Cambrinus
Venrayseweg 94,
5961 AJ Horst.
Tel: 077 - 398 3009
Email: info@cafe-cambrinus.nl

Founded: 2002
Annual production: ? hl

Beer alc Description
Probatum 7%  

A brewery attached to one of Holland's top beer pubs. It uses an installation bought second hand from Brouwerij De Leckere. The beers are only available at the pub.

Opening times:
Fri-Sat 19:00 - 02:00,
Sun 14:00 - 24:00,
Wed, Tue, Thur closed

Dommelsch Brouwerij
Brouwerijplein 84,
5551 AE Valkenswaard/Dommelen
Tel: 040-2087911,
Fax: 040-2044385
Homepage: http://www.dommelsch.nl/

Founded: 1744
Annual production: 650,000 hl

Beer alc Description score (100)
Dommelsch Mild Beer 2.5% Pale lager.  
Dommelsch ICE 5% Frozen Pils. I-C-E is the big brewers' way of spelling C-R-A-P.
Basil and tobacco aroma; bitterish/sweetish taste with grass aroma; bitterish finish with a grass aroma.
Almost no trace of bitterness. In fact, very little flavour of any kind.
Dommelsch Pils 5% Pils.
Disgusting. Cardboard aroma, sweetish taste with vegetable flavours, short bitterish finish.
Dommelsch Bokbier Primeur 6.5% (16º Plato) Dark bock. Seasonal - Autumn.
Sugary apple aroma, sweet/bitterish taste, medium length bitterish/sweet finish with dried fruit flavours.
Colour 90 EBC; bitterness 33 EBU.
Dommelsch Oud Bruin 2% Dark lager.  
Dommelsch Dominator 6% Pale lager.  
Dommelsch Lentebier 6.5% Pale bock. Seasonal - Spring.  

Dommelsch Pilsener Dommelsch Dominator Dommelsch Oud Bruin
Dommelsch NA Dommelsch Bokbier Primeur Dommelsch Lentebier

Owned by Interbrew. Even before the closure of Oranjeboom was announced, Dommelsch was Interbrew's preferred brand in Holland. Their pils is remarkable for being particularly bad, even when compared to the pitifully low standard for such beers in Holland.

Even though Interbrew did choose it before the much larger Oranjeboom as its Dutch lager brewery, I can't see it having much of a long-term future. The gigantic Interbrew pils factory in Leuven is only a short lorry drive away, after all.

De 3 Horne Bierbrouwerij
Marktstraat 40,
5171 GP Kaatsheuvel.
Tel: 0416 - 275 272

Founded: 1990
Annual production: 400 hl

Beer alc Description
Score (100)
Dobbelaer 6% Dubbel.
A very pleasant, malty, sweetish beer with a nutty malt finish. Quite impressive - very clean and tasty. As good as most Belgian dubbels. Bottle-conditioned.
't Lempke 6% Amber ale. Bottle-conditioned.  
Horn's Wit 7% Witbier.
Orange, caramel and wheat aroma; neutral taste with caramel, toffee and coriander aromas; bitterish finish with toffee, coriander and orange. A strange wheat triple that is a bit unsubtle. Seemed to improve after a while in the glass, when the orange flavours developed.
Ingredients: pils malt, wheat flakes, orange peel and coriander. Bottle-conditioned.
Besselaer 7% Fruit beer with a pinkish pale amber colour.
Fruit, raspberry and blackcurrant aroma; sweeet taste with cherry and raspberry aromas; fruity finish with redcurranr and cherry aromas.
Made with real fruit and it has ery delicate forest fruit aromas. Drinks very light for its strength. Bottle-conditioned.
Wolluk's Drupke 7% Stout? Bottle-conditioned.
Liquorice, cream, toast, dates and burnt aroma; sweet/bitterish taste with liquorice, cherry, apple, biscuit and cream aromas; bitter finish with liquorice, coffee, black toffee, apple and date aromas.
Tastes like a strong stout - and a good one. Ingredients include liquorice root.
Kandinsky 8.3% Strong dark ale. Bottle-conditioned.
Caramel, dates, apple and malt aroma; sweetish taste with raisin and cream aromas; fruit, cream, wheat and toffee finish.
A beer brewed with wheat and dates. A rather pleasant and slightly unusual beer. Clean and with interesting fruit flavours.
Wiegeleir 8.7% Tripel.
Has a biscuity, bready aroma with lots of sweet malt in the mouth. The finish is sweetish with a touch of bitterness.
A well-made clean beer, but doesn't have quite enough bitterness to balance out all the malt. Bottle-conditioned.
Zondebock 7% Pale bock. Seasonal - Summer. Bottle-conditioned.  
Horn's Meibock 7% (16º Plato) Pale bock. Seasonal - Spring.
Hop, sherbert, citrus and pepper aroma; sweet/bitter taste with caramel, hop and pepper aromas; bitter/sweetish finish with citrus, pepper and caramel aromas.
A well-hopped beer that balances sweetness and bitterness well. Dutch brewers finally seem to be getting the hang of this style.
Top fermenting and unfiltered.
Horn's Bock 7% Dark bock. Seasonal - Autumn.
Chicory and burnt aroma; sweet taste with toast raisins and honey aromas; sweet finish with coffee, caramel and toffee.
Not enough balancing bitterness - to caramelly sweet all the way through.

De Drie Horne Horn's Wit De Drie Horne Dobbelaer
De Drie Horne Kandinsky Bier De Drie Horne Wiggeleir
De Drie Horne Horn's Bock  

A microbrewery that does lots of contract brewing, as well as producing its own beers. One of the better new breweries in terms of technical quality.

Brouwerij de Drie Kruizen
Postbus 5921,
3273 ZG Westmaas.
Tel: (0186) 57 32 39
Fax: (0186) 57 41 90
Homepage: http://www.3kruizen.nl/

Founded: 1991
Annual production: 1,000 hl

Beer alc Description
Karthuizer Dubbel 6.5% Dubbel. Bottle-conditioned.
Karthuizer Tripel 8% Tripel. Bottle-conditioned.
Karthuizer Ipso Facto 10% Barley wine. Bottle-conditioned.
Karthuizer Winterbier 9.8% Top-fermented. Seasonal - Winter. Bottle-conditioned.
Hooibier 6% Golden, top-fermented beer. Bottle-conditioned.
Hoekschewaards Gerstebier 6.5% Dark, top-fermented beer. Bottle-conditioned.

karthuizer winterbier koornbeurs wit

Contract brewer. Has its beers contract brewed at Brouwerij Deca in Vleteren in Belgium.

Amersfoortsche Bierbrouwerij De Drie Ringen
Kleine Spui 18 3811 BE Amersfoort.
Tel: 033 4656575
Fax 033 - 4652161
Homepage: http://www.dedrieringen.nl
Email: info@dedrieringen.nl

Founded: 1989
Annual production: 1,250 hl

Beer alc Description score (100)
Amersfoorts Blond 5% Kölsch.
Tobacco, vanilla and perfume aroma; sweetish taste with vanilla, butter and smoke aromas; bitterish finish with tobacco and grass aromas.
A good hop aroma, but very thin in the mouth. Too light, for my taste, and could do with more bitterness. (Tasted 12.11.2004.) Tasted blind and my comments reflect this. Pale, light , sweetish with a hoppy smell - my definition of a commercial Kölsch.
Vuurvogel 8.5% Abbey beer.  
Drie Ringen Tripel 8.5% Tripel. Top-fermenting, bottle-condtioned.  
Amersfoorts Wit 5.5% Witbier. Seasonal - Summer.  
Drie Ringen Bokbier 6.5% (15.9º Plato) Dark bock. Seasonal - Autumn.
Coriander, orange, ginger and biscuit aromas; sweet taste with orange caramel and toffee aromas; bitter finish with fruit, coriander and spice aromas. Very complex spice and malt aromas, with a nice bitter orange note. Unusual and distinctive.
Drie Ringen Lentebier 5.5% Amber ale. Seasonal - Spring.  

amersfoorts blond amersfoorts wit
amersfoorts meibok amersfoorts bokbier

A micro that produces quite commercial beers. They have had a habit of filtering some of their weaker beers, something that I have always thought a pretty pointless thing for a new small brewery to do.

It has a beautiful location in the centre of Amersfoort's old town. There is a small brewery tap, where there are a couple of tables crammed in between the front door and all the brewing equipment.

EleganT Brouwerij
Tijmtuin 1,
2353 PH Leiderdorp.
Tel.: 071 - 541 37 15
Email: brouwerij@elegantbier.nl
Homepage: http://www.elegantbier.nl/index2.html

Founded: 1996
Annual production: 70 hl

Beer alc Description score (100)
Springmeid   Seasonal - Spring. Unfiltered and unpasteurised.
Blondje van de eerste liefdesnacht   Seasonal - Summer. Unfiltered and unpasteurised.  
Bruintje 8% Seasonal - Autumn. Unfiltered and unpasteurised.
Dates and caramel aroma; sourish/sweetish taste with grapes and biscuit aromas; bitterish finish with caramel aroma.
Going sour and pretty caramelly. Poor.
Winterprinses   Seasonal - Winter. Unfiltered and unpasteurised.

A tiny brewery with no distribution - if you want to try their beer, you have to go and fetch it yourself.

Bierbrouwerij - Grand Café Emelisse
Stadspolder 1,
4493 PA Kamperland.
Tel : 0113 - 370 262
Email : brouwerij@emelisse.nl

Founded: 2005
Annual production:

Beer alc Plato Description score (100)
Emelisse Witbier 5%   Witbier.  
Emelisse Kersenbier     Cherry beer.  
Emelisse Dubbel Abdijbier 6.5%   Unfiltered Abbey Dubbel.
Cloudy dark brown colour, with a pael tan head; lemon, cream, candy and and prune aroma; sweetish taste with cherry, toffee and molk aromas; Bitterish finish with cream, yeast and caramel aromas.
An alright beer. Bit like a lightly-hopped Burton rtather than a Dubbel. Sweetish, inoffensive with a minimal hop presence. The sort of beer ouitsiders think typpifies Dutch ales. I don't mind it, but it does the reputation of Dutch microes no favours.
Tasted 02/07/2006.

Microbrewery. First started having beers contract-brewed in 1999 at De Halve Maan and de Scheldebrouwerij. The malt is provided by local farmers with whom the brewery has contracts.

There is also a sampling room on the premises.

Den Engel Bierbrouwers
Herbenusstraat 109,
6211 RC Maastricht.
Email: info@mestreechsblont.nl
Homepage: http://www.denengel.nl

Founded: 2000
Annual production: ?

Beer alc Description score (100)
Mestreechs Blónt 5% Unfiltered, golden, spiced ale. Brewed to a recipe from 1674 using 15 spices.
Spicy lemon/ginger aroma; bitterish taste with coriander and ginger; ginger bitterish finish. A very pleasant spiced beer with a distinctive ginger taste.
Double Saison de Liège 6.5% Saison. A recreation of a beer from Maastricht's De Keyzer brewery, which closed in 1970. It originated in a Belgian subsidiary of De Keyzer (which is how come a Dutch brewery was brewing such a Belgian style).
Biscuit, toffee, spice, grass and hop aromas; bitter/sweetish taste with biscuit and honey aromas; bitter finish with caramel, honey, cream and hop aromas.
A good bittersweet beer that tastes like a pale ale. A welcome addition to the Dutch beer world.

Mestreechs Blont

Currently being brewed at de Heeren van Beeck. it is planned to eventually brew in Maastricht, possibly in conjunction with De Keyzer, a brewery left untouched since its closure in 1970. I've been very impressed with the two beers produced so far.

An entity called Bierbrouwerij De Keyzer, has been established by the owners of Den Engel, Heeren van Beeck and those running the De Keyzer brewery museum. They plan to recreate more historic Maastricht beer styles.

Brouwerij Erve Kots
Eimersweg 4,
7137 HG Lievelde.
Tel.: 0544-371691
Fax: 0544-377676
Email: info@ervekots.nl
Homepage: http://www.ervekots.nl/

Founded: 1998
Annual production:1,000 hl

Beer alc Plato Description
Prins Frederik Hendrik Pils 5% 12º Pils.
Bokse Achterhoekse Landbier 5% 11.6º Amber lager.

Brewpub and museum.

Brouwerij de Fontein
Ondergenhousweg 15,
6171 GW Stein.
Tel. 046 – 426 28 58
Fax 046 – 426 28 59
e-mail: info@brouwerijdefontein.nl

Founded: 2006
Annual production:

Beer alc Plato Description score (100)
Steinder Wit 4.9%   Unfiltered Witbier. Flavoured with coriander and curacao peel.  
Euleteul 5.1%   Unfiltered Blond Ale. Brewed from barley, wheat, hop and elder.  
Kasteel Elsloo Amber 5.4%   Unfiltered Amber Ale. Only available in hotel-restaurant Kasteel Elsloo.  
iki Librije 5.5%   Unfiltered Amber Ale. Only available in Restaurant de Librije in Zwolle.  
Vlaamsche Reus Blond 6.1%   Unfiltered Blond Ale. Only available in the specialist beer pub Café De Vlaamsche Reus in Wageningen.  
Berckt Bier 6.5%   Unfiltered pale Brown Ale. Only available in Kasteel de Berckt, from whose grounds the hops come.  

Microbrewery. Located in an historic farmhouse comple, it opened in May 2006. In addition to its own two products, it offers "Bier-Op-Maat" - beers brewed for specific clients.

There's a sampling room that's open daiy between 10:00 and 22:00.

Grolsche Bierbrouwerij N.V.
Brouwerijstraat 1,
7523 XC Enschede.
Tel: 053-4833333
Fax: 053-4833100

Eibergseweg 10,
7141 CE Groenlo.
Tel: 0544-479111
Fax: 0544-461111
Homepage: http://www.grolsch.nl

Founded: 1615
Annual production: 3,404,000 hl (2004)

Beer alc Plato Description score (100)
Grolsch 2.5 Lemon 2.5%   Pale lager flavoured with lemon.  
Grolsch 2.5 Pink Grapefruit 2.5%   Pale lager flavoured with grapefruit.  
Grolsch Oud Bruin 2.5%   Dark lager.
Apple, toffee and wort aroma; very sweet taste with caramel, toffee, sugar and fruit aromas; short sugary finish with fruit and chicory aromas.
Very sweet, as to be expected from the style, but it could profit from at least a hint of hops somewhere. Just a bit too sugary, for me.
Grolsch 2.5 2.5%   Pale lager.
Grolsch Premium Blond 4.2%   Pils. Introduced in June 2005.  
Grolsch Premium Pilsner 5%   Pils.
Good smell of aroma hops and a pleasant spiciness in the finish. Only spoilt by a tad too much sweetness and slightly too prominent butter.
The best mass-produced Dutch pils by a mile. Bitterness 30 EBU. Unfortunately, since the move to the new brewery the beer has been pasteurised.
More than 90% of Grolsch beer sold in Holland is their pils.
Grolsch Zomergoud 5%   Golden ale. Seasonal - Summer. Brewed with elderflowers and lime-tree blossom.
Coriander, basil, grass and flower aroma; sweetish taste with fruit, hop and lemon aromas; bitterish herbal finish. A very light herbal beer. Quite bland.
Grolsch Premium Weizen 5.5%   Unfiltered pale wheat beer.
Hazy golden colour, thin fine-beaded head; orange, cloves and basil aromas; sweetish taste with cloves and orange aromas; bitterish finish with wheat, honey and cloves aromas.
A reasonable go at a hefeweizen. Has more authentic spiciness than Erdinger does nowadays. Maybe a touch too much authentic character for the Dutrch market. I would like to be proved wrong.
Introduced 2006. Tasted 12.05.2006.
Grolsch Herfstbok 6.5% 16.5º Dark bock. Seasonal - Autumn.
Toffee, caramel and celery aroma; very sweet taste with sugar and toffee aromas; very sweet, sugary finish. Ridiculously sweet.
Colour 70 EBC; bitterness 30 EBU.
Has almost 50% of the Dutch bokbier market.
Grolsch Lentebok 6.5% 15.6º Pale bock. Seasonal - Spring.
Tobacco, honey and cardboard aroma; very sweet taste with sugar, hop and honey aromas; sweet finish with sugar, sugar and suagar aromas.
Like sugar solution with added hop aroma. Terrible, totally lacking balancing bittereness and, even worse, tasting like it's been artificiallt sweetened. The ingredients, ominously, include "sugars". So sweet it's likely to make your teeth ache after the first sip.
All the Dutch beers in this style are crap.
Grolsch Noaber 6.9%   Amber ale. Spiced with liquorice. Top fermented.  
Grolsch Wintervorst 7.5%   Dark, spiced beer. Seasonal - Winter.
Het Kanon 11.6%   Pale lager.
Fruit, wood and alcohol aroma; sweet/bitterish taste with raisins and honey aromas; bitter finish with cream, caramel and wood aromas.
Alcoholic and unsubtle. I'm not sure what style it's supposed to be.
Amsterdam Explorator 6.8%   Pale lager.
Brewed for the French market.
Amsterdam Navigator 8.4%   Pale lager.
Brewed for the French market.
Amsterdam Maximator 11.6%   Brewed for the French market.  

grolsch 2.5 lemon grolsch amber grolsch pilsner
grolsch oud bruin grolsch meibok grolsch herfst bok
grolsch winter vorst    

The company used to operate two breweries in the east of Holland, one in Groenlo (from which the name Grolsch derives) and one Enschede (which was badly damaged by the firework explosion). A single, new site at Boeklo (just outside Enschede) was opened in 2004. When this is fully commissioned, the other two will close.

They regularly brew one-off beers, sometimes packaged in larger versions of their famous swing-top bottles. Sadly, most of these beers have been pale yellow, not very disctinctive nor in any particular style. Grolsch Amber, a Belgian-style ale at least as good as any of its rivals from south of the border, was unfortunately dropped in 2002. More recent develoments in the product line have been low-strength fruit-flavoured beers. Sorry, but I haven't been able to force myself try any of them yet (despite knowing the bloke fronting their Dutch TV ads). Another range of alcopops - Zinniz - was no great success.

Grolsch has in the past dabbled (not too successfully) in foreign takeovers. It doesn't seem to know whether it wants to be a serious European player or a just a big fish in the relatively small Dutch pond. The vast majority of Grolsch's foreign sales are in the UK, where its has a joint venture with Coors (51% Grolsch, 49% Coors). In 2004, about 50% of Grolsch sales were in its home (Dutch) market, 33% in the UK and 17% in the rest of the world.

worldwide sales
year total volume (hl) sales outside Holland
1999 2,920,000  
2000 2,910,000  
2001 3,090,000  
2002 3,270,000 1,500,000
2003 3,370,000 1,700,000 (UK 1,000,000)
2004 3,404,000 1,700,000
Grolsch website

Groningse Stadsbrouwerij
Postbus 5091,
9700 GB Groningen.
Tel.: 050-3184816
Fax: 050-3134658
Email: verkoop@grunn-speciaalbier.nl
Homepage: http://www.grunn-speciaalbier.nl/

Founded: 2000
Annual production: ?

Beer alc Description score (100)
Grunn Blond 5% Golden ale. Bottle-conditioned.
Vanilla, flowers and perfume aroma; sweetish/bitterish taste with malt and caramel aromas; bitter finish with elderflower, wood and resin aromas.
A "top-fermenting pils" - a style that seems all the rage currently.A slightly odd, perfumey beer. A bit flat, too.
Grunn Hoagelwit 5% Wheat beer. Bottle-conditioned.
Flowers, lemon, wheat and grass aroma; bitterish taste with wheat, elderflower, butter and pepper aromas; bitterish finish with butter, elderflower, hop and herbal aromas.
Unspiced wheat beer with subtle hopping. Supposedly Reinheitsgebot, but I won't hold that against it. Has definitely improved.
Huyne Hup Wit 5% Wheat beer. Bottle-conditioned.
Musty and grass aromas; bitterish/sweetish taste with lemon and hop aroma; bitter finish with hop aroma. An unspiced wheat beer that is far too hoppy for the style. Very similar to the Grunn Wit. I suspect that they are the same beer, but that the ones I tried were from different batches.
Huyne Hup Blond 5% Top-fermented "pils". Bottle-conditioned.  
Huyne Hup Amber 5.5% Amber ale. Bottle-conditioned. The same beer as Grunn Amber. 40
Grunn Rode Hoan Amber 5.5% Amber ale. Bottle-conditioned.
Fruit, yeast and dusty aroma; bitterish taste with toast, toffe and smoke aromas; bitter finish with burnt and pepper aromas.
Distinctively smoky - perhaps too much so. Uses roasted malt. Has improved since my last tasting.
Hail en Zegen 6% Spice and dust aroma; sweet/bitterish taste with toffee and cream aromas; bitterish finish with toffee, wheat, fruit and nut aromas.
I'm not sure what the idea of this beer is - an unspiced, amber wheat beer. A bit bland. No off-flavours, though.
Hunebed Bockbier 6.5% Dark bock. Bottle-conditioned.
sherbert aroma; sweetish/bitte/sourish taste with liquorice and fruit aromas; bitter finish with burnt, chicory and liquorice aromas. An oddly unbalanced beer that is very bitter in some places. Doesn't taste 100% clean. (2003 vintage)
Grunn Winterbier 7.5% Spiced ale. Seasonal - Winter. Bottle-conditioned. Contains coriander and curacao peel.
Caramel, apple, nut and fig aromas; sweet taste with caramel, dates, nuts and apple aromas; bitterish finish with cherry, caramel, cream and pepper aromas.
A pleasantly thick and creamy strong ale. Lots of complex fruit and malt flavours.
Grunn Bock 7.5% (20.5º Plato) Dark bock. Seasonal - Autumn. Bottle-conditioned.
Colour 77 EBC; bitterness 32 EBU.
Cream, caramel and metal aroma; sweetish/bitterish taste with alcohol, cream, liquorice and herbal aromas; bitter finish with liquorice, cream and bread aromas.
OK, but a bit too creamy. (2003 vintage)
Grunn Dreidubbel 8.5% Tripel. Bottle-conditioned.
Biscuit, caramel, pear and dusty aroma; very sweet taste with honey and cream aromas; bitter finish with sugar, biscuit and hop aromas. OK, but a bit too sugary.

grunn dreidubbel grunn bock
grunn amber grunn blond
grunn winterbier grunn wit
huyne hup wit huyne hup amber
grunn hail en zegen

The beers were originally brewed at the Texelse Brouwerij. Since 2001 the beers have been brewed in Groningen.

B.V. Gulpener Bierbrouwerij
Rijksweg 16
6271 AE Gulpen.
tel. 043-4507575
fax 043-4507500
Email: info@gulpener.nl
Homepage: http://www.gulpener.nl/

Founded: 1825
Annual production: 130,000 hl

Beer alc Description score (100)
Gulpener Oud Bruin 3% Dark lager. Unpasteurised.  
Limburgs Land Pilsner 5% Pils. Brewed with malt from Limburg.  
Sjoes 4.5% A mixture of Pils and Oud Bruin.
Dates, candy and honey aroma: sweet taste with toffee and sugar aromas; sweet/bitterish finish with sugar aroma.
Very sweet and a bit thin. Interestingly, I tasted this in a blind tasting of boks and it didn't seem that out of place. It makes you wonder exactly how some of the bottom-fermenting boks are put together.
Château Neubourg 5% Pils. Unpasteurised. In a poncey blue bottle.  
Gulpener Pilsner 5% Pils. Unpasteurised.
Buttery aroma, sweetish taste. Has no hop aroma and only a very fleeting bitterness in the finish.
Gulpener Korenwolf 5% Witbier. Brewed from barley, wheat, spelt and rye. Unfiltered and unpasteurised. Korenwolf is the Dutch for hamster.
Orange, coriander, ginger, wheat and butter aroma; neutral taste with orange, ginger and butter aromas; spicy finish with orange, lemon, clove and butter aromas.
The best Dutch beer in the Belgian witbier style. It's not just me who thinks that - both PINT and Consumentenbond blind tastings picked it out. It has a good combination of citrus flavours.
Gulpener Korenwolf Lemon 2.5 2.5% Witbier with lemon.  
Bèr Saturator 6% A dark beer specially brewed for the Natuurhistorisch Museum in Maastricht. It's named after a 66 million year old fish fossil the museum has just acquired. First brewed in 2002.  
Mestreechs Aajt 3.5% Sour brown beer. Beer which has been spontaneously fermenting in oak barrels for approx. 12 months is mixed with young beer. Brewed since 1985. The only beer of its kind in Holland.
Acid, lactic acid, apple and clove aroma; sour/sweetish taste; with fruit, horse blanket; apple and cherry aromas; bitterish finish with sour and cherry aromas.
Like a Belgian sour brown ale, but weaker. Has a pleasant Lambiek-like Brettanomyces tang. Very complex for the strength.
Gerardus Wittems Kloosterbier Blond 6% Blond abbey beer. Top-fermenting. Named after the Redemptoristen monastary in Wittem, which brewed until 1952.
Elderflower and herbal aroma; sweetish/bitter taste with herbal, cream and honey aromas; bitter finish with herbal, hop and wood aromas.
Not as nasty as most beers in this style. Has a slightly coarse hop flavour, but is reasonable overall.
Gerardus Wittems Kloosterbier Dubbel 6% Abbey dubbel. Top-fermenting. Named after the Redemptoristen monastary in Wittem, which brewed until 1952.
Cherry, apple, grape and candy aroma; sweet/bitterish taste with treacle, dates and cream aromas; bitterish finish with herbal, chicory and cream aromas.
A sweet, fruity beer with some malt bitterness.
Gulpener Dort 6.5% Amber lager. Unpasteurised. First brewed in 1954.
Grape, pear and apple aroma: sweet taste with apple, caramel, grape and raisin aromas; bitterish taste with date and apple aromas.
A sweet, fruity lager that is very full-bodied. It's too strong, too dark and too fruity for a dortmunder, but so what? It's still a good beer. (If I were a style fascist I would have to score it about -20.) It's like an amber bock without the hops.
Gulpener Gladiator 10% Barley wine. Made in co-operation with Grolsch. Ingredients: barley malt, sugars and hops.
Hop, grape, basil and cream aroma; sweet/bitter taste with sugar, apple and hop aromas; bitter finish with hop and apple aromas.Heavy, bittersweet beer that is too sugary to be really good.

Witte Kerst   Seasonal - Winter. Unpasteurised. Brewed to a different recipe each year.  
Gulpener Herfstbock 6.5%
(16.5º Plato)
Dark bock. Seasonal - Autumn. Unpasteurised.
Biscuit and plum aromas; sweet taste with nuts and biscuit aromas; sweet finish with dried fruit, chocolate and plum aromas. A pleasant sweet and fruity beer.
Colour 18 EBC; bitterness 75 EBU.
Gulpener Lentebock 6.5% Pale bock. Seasonal - Spring. Unpasteurised. All the beers in this style are crap.  

gulpener pilsner gulpener korenwolf gulpener dort
gulpener gladiator gulpener gallus dageraad pilsner
gulpener bock gulpener witte kerst mestreechs aajt
gerardus wittems kloosterbier    

Gulpener is one of Holland's major regional breweries with an impressive array of products. It sometimes works in cooperation with Grolsch.

de Haagse Bierbrouwerij
Riviervismarkt 1,
2513 AM Den Haag.
Tel: 070 - 368 60 91
Fax: 070 - 365 93 25
Email: haagse.bierbrouwerij@tiscali.nl
Homepage: http://www.haagsebierbrouwerij.nl/

Founded: 2001
Annual production: 400 hl.

Beer alc Description score (100)
Fiddler Ale 5% Bitter. Cask-conditioned. Hopped with fuggles and east Kent goldings.
Hop, biscuit and pepper aroma; sweetish/bitterish taste with biscuit, caramel. hop, vanilla and pepperaromas; bitter finish with caramel and pepper aromas.
A reasonable beer, but with a shade too much caramel and insufficient hoppiness. (These comments would also apply to the majority ordinary bitters brewed in the UK.)
Fiddler Stout 5.6% Stout. Cask-conditioned.
Liquorice, cream and burnt aroma; sweetish/bitterish taste with black toffee, chocolate and liquorice aromas; bitter finish with malt, toffee, liquorice and pepper aromas.
An excellent strong-ish stout, somewhere between Guinness Extra Stout and FES. Good dark malt flavours. Very pleasant. You cans see a photo of my pint here.
Fiddler Pale Ale 4% IPA. Cask-conditioned.
Pale yellow in colour; tobacco, hop and flower aroma; sweetish/bitter taste with tobacco, malt and pepper aromas; very bitter finish with hop and tobacco aromas.
Very pale but packed with hops (a real hop packet?). Disturbingly correct for the style (it's between the American and British interpretations).
Fiddler Mild 4.4% Mild. Seasonal. Cask-conditioned.
I haven't tried this beer, but I think that I can safely say that it's the best mild brewed in Holland.

The successor to the Fiddler and Firkin brewery, which closed in 1999. The brewery and the Fiddler pub have now been split into separate businesses. The brewery re-opened in 2001.

It is unique in Holland, producing English-style cask-conditioned beers. Not only that, their ales are more than passable. Occasional cross-cultural artifacts, like cask-conditioned witbier, demonstrate how many possibilities remain untapped in the wide, wacky world of beer. We should definitely encourage them to keep experimenting. Where would we be now if Hoffmann had had no sense of adventure? No tales, that's for sure.

The beers were not available in the Florin and Firkin in Utrecht last time I visited.

Haerlemsche Bierbrouwerij B.V.
Kuppersweg 55,
2031 EA Haarlem
Tel: 023-5244607
Fax: 023-5245229
Email: haerlemsch@wxs.nl

Founded: 1995 CLOSED May 2004
Annual production: 100 hl.

Beer alc Description
Haerlemsch Barley Wine 12%  
Haerlemsch Old Ale 10%  
Haerlemsch Gemberbier 7% Ginger beer.
Haerlemsch Bitter Ale 8%  
Haerlemsch Herfst Bock 6.5% Dark bock. Seasonal - Winter.

haerlemsch bitter ale haerlemsch mede haerlemsch old ale

Tiny brewery with a very poor reputation for qualty. Every one of their beers I have tasted was infected. Avoid like the plague.

Brouwerij De Halve Maan
Absdaalseweg 2,
4561 GG Hulst
Tel: 0114 - 3010660
Fax: 0114 - 314339
Email: halvemaan@zeelandnet.nl
Homepage: http://www.halvemaan.com/

Founded: 1989
Annual production: 3,000 hl

Beer alc Description score (100)
Zeeuws Vlegel Bier 5% Organic beer. Bottle-conditioned.  
Zeeuwsche Witte 5% Witbier. Bottle-conditioned.  
Lazarus 6.5% Top-fermented. Ingredients: barley malt, hops, vanilla, honey, spices. Bottle-conditioned.
Orange, ginger, bread and coriander aroma; neutral taste with orange, coriander, biscuit and pepper aromas; bitter finish with ginger, orange, pepper and coriander aromas.
A rather pleasant spicy beer. (Tasted 15.12.04)
Dobbele Java 6.5% Dark spiced ale. Bottle-conditioned.
Ingredients: barley malt, wheat, candy sugar, Saaz and Brewer's Gold hops, coriander, curacao peel.
Cherry, caramel, cream and alcohol aroma; sweetish taste with chicory, dates and caramel aromas; bitter finish with toffee and hop aromas.
A hint of sourness and a bit rough. The aroma is the best bit. No trace of the spices listed on the label in the flavour. (Tasted 06.11.04)
Zeeuwse Tripel 8% Top-fermented tripel. Bottle-conditioned.  
Grof Geschut 8% Dark ale. Bottle-conditioned.
Boiled sweets, caramel, dates, apple and cream aroma; sweet taste with raisin, dates, cream and ginger aromas; bitterish finish with dates, cream, chicory and toast aromas.
A tasty, fruity beer. Very impressive, though I'm not sure of the exact style.
Zondebok 8%
(18º Plato)
Top-fermented dark bock. Seasonal - Autumn. Has varied greatly from year to year. Sometimes excellent, sometimes hopelessly infected.
Biscuit, bread, liquorice, grape and burnt aroma; sweet taste with fruit, malt, caramel and cream aromas; bitterish finish with raisin and liquorice. A quite pleasant combination of malt and fruit flavours. Technically clean. (2002 bock tasted).
Ingredients: barley malt, rye, Saaz and Brewer's Gold hops, laurel. Bottle-conditioned.
Colour 76 EBC; bitterness 33.4 EBU.

halve maan lazarus halve maan dobbele java
zeeuws vlegel-bier halve maan zondebok

A micro which has gone through several changes of ownership and beer ranges. Has alternated between the sublime and the ridiculous. It produced, sadly now well in the past, possibly the best Dutch beer I've ever had: Zeeuwsche Bruin, a sour brown beer in the Belgian style.

Brouwerij De Heeren van Beeck
Burgemeester Janssenstraat 26,
6191 JC Beek.
Tel: 046-4280414
Fax: 046-4280415
Homepage: http://www.heerenvanbeeck.nl/

Founded: 1998
Annual production: 500 hl

Beer alc Plato Description score (100)
Veldwachter 5.1% 13.4º Amber ale. Bottle-conditioned.
Toffee, apple, grape and malt aroma; sweetish taste with pear, toffee, malt and milk aromas; bitterish finish with malt, cream and sugar aromas. Overpoweringly fruity - it tastes too green. Also too sweet.
Bitterness 25 EBU, colour 27 EBC.
Rolduc abdij-bier 6.3%   Blond abbey beer.  
Klepperman Lentebock 7.3% 16.5º Pale bock. Seasonal - Spring.  
De Palfrenier Boeker Bok 6.5% 15.6º Dark Bock. Seasonal - Winter.  

A brewpub in a former disco. It has a pretty good record for beer quality. Martin Heyse, a retired brewer from Brand is in charge of brewing (no surprise about the quality, then). Since 2000, it has had its grain milled at a windmill in Genhout..(Yes, Tim Webb, you did misunderstand about the brewpub.)

They do some contract brewing.

Heineken Brouwerij
Burg. Smeetsweg 1,
2382 PH Zoeterwoude.
Tel: 071-5456111
Fax: 071-5415077

Rietveldenweg 37,
5222 AP 's-Hertogenbosch.
Tel: 073-6209911
Fax: 073-6209136

Head Office
2e Weteringplantsoen 21,
1017 ZD Amsterdam,
Tel: 020-5239239,
Fax: 020-6263503
Homepage: http://www.heineken.nl and http://www.heineken.com

Founded: 1874
Annual production: 15,000,000 hl

Beer alc Plato Description score (100)
Heineken Oud Bruin 2.5% 9-10° Dark lager.
Toffee and apple aroma; very sweet taste with apple and caramel aromas; fruity finish. Quite a pleasant fruity aroma. Very sweet in the mouth with almost no trace of hops. However, all that is perfectly acceptable for this style. Amazingly, it's one of Heineken's better regular beers.
Bitterness 14 EBU, colour 120 EBC.
Heineken Dark Lager 4.9%   Only available in the USA.  
Heineken Pils 5% 11.8° Holland's biggest selling pils. Not the worst, but still not very good. Amazingly enough, brewed to the Reinheitsgebot. Just shows what a guarantee of quality that is.
Citrus, celery and vegetable aromas; sweetish/bitterish taste with smoke and vegetable aromas; bitterish finish with celery and cardboard aromas.
Bitterness 23 EBU, colour 7 EBC.
Murphys Irish Red Beer 5%   Irish-style ale.
Biscuit, malt, cabbage and dusty aroma; sweetish taste with biscuit and malt aromas; bitter finish with hop, tobacco and smoke aromas.
Nothing like as bad as I had expected - only the aroma was a bit off. Tastes like there's some roasted malt in there. The label is extremely vague about where it's really brewed. "Traded by Murphy Brewery, Amsterdam" it says. I can't say I've ever noticed a brewery of that name in Amsterdam. It's actually brewed in one of Heineken's giant Dutch lager plants.
Wieckse Witte 5% 12° Witbier.
Bubble-gum flavoured muck. It wasn't a great beer when brewed in Maastricht. Since the move to Den Bosch quality has nosedived.
Wieckse Brut 5%   Witbier. Fermented with champagne yeast.
Sherbert, dust and celery aroma; sweet taste with grape and sugar aromas, fruity finish with grape and celery aromas.
A vile concoction that I guess is supposed to taste like champagne. It just tastes crap.
This beer has all the signs of a real stinker: clear glass bottle, silly concept, crap name. It doesn't disappoint. Why the hell do you want to ferment a 5% beer with champagne yeast? It makes no sense whatsoever.
Van Vollenhovens Stout 6% 16.1° Bottom-fermented stout. Named after an Amsterdam brewery bought by Heineken in 1941 and closed in 1960.
Bitterness 33 EBU, colour 180 EBC.
No longer brewed.
Heineken Tarwebock 6.5% 16.5° Dark wheat bock. Seasonal - Autumn.
Toffee, smoke and toast aromas; very sweet taste with raisin, toffee and sugar aromas; bittersweet finish with black toffee, honey and coffee aromas. Too sweet, with some off flavours. It was a much better (less sweet) beer when first introduced.
Bitterness 24 EBU, colour 60 EBC.
De Sleutel Bock 6.5%   Dark bock. Seasonal - Autumn. Slightly weaker version of Amstel Bock. Pretty good. Sleutel is named after a Dordrecht brewery closed by Heineken in 1968.
No longer brewed.
Hooiberg Bock 6.5%   Dark bock. Seasonal - Autumn. The same beer as Sleutel Bock. Hooiberg is named after Heineken's first brewery on the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal in Amsterdam.
No longer brewed.
2002 6.5%   Amber lager. Seasonal - Winter. Comes out in December each year. The name goes up by 1 each year. Has declined markedly in quality since its introduction.
No longer brewed.

heineken pilsener van vollenhoven's stout heineken kylian
hooiberg bokbier sleutel bokbier heineken tarwebok
heineken 1996 heineken 1998 heineken 2003

Where is Heineken brewed - in Zoeterwoude and Den Bosch, but not in Amsterdam. Heineken closed their original brewery in 1989 and replaced it (well most of it) with a crappy high-rise and a pointless square. Heineken's Amsterdam breweries are explained here.

Heineken is the second largest (it could be third or fourth largest now - these takeovers are going so fast a poor boy can't keep up) brewing company in the world. It has two breweries of its own in Holland (Den Bosch and Zoeterwoude) but closed its original Amsterdam brewery in the late 1980's. With the exception of the UK, all the Heineken sold throughout the world is brewed in Holland. 7 million hl are exported to the USA alone (that's more than the total exports to the States of all the German breweries put together!).

In Holland Heineken owns Brand and De Ridder (now closed). Elsewhere its subsidiaries include: Moretti (Italy), Zywiec (Poland), Murphy's (Ireland) and most of the Slovakian beer industry.

Heieneken sales by region (1,000 hl)
region 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Western Europe     40,700 43,700 42,242 44,727 43,494
Central & Eastern Europe     10,000 11,700 15,671 20,611 31,579
Total Europe 38,200 45,400 50,700 55,388 57,913 65,338 75,073
USA       5,500 6,200 6,130 6,400
North & South America 6,100 6,600 7,400 7,810 8,380 12,511 14,546
Africa & Middle East 7,700 8,800 9,200 9,899 10,558 12,706 13,483
Asia Pacific 6,200 7,000 7,500 7,837 7,997 8,413 9,526
Group sales 58,200 67,800 74,800 80,934 88,848 98.968 112,628
Associated company slaes (Kaiser Quilmes) 24,900 23,100 23,100 24,131 24,101 10,000 9,172
Total sales 83,100 90,900 97,900 105,065 108,949 108,968 121,800
Heineken annual report 2002
Heineken annual report 2003
Heineken annual report 2004

Heineken sales in Europe (hl)
country 2001 2002 2003 2004
Spain 10,000,000 10,400,000 10,800,000 10,700,000
Poland 7,600,000 8,400,000 9,400,000 10,300,000
Germany   4,500,000 8,000,000 7,700,000
France 7,800,000 7,500,000 7,400,000 7,100,000
Italy 5,700,000 5,700,000 6,000,000 5,900,000
Netherlands 6,500,000 6,300,000 6,000,000 5,900,000
Greece   3,700,000 3,400,000 3,300,000
Russia 2,300,000 2,800,000 3,300,000 4,700,000
Slovakia 2,100,000 2,200,000 2,100,000 1,800,000
Bulgaria   1,000,000 1,300,000 1,500,000
Ireland 1,100,000 1,200,000 1,100,000  
Austria     1,100,000 4,800,000
Hungary 516,000 486,000 800,000 2,000,000
Croatia     800,000  
Switzerland 760,000 760,000 800,000  
Romania     700,000 3,600,000
Macedonia   500,000 500,000  
Czech Republic     200,000 826,000
Heineken annual report 2002
Heineken annual report 2003
Heineken annual report 2004

Stadsbrouwerij de Hemel
Franseplaats 1,
6511 VS Nijmegen
Tel: 024-3606167,
Fax: 024-3608062

Founded: 1996
Annual production

Beer alc Plato Description score (100)
Luna 5%   Blond beer. Filtered.  
Godelief 5% 13.5º Amber beer.  
Serafijn 5% 13.5º Witbier.  
Helse Engel 8%   Tripel.  
Rooie Tiep Top 7.7% 17º Tripel.  
Nieuw Ligt 10% 23º Barley wine.  
Mariken 6% 14º Seasonal - Summer.  
Moenen Bok 7.7% 16.5º Dark bock. Seasonal - Winter.
Raisin, cream, biscuit and toffee aromas; bitterish taste with herbal, burnt, cream and grass aromas; bitter finish with herbal, resin and burnt aromas. Very bitter and quite tasty.
Gloeiende Gabriël 8.5%   Seasonal - Winter.  

Brewpub and museum. They also produce beer liqueurs, mustard, vinegar and marmalade.

Herbergbrouwerij Klokbier BV
Bataviaplein 150,
8242 PN Lelystad.
Tel: 0320 295 080
Email: info@klokbier.nl

Founded: 2006
Annual production: 1250 hl (2006 projected)

Beer alc Plato Description score (100)
Klokbier No. 1     Düsseldorf-style Altbier.  
Klokbier No. 3     Kölsch-style Blonde Ale.  
Klokbier No. 5     Bavarian-style beer. Naturally carbonated.  

Brewpub. Run by Patrick van Dam, graduate of TU München (Weihenstephan). Unsurprisingly, he brews German-style beers. They expect to sell about half their production in the brewpub, half in other outlets.

Hertog Jan Brouwerij
Kruisweg 44,
5944 EN Arcen,
tel: 077-4732427,
Fax: 077-4731297

Founded: 1915
Annual production: 50,000 hl

Beer alc Plato Description score (100)
Hertog Jan Pilsener 5%   Pils. Mouldy feet smell, reasonable bitterness but spoilt by rough cardboard hop aromas. On the edge of real unpleasantness. 24
Hertog Jan Primator 6%   Pils.
Perfume and tobacco aroma; sweetish/bitterish taste with tobacco aroma; bitterish finish with grass aroma.
A fairly inoffensive pils. (Tasted 02.11.04)
Hertog Jan Meibock 7% 18º Pale bock. Seasonal - Spring.
Hop, honey pepper and coriander aroma; sweet taste with sugar aroma; bitterish finish with sugar and hop aromas.
A reasonable aroma, with a fair bit of hop in it. In the mouth and the finish there is little else than sugary sweetness with the vaguest suggestion of bitterness.
Hertog Jan Bockbier 6.5% 16º Dark bock. Seasonal - Autumn.
Toffee and dried fruit aromas, sweetish taste, long bitter finish with more toffee.
The 2002 version was infected - the first time I've had an infected beer from such a large Dutch concern.
The 2004 version was also infected.
Colour 100 EBC; bitterness 23 EBU.
Hertog Jan Winterbier 9% 20º Ale. Seasonal - Winter.
Peach, basil and ginger aromas; sweet taste with sugar and caramel aromas; bitter finish with hop and caramel aromas. A rather sugary and harshly hopped strong beer.
Hertog Jan Oud Bruin 2%   Dark lager.  
Hertog Jan Grand Prestige 10% 23º Dark strong ale. Used to be the strongest beer brewed in Holland. Bottle-conditioned.
Caramel, liquorice, raisin and grape aroma; very sweet taste with raisin, toffee and apple aromas; bitterish finish with toffee, fruit and cream aromas. A big fruity dark strong ale.
Hertog Jan Tripel 8.5% 18.5º Tripel. Bottle-conditioned.
Lemon and vanilla aroma; sweetish/bitterish taste with grass and vanillaaromas; bitterish finish with grass and hoparomas. Very bland - tastes more like a strong pils. Has been considerably dumbed-down since my last tasting. (Tasted 07.11.04)
Hertog Jan Dubbel 7% 16.5º Dubbel. Bottle-conditioned.
Roasted malt and bread aromas, bitterish taste, long bitter finish with burnt and coffee flavours.
Rather bitter for a dubbel. (Tasted 06.11.04)
Hertog Jan Janneke 5.4% 12.7º Top-fermented amber beer.  
Elfde Gebod 7%   Golden ale. First brewed in 1991 at the Breda brewery of Oranjeboom. It moved to Arcen in 1994.
Pear and herbal aroma; sweetish taste with fruit aromas; bitterish finish with raisin and peach aromas. A fruity but quite bland beer.
Witte Raaf 5%   Witbier. Originally brewed by the Raaf microbrewery, until Oranjeboom bought them, basically to get hold of this witbier brand. It seems to have been pushed into the background since Interbrew took over, no doubt because it clashes with their Hoegaarden brand. I don't expect it will last much longer. 20
Hoogstpersoonlijk 5.65%   Top-fermenting beer brewed from pilsner malt.
Vanilla, flowers and grass aroma; sweetish/bitterish taste with pepper and grass aromas; bitterish finish with fruit, grass and butter aromas.
Has a reasonably hoppy aroma, but is sweetish overall. Pretty dull.
GvdB/003 Dilemna 6%   Blond ale. Filtered.
Tobacco, pepper, ginger and orange aroma; sweet/bitterish taste with fruit, pepper and candy aromas; bitter finish with pepper, wood and grass aromas.
A surprisingly good "experimental" beer. Drinkers can vote for either this or /009. Subtle use of quality aroma hops. The only drawback is it's a bit too sweet. God knows what style it is - there's no indication if it's top- or bottom-fermented.
GvdB/009 Dilemna 7.5%   Amber beer.
Mint, toast and pepper aroma; sweetish taste with candy, biscuit and grass aromas; bitterish finish with pepper and candy aromas.
A bland, sweetish beer that drinks well below its strength. I'll be depressed if this one gets the drinker's vote.

hertog jan pilsener hertog jan janneke hertog jan altforster alt
hertog jan dubbel hertog jan tripel hertog jan grand prestige
hertog jan meibock hertog jan bockbier hertog jan winterbier
het elfde gebod

This brewery has lived an exciting life in the last couple of decades. As part of Verenigde Bierbrouwerijen (Oranjeboom) it was threatened with closure, before a mangement buyout in 1981. There was a clause in the agreement which prevented them from brewing bottom-fermented beer and they developed a range of Belgian-style ales. Oranjeboom later bought the brewery back to get hold of its speciality brands, before selling it on to Interbrew in 1995. With Interbrew's purchase of Oranjeboom, the breweries were united for a third time.

There are rumours that at least some of the range is already being brewed at one of Interbrew's Belgian plants. Given Interbrew's track record with small ale breweries, I would be surprised if Hertog Jan lasted more than five years.

Stadsbrouwerij Heusden
Stadshaven 1,
5256 BA Heusden.
Tel.: 0416 - 660 039
@mail: th.loon@wxs.nl

Founded: 2003
Annual production:

Beer alc Plato Description score (100)
Kareltje Blond 5%   Blond ale.  
Kareltje Amber 5%   Amber ale.  
Kareltje Witbier 5%   Witbier.  


Bierbrouwerij Hoeksche Waard
Postbus 1559,
3260 BB Oud Beijerland.
Tel.: 0186-624904
Fax: 0186-614766
Email: hoekschewaard@hetnet.nl
Homepage : http://www.bierbrouwerij-hoekschewaard.nl

Founded: 1998
Annual production: ? hl

Beer alc Plato Description score (100)
Hoeksch Speciaal Bier 6.2% 14.9° Amber ale. Unfiltered and unpasteurised.
Blackberry and apple aroma; sweetish/bitterish taste with blackberry and malt aromas; bitterish finish with hop, smoke and yeast aromas. Weird blackberry-flavoured beer (there is no fruit in the recipe) that I'm not sure was meant to taste the way it does.
Hoeksch Eikenbier 6.5%   Dubbel. Unfiltered and unpasteurised.
Coriander and grass aroma; neutral taste with coriander, biscuit and hop aromas; bitterish finish with smoke, coriander and spice aromas. A strange beer with distinctly different flavours in each phase.
Ingredients: pils malt, cara malt, kleur malt and hops.
Hoeksch Bokbier 6.6% 16.6° Dark bock. Seasonal - Autumn. Unfiltered and unpasteurised.
Yeast, fruit, dusty and spice aroma; sweetish taste with malt, biscuit and apple aromas; bitter finish with fruit and caramel aromas. A slightly bland, malty beer.
Colour EBC 79, bitterness EBU 24.

hoeksch speciaalbier hoeksch eikenbier
hoeksch bokbier  

They currently brew their beers at De Proefbrouwerij in Lochristi in Belgium. The intention is to have their own brewery at some point in the future (that's what they all say).

Brouwerij De Hopper
Rijksweg 15,
6271 AB Gulpen .
Tel: 043 - 4503967
@mail: den.hopper@zonnet.nl

Founded: 1999
Annual production: 6 hl

Beer alc Description
Nog Eén    
De Gehopte Hopper 9.7% (20.5º Plato)  
N'n Platte Hopper 8.3% (18.5º Plato)  
'ne Watergeus 7.4% Geuze.

A tiny operation that has its beers contract-brewed at Drie Horne.

Gooische Bierbrouwerij De Horste
Middenweg 101b,
1394 AE Nederhorst den Berg.
Tel.: 0294-255704,
Fax: 0294-255768
Email: dehorste@planet.nl
Homepage:: http://www.de-gooische.nl

Founded: 1999 CLOSED 2001
Annual production: ? hl

Beer alc Description
Gooische lente 4,5% Seasonal - Spring.
Gooische zomer 5.5% Seasonal - Summer.
Gooische herfst 6% Seasonal - Autumn.
Gooische winter 7% Seasonal - Winter.
Witte kerst 5.5% Seasonal - Winter.
Allure 8% Tripel.
Prestige 9% Barley wine.
Gooische moordenaar 10% Strong ale. Named after a tram that was responsible for lots of fatal accidents.

A micro that exports most of its beer to the USA, Canada, Australia and Japan. The beers seem to be contract brewed in Belgium.

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Dutch breweries part 2

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This page was last updated 29.06.06

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