Beer for the gods: Walhalla Craft Beer

There is a new brewery in town (Amsterdam) and its aim is not less than make beers for the gods in the heavenly-place of Walhalla. Founded in the beginning of 2016, Walhalla Craft Beer is already an integral part of the Amsterdam craft beer landscape. Walhalla is „heavens naughty nephew. Where the songs are merry, the beer flows, and the neighbors complain about the noise“.  Probably this is also the reason why all the beers of Walhalla have great-sounding names like Loki, Osiris, Shakti, and Wuldor – names of mythic gods.

Founder and brewer Aart van Bergen checks all the marks of a modern-day brewery founder: first inspired beer-geek, then enthusiastic homebrewer, and finally master of its own beerlable. Aart, trained jazz-musician, is a really good example of the people behind the current craft beer revolution.

However, what sets Aart and Walhalla apart from many other new breweries is their choice for the first beer they launched. For a lot of new and rising craft beer breweries, a Pale Ale or IPA is the first choice. Apparently lots of consumers and beer-fans associate this style as the archetype for craft beer. But, and I think very wisely, Aart decided to go a different path and started with a beer that definitely tastes as it was brewed for heaven: a Farmhouse Ale.

Since then, three more beers joined the Walhalla family. When asking Aart what beers will come next, he just smiles and says: I have a lot more ideas for beers to come. That sounds promising!

walhalla-beer

At the moment, Aart brews his beer as a guest-brewer at established breweries in Amsterdam. The dream of Walhalla is to have its own brewing facilities and small brewpub within two or so years.

If you want to try Walhalla beers, the easiest might be just to come to Amsterdam. A lot of pubs and bar in the Dutch capital list Walhalla on their beer menus. Also, you can buy it here in many of the good equipped beer shops (e.g. De Bierkoning). In addition, a growing number of shops and bars all over Holland serve the beers.

Finally, the probably best way to get to know Walhalla beers is by visiting a beer festival in Amsterdam or the rest of the Netherlands. Aart is very busy with visiting all these great beer fests and serve his beers. Trying a beer at a festival also gives you the opportunity to talk to the brewer and get to know more about the beer than just the taste. And isn’t this what craft beer is all about?

Walhalla Craft Beer
Havikslaan 24B
1021 EK Amsterdam

Website: walhallacraftbeer.nl

Walhalla Craft Beer Amsterdam on Facebook

Watch the video of Walhalla’s double IPA beer launch party:

Carnivale Brettanomyces 2016: Wild International Beer Festival

The legendary Beer King (De Bierkoning) in Amsterdam and the not less legendary beerbar In de Wildeman organize from June 23 until June 26, 2016 for the fifth time Carnivale Brettanomyces, an international beer festival dedicated to wild yeasts. With the help of the best beer venues in Amsterdam, they offer a comprehensive program with forty breweries from the Netherlands, Europe, and beyond. Exceptional at this festival are also more than twenty expert lectures about wild fermentation, ‚foodpairings‘, and a real forum with the leading brewers in this growing and fascinating sour beer niche. The goal is to get wild, spontaneous-fermented, and „sour beers‘ closer to the general public, as well as giving yeast a more important role in in beers as a driver for great taste.

Abnormally as standard
During the four days of the festival, not just any given beer is of interest, but everything is focused on beers with different yeasts and bacteria. No lean and cultivated yeasts are in the center, but raw organisms, which are hard to tame by the brewer and but big and surprising taste. Brettanomyces is one of them, as the festival name suggests, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus are two others. Beers with Brettanomyces will mainly feature more earthly, dry taste, the other two provide herb and bitter flavours. These yeasts and bacteria are indispensable in Geuze lambic, Flemish red and in the better-known Orval. But they actually can be combined with almost any style of beer. Despite some unruly characteristics in the brewing process, these deviant creatures have a growing popularity worldwide and so you can enjoy this year hundreds of beers from forty breweries from ten different countries.

Unique formula 
Unlike virtually any other beer festival, there is no central festival area at Carnivale Brettanomyces. All activities take place at six locations in Amsterdam. The opening and closing is done by Oedipus Brewing. Friday and Saturday the Beer King, In de Wildeman, Brouwerij De Prael, ‚t Arendsnest and American beerbar, The BeerTemple open their doors to all lovers of wild and sour beer. The Walloon Church will function these days as a restaurant with different food pairings.

Lectures
As in previous editions, the gathered (sour) beer knowledge will be used again. This year, twenty lectures will be offered, with topics ranging from „Brettanomyces for dummies“ to treatises on biochemical level on the same subject. There are also a number of speakers covering the cultural and historical aspect of sour beers.

Forum
To open the festival proper, two leading brewers will engage in discussion in form of a forum. Chad Yakobson, brewer and founder of Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project Denver and the author of ‚The Brettanomyces Project’. He approached his yeast and brewing in a scientific way. This contrasts with Brewmaster Jean van Roy from Cantillon in Brussels, who is not easily intimidated when it comes to knowledge about wild fermentation, which he has learned purely from experience and was inherited from father to son in the more than hundred years old brewery in Brussels. With these two speakers on Thursday night, one can enjoying two examples of what binds them together and what makes them special.

Breweries at Carnivale Brettanomyces 2016:

Home brewers at Carnivale Brettanomyces 2016:

Visitor information

The festival will take place all over Amsterdam from 23 till 26.06. The lectures require a ticket, which can be purchased online (here).

A detailed festival calendar can be found on the website of the festival or here as a google calendar.

Locations

  • Bierkoning
  • In de Wildeman
  • Arendsnest
  • Beertemple
  • Brouwerij Oedipus
  • Brouwerij de Prael
  • De Waalse kerk

Website: wildegist.nl

For more information, check our Interview with wild-yeast mastermind Jan!

Foto: Wildegist/ Arjan de Rooij