New look for Grolsch

Co-created with urban creatives to underline its heritage of being Unconventional by Tradition, Grolsch introduced the new packaging design for its premium lager for export markets. The new design represents Grolsch “heritage of unconventional thinking, delivered with a more contemporary and fresh feel”. Grolsch celebrated the introduction at the very first (un)Convention, where global creatives and influencers joined in a celebration of ‘Unconventional by Tradition’. Creativity and art were brought together to inspire and illustrate how creative thinking can fuel progress, using leading edge examples from around the world, including the latest additions to Grolsch’ longstanding tradition of unconventional thinking.

Grolsch introduces a new, contemporary look that prepares the brand for the future whilst preserving important elements from its past. The heritage of unconventional thinking that is seen in the beers’ two hop recipe and the iconic swingtop bottle, is now delivered in a more contemporary and clear manner than ever before.

This heritage started more than 400 years ago, when brewmaster Pieter Kuiper challenged convention in the traditional world of beer by using not one but two types of hops; Magnum for taste and Emerald for aroma. The tradition was continued by brewery owner Theo de Groen who created the distinctive Swingtop bottle, because ‘his special beer deserved a special bottle’, offering a better experience on opening through the unique ‘Pop’-sound.

Ronald van Amerongen, Head of Grolsch global brand: “The new packaging design that we launch today is setting up Grolsch to continue its successful international expansion in the years ahead”.

A few markets have already seen the new design appear on shelf and it will now gradually be rolled out across all markets around the world.

How do you like the new look?

Brouwerij t’IJ Summer Wheat Ale

Brouwerij t’IJ is one of Amsterdam’s most well-known and popular breweries. Over more than 30 years, it is brewing traditional Dutch as well as international styles of beer. The brewery, which is beautifully located next to a Dutch windmill, was in the news last year as it got a huge investment by Belgium Duvel-Moortgat.

tij-summer-wheat-glas_hopfenliebe

The Summer Wheat Ale is a wheat ale style with an extra portion of hops – at least roughly speaking. The style is comparable to the well-known Schneider Weisse Meine Hopfenweisse, a great combination of refreshing wheat ale and fruity-bitter hops which one normally know from styles like IPA.

Het IJ’s Summer Wheat is a American Wheat Ale style with dry-hopping. The hops in this beer are Amarillo and Mosaic.

tij-summer-wheat_hopfenliebe

A beer like this is great for a warm summer day, where one want something refreshing but still some fruity bitter hops. Speaking of fruity hops, this beer has some nice citrus-flavours, but is also quite dry and bitter. The fruitiness therefore does not end up in a sweet and full beer, but in something you immediately want another sip after you drunken one.

Beer Facts: Brouwerij t’IJ Summer Wheat Ale

  • Color: light, shiny, yellow, white head
  • Nose: fruits, light fruits, spicy
  • Taste: bitter, pepper, dry, green paprika, lemon, grapefruits, kumquats
  • Alcohol: 5.6%
  • Drinking temperature: 6 – 8 degrees Celsius

 

 

Interview about the Carnivale Brettanomyces Wild Yeast Festival 2016

We asked the founder, organiser, and wild yeast mastermind Jan Lemmens some questions about the Carnivale Brettanomyces.

Hi Jan, you organize the Carnivale Brettanomyces now for the fifth time. This time with more the 40 brewers and even more events. Did you imagine such a dimension 5 years ago?

Nope, but we could have know having the time on our side. As we noticed a growing number of beers around us using brett or other deviant fermenters, the idea was to give these a stage and promote them, as in, we wanted more of them. As every where the ‘craft beer revolution’ had slowly started in the Netherlands already too, bringing an new open minded audience and brewers. So we could have known, but we where naive.

Why call it Carnivale?

Despite the rather serious formula of the fest, with lectures, aiming for sharing knowledge, beer is a social and fun thing. We love having the nerds hanging around smelling their beer to identify the exact type of yeast used, we might even do that ourselves, but beer is fun too. A social lubricant and a delicious nectar. Besides that, we are (where perhaps) the beer festival of the uncommon beers. I think ‘Carnivale’ covers that wicked and jolly side of the event.

Is the festival just for beer geeks that already know sour beers and like them? Or can also somebody who hasn’t yet been in contact with spontaneous fermented brews have a good time at the Carnivale?

Everyone can have a good time at the festival. There is a lot of beer to taste, to drink. As our topic is yeast, styles can vary from lambic to imperial stout. As long as you are willing to leave your possibly prejudiced idea of what a beer should at home this is a great festival to be positively surprised of. And brettheads are nice people to hang out with. Really.

Carnivale Brettanomyces is a special festival not just because it is exclusively about sour beers, but also it takes place over 4 days at different locations. Can you describe a bit how the Brett Fest is different from other beer festivals in the way the visitor experiences these days?

In one way the fest is a pub crawl. There is no central location, no one has to buy a ticket to get in, there is simply a lot of specific beers at several places. With having little and bigger events like tap takeovers, the crowd can move from place to place to catch some of that fun. And someone who was just going out for a beer will find him or herself in an unexpected vibe, hopefully for the better.
The other side is the lectures we do. Slowly we see other festivals offering masterclasses, crash courses etc. too. Something we endorse. Despite the fun beer ansich is already, many of us like to know something more. By trying to get a broad spectrum of the best speakers we can offer a unique opportunity to listen and discuss with often the high end authorities on the topic. These lectures vary from historical to cultural to hardcore nerdy biochemistry. Honestly, we’ve been surprised with the enthusiasm these have been received. There is a whole world out there who likes to know a lot about their favorite drink.

There will be a lot of knowledge about wild yeast and probably lots of beers to try. What is your recommendation for the visitors to experience the most at the festival?

Al breweries and speakers are handpicked, we’re a craft festival 😉 Personally I’m very happy to finally having Chad Yakobson from the Crooked Stave Artisan brewery over. He is one you could refer to as Mister Brett. His work on the Brettanomyces project is groundbreaking. Having him doing a public discussion with Jean van Roy, Brewer at Cantillon is a dream coming true. Yvan De Baets, founder of De La Senne brwery in Brussels intrigued me for a long time too, because his comprehensive knowledge on the history of Saisons. And Sahtipaja, a brewer in Sweden has proven last year to make outstanding berliner weisses. But it really does not do right to the other speakers and breweries. They are all here for a reason ,they all have proven to be among the best.

If one can only visit three events during the Carnivale, which would you recommend? 

Do not miss the opening with, as mentioned above, Chad Yakobson and Jean van Roy. In discussion. I should mention we found Daniel Shelton from the Shelton Brothers, an American importer, to do the moderation. These guys imported Lambic to the states and possibly avoided a bankruptcy from Cantillon by doing so. Not that they could sell it in the states, it was pure passion. The world had to know. Now, the world does know. Cantillon is one of the most sought after beers in (and outside) the USA.
There is Raf Meert, blogger at lambik1801, who claims a whole different history of lambic than the public opinion tells us. He does a lecture about this on Saturday.
And then the foodpairings, a 6 course dinner at De Waalse kerk, with goat meat in every single dish. It is more than a gimmick, it is a savoury carnivale.

 

For more information about the Carnivale Brettanomyces, check out article with all you need to know!

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

Buy now your Borefts 2016 ticket!

Although there is still some time till the weekend 23 and 24 in September, you should already buy your Borefts 2016 tickets now!

The legendary beer festival will again take place at the Brouwerij De Molen in Bodegraven/Netherlands. We do not know a lot about this years edition besides the date and that De Molen will bring some awesome beers, but we know that this years festival will have no ticket counter on the festival day. This means if you want to join one of the world’s best beer festivals, you have to buy your ticket online. Additional, the tickets are limited to 3500 per day.

Therefore, be quick and buy your ticket fast.

If you plan to travel to Borefts this year, let me know and we meet for a beer!