Beers of May

May turned out to be an extremely beer-heavy month. The weather picked up in a couple of weekend, resulting in lots of barbecuing, and lots of beers to wash things down.

Going through my Untappd account, I found 44 unique beers for this overview. That also means there were some doubles, some that are not interesting at all and some I had so often before I don’t think I need to list them here.

Add to that that most of these beers are craft brews with higher ABVs, and it’s a miracle I never was drunk. Apparently I’m getting quite good at this ‘pacing oneself’ thing.

Also, you won’t find all of them in the list below. A lot of beers turn out okay, but are not the brews you remember a couple of weeks later.

Random ones

Peak Organic Brewing – Amber Ale
I had this only last Monday on a team outing. The reviews on Untappd aren’t awesome but I really enjoyed this malt-forward, yet crisp beer. Some nutty flavors too, but it’s all good. Highly recommended.

De Prael Scotch Ale
I’m not a huge fan of brouwerij De Prael, here in Amsterdam. Most of their beers are quite ‘middle of the road’ and when I poured this one, I knew I found another one. When I read ‘Scotch Ale’ I expect a brown beer. Very malty and big flavored. This is not the case. I would say it’s more a saison than anything else. Not brown, not big flavored, and the malt wasn’t as rich as it should be.

Struise XXX Rye Quad
Oh yes. Just Oh Yes. Great stuff, big flavors, big abv.

Estrella Damm Inedit by Gruppo Damm
This beer was brewed with Ferran Adria, of El Bulli fame. Shamefully, as with most chef-brewing combinations, they go for a beer that sits well with a lot of different kinds of food. The result is almost always a beer that’s quite boring, and middle of the road. This is one of them. (tip: Take a page from ‘t IJ and Ciel Blue’s book)

Broeder Jacob Double Port
I heard great things about this one. A Belgian Double, with Port wine added. Should be good. It’s not that awesome. A bit of a let down after all the hype around it (with my friends that is)

Gulpener Plato 18.25
A big brewer from the Netherlands that’s trying to get into the craft brewing scene by releasing some ‘special brews’. This strong lager (8%) with more hops added is one of their tries. It’s not overly successful. A nice drinker, but not one that’s worth the money.

Edge Brewing Cookie Euphoria
This should be an amber ale with oats, chocolate and vanilla. The result is a rather bland beer that’s also not very amber. Forgettable.

Jopen Don’t Rye This at Home
A massive 75% rye quad from the Haarlem brewers. It’s quite good, especially the flavor. The texture is somewhat lacking. It’s syrupy and a bit too sweet, with no carbonation whatsoever.

Tasty Lady Darkside Porter
My local bottle shop owner brewed this one with some friends. It just might be their best effort yet. Recommended if you can find it.

Konig Ludwig Hefe-weizen
Avoid this one. This is a shit weizen, even for supermarket standards. Erdinger it should be.

IPAs

So: warm weather, sun, barbecue, beer. That all means IPA to me. I had quite a few. Most were okay, but most IPAs are.

  • Kaapse Brouwers ‘Bea’: Better than average
  • Caldera ‘Hop Hash’: Better than average
  • Struise ‘Danko Power’: Better than average, for a session IPA
  • Fuck You Brewing ‘An Inferior Mirage’: Strangely salty, didn’t like this one at all.
  • Urthel ‘Hop It’: More a Belgian Triple with hops than an IPA, actually. Quite boring.
  • Emelisse ‘Black Ipa’: Better than average
  • Left Coast ‘Hop Juice’: Better than average
  • Bear Republic ‘Hop Rod Rye’: Better than average
  • St. Feullien ‘Belgian Coast IPA’: Average

Stouts

Even though the weather picked up on average, there was more than enough time for wintry beers.

  • Struise ‘Black Albert’: It doesn’t get much better than this.
  • HUB ‘Survival Stout’: Quite good for a low abv stout, but it was a bit thin.
  • Thornbridge ‘Eldon’: Bourbon barrel aged goodness. Very good, but not exceptional
  • Port Brewing ‘Old Viscosity’: This one’s great, but somehow I still expected more (based on ‘Older Viscosity’)

Geuze

I had two, of which the following is one. I forgot which one was the other one. Silly me. Boon Black Label is awesome by the way.

Ciders

  • Westons Cider ‘Old Rosie’: A classic, but still good. It does need to be really cold though.
  • Oedipus/Giel ‘Gedrooghopte Cider’: A truly great cider. I think this was a one of, unfortunately.

Scheldebrouwerij

Our go-to supermarket finally caught on to the craft beer hype that’s been passing them by for the last five years or so. But they did get some affordable beers in recently. Apart from these, which are all good but not great, they have more from ‘Texelse’, ‘t IJ’ and some others. A good development.

  • Scheldebrouwerij Dulle Griet
  • Scheldebrouwerij Oesterstout
  • Scheldebrouwerij Wildebok

Ootmarsummer Bierbrouwerij

I was in the area for a weekend and picked up some bottles from this brewery. While I applaud their approach, they at least do somewhat original beers, they results were quite average. I think I remember the Premium Dark being the best of the bunch.

  • Othmar Weizen
  • Othmar Dunkel
  • Ootmarsummer Bierbrouwerij Yellow Moon Premium Dark
  • Ootmarsummer Bierbrouwerij Yellow Moon Exclusive Blond

Beavertown

These were discounted at my local bottle shop a while ago, so I picked up one of each. While their IPAs are all quite nice, I think I liked the Rye and the Black Betty best.

  • Beavertown Neck Oil
  • Beavertown Quelle Saison
  • Beavertown 8-Ball Rye
  • Beavertown Gamma Ray
  • Beavertown Black Betty

So, strangely, with so many beers drunk in a month, not many would make an awesome pick for ‘beer of the month’. But, however I put it, there should be one.

So, my pick of the month is De Struise Brouwers’ Black Albert. It’s just plain awesome. Everything about it is good. In a way it’s ‘just’ an overpowered Stout, but it outshines practically everything you can compare it to.

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm a web developer at Emakina. I'm highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y. I like to listen to loads of music and read quite some books. I'm married to Anneke, have a daughter Ot, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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