Day Three: Intro to Dutch Breweries – Jopen Brewery
Harpoon brewer Matt DeLuca (who recently brewed the 100 Barrel Series #40 Black IPA), along with 20 other Harpoon employees, is hanging out in Europe this week! He’ll be blogging about their experience in The Netherlands this week – so stay tuned!
There couldn’t have been a more perfect welcome to Amsterdam than the canal ride we took this morning. Embarking just across the street from our hotel was this long, pontoon-type boat where we all stood outside. Which was probably for the better…as long as you didn’t stand on the bench and get clipped by a rogue bridge. But in my opinion you got a better view, a couple friendly waves, and later on, a beautiful sunny day.
We visited our first brewery today – the Jopen Brewery in Haarlem. To say we had fun would be an incredible understatement. To start, we were all brought into a special bar/function room where our host, Tobias, gave us a crash course of a few of the house beers. We then sat down to an incredible dinner that was capped off with a lamb stew…each Harpooner can give you their own experience with that one. Ha! Jopen was pretty special for a few reasons…
One: It was the first brewery we visited here in Amsterdam.
Two:The entire group ran into a train snafu (because of a terrible crash the day before which shut down some major routes), so small groups were had to adapt to get there on their own.
Three: Half of us got on bikes and rode to the beach, something one usually doesn’t think of when traveling to Holland.
Four: the brewery itself was very impressive. An incredible copper brewhouse that sat like a king and queen above the brewery’s visitors.
Tomorrow we’re off to Brewery ‘t Ij in downtown Amsterdam. It’s in early hours and I need some sleep (and a shower).