Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Pub of the day (part two)

Keeping my finger on Amsterdam's throbbing jugular is a fulltime occupation. My wife doesn't care that much for pubs. My kids even less (except when cheese or crisps are available). So you're about the only one I can tell about my new pub discoveries.

Today it isn't a new pub I'm going to talk about, but a pub reborn. A pub rising, thing-like out of that charred black substance you get when things, er, burn. God I'm eloquent today. But that's enough about me, let's get on with today's pub.

Last year I spent the best part of a day trekking almost to France to drink Rodenbach Foederbier in Roeselare. Seven hours of travel for 45 minutes of drinking. If I had waited a little, I wouldn't have needed to go to all that trouble. Foederbier is now available in Amsterdam. Along with Boon Oude Lambiek and unfiltered Palm.

Usually when a largish, ambitious brewery takes over a pub, you fear the worst. So imagine my surprise when Palm not only didn't bugger up Engelbewaarder, they actually made a serious imporovement to its beer selection. Well done Palm. There's something I never expected to say. But it's only fair. Providing these interesting beers and going to the trouble of installing a separate low-pressure nitrogen dispense system for them is to be applauded and admired.

  • Engelbewaarder used to be a beer café, so I remember reading. Well, it isn't any more. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it isn't worth visiting. Just don't expect a beer pub, OK?

    I was truly gob-smacked when I realised why I had never noticed this pub before: I had never walked down this bit of the canal before. It sounds crap doesn't it? "Not walked along this bit of city centre street, ha ha ha. How dare you report on Amsterdam, sir." It's a lot harder than you might imagine, tramping every single yard of pavement in this city. You try it.
    . . . more . . .


Knut Albert said...

I talked to the CEO of Palm earlier this year, and he told me of the plans they had for distributing the unpasteurized and unfiltered versions to a range of pubs/cafes. I am happy to see that this is now happening.
As far as I understood, this method of dispenisn is also very much a matter of keeping the ebeer cold enough. Not because it should be drunken too cold, but a few degrees too warm and you'd have the fermentation running wild.
Palm seem very committed to their range of beers, and they are also experimenting with lambic yeast cultures to make exciting new beers.

Ron Pattinson said...

It's heartening to seeee Palm's level of commitment to this method of dispense. The difference in taste between unfiltered Palm and the standard version is enormous.

Those who criticise CAMRA for insisting that foreign beer be served without CO2 top pressure should try both versions of Palm and see just how superior the unfiltered version is.

I wanted to highlighht the changes at Engelbewaarder mainly for selfish reasons. If enough visitors know about the Palm, Foederbier and Boon Lambic then hopefully enough will be sold to keep them on permanently.

Tim Webb said...

I was always told that Engelbewaarder was the very first of the "special beer" pubs in Amsterdam, predating Gollem and even the legendary and much lamented Laatste Ordeel.

Sadly it was before my time. I knew Gollem in the late Seventies but not the rest of Amsterdam till the early Eighties, by which time it had ceased to be.

Ron Pattinson said...

I had never visited Engelbewaarder until about five years ago. I'm not quite sure why, as I had known about it for years.

Its current incarnation as a sort of Palm tied house is quite interesting, especially the three nitro beers. It's a big improvement, but I wouldn't say it was quite a serious beer pub.