Wines (and some other drinks) of Giro d’Italia 2016 – Stage 3: Nijmegen — Arnhem

Stage 3 is another flat, 190 km stage. We start were yesterday’s stage ended, and end where it started. But the riders will follow a stage to the east of the cities.

Giro_2016_03

This will be another day with Dutch beer. Frankly, I think it will be hard to find better beers in the Netherlands than we had yesterday. We may try to find som local beers. But they are hard to find if you are not there. And I am sitting in Oslo when writing this, and have not been in the Netherlands since last summer.

We can start where we start, in Nijmegen. In The World Atlas of Beer, they recomend  De Hemel Godelief from Stadsbrouwerij De Hemel in Nijmegen as a good beer. I have not tasted the beer, and cannot give my opinion, as I have none. I include another brewery, aslo mentioned in The World Atlas of Beer. The brewery De Prael in Amsterdam, is a social entrepreneurship, where they hire pepole who have difficulties in the labour market. The last small brewery, aslo mentioned in The World Atlas of Beer, I will mention is De Molen fra Hel & Verdomenis in Bodegraven. Bodegraven is about midways between Amsterdam and Rotterdam, ca 90 km west of where the Giro is at the moment. I was reminded of this recently, because I got it in the bicyle café Peloton in Oslo. If I can get it in Oslo, it should be available other places outside Bodegraven too.

When I am in France, I from time to time order beer from the online shop Saveur Beére, located in Lille in northern France, close to Roubaix for those who have cycling events as their geographical points of reference. They are shipping all over Europe. They claim to have tha largest stock in Europe. I cannot tell if this is correct or not. But at least they have a very good selection. Here is their selection of 51 Dutch beers. I find several from La Trappe, Zundert, and a few beers from De Prael among them.

When looking at their selection of Dutch beers, I got fascinated by the beer Berghoeve Zwarte Snorre. It is an imperial stout brewed by Berghoeve brewery, located some 60 km north east of Apledoorn. It was the name that got my attention, and I do not know why they have chosen this name. For some reason it is not listed at the brewery’s list of beers at ther English web page. Snorre Sturlasson lived in Iceland in the 1200s. He wrote the Norwegian kings sagas, so Snorre is a well known name to all Norwegians.

I said that I am ordering from Saveur Beére when I am in France. The legislation on import and distribution of alcoholic beverages in Norway is very strict. We can buy beer and other alcoholic beverages with up to 4,75% alcohol in grocery stores. But for anything stronger, we have to go to the sate monoply, Vinmonopolet. It is not as bad as it sounds, as they probably are the wine merchant with the largest selection in the world. But private import is complicated, and will usually be very expensive, so I do not order beer or any other alcoholic beverage from abroad, for delivery in Norway.

As this is our last day in the Netherlands, I will round off this part with Genever, or Jenever, genièvre, genever and peket, as it is also called. It is the is the juniper-flavored national and traditional liquor of the Netherlands and Belgium. Gin was the Englishmen’s attempt to copy Dutch Genever. At least from a commercial point of view, the Brits have succeded. Originally it was made by destilling what was called “malt wine”, which I have seen described as destilled beer. To me that souns a bit like whisky. They did not get a good taste, and added herbs and spices, mainly juniper berry. Maybe the Dutch did not have the patience to store it in casks for years, to get something like a proper whisky.

Now, they distinguish between young (jonge) and old (oude) genever. This is not a matter of aging, but of distilling techniques. Around 1900, it became possible to distil a high-grade type of alcohol almost neutral in taste, independent of the origin of the spirit. The jonge is the new style, the oude is the old style. The jonge has a neutral taste, with a slight aroma of junifer and malt wine. Oude jenever has a smoother, very aromatic taste with malty flavours. Oude genever is sometimes aged in wood; its malty, woody and smoky flavours resemble whisky.

Tomorrow, Monday is a rest day. At least for some. The riders and other personel can fly from the Netherlands to the south of Italy. But if for instance some TV stations need to get their broadcasting buses, temporary studios etc to Italy before the fourth stage starts, they have a long drive ahead of them. But we will take a break. See you on Tuesday!

The World Atlas of Beer

This is the book I usually recommend as a global guide to beer. The second edition was published in 2016. It is an informative and beautyfully illustrated book. I only wish it could have had many more pages.

Order from

The Oxford Companion to Beer

0195367138This is a reference work on beer, written in an encyclopedic style. Despite the name "The Oxford Companion ...", is it a US book, having a slight US bias. Having said that, it is a very good book of refernce.

It is available in a hardcover and a Kindle edition. For a book like this, I would go for the paper version.

Buy the hardcover edition from  Amazon UK or Amazon US.

Buy the Kindle edition from Amazon UK or Amazon US.

Wines (and some other drinks) of Giro d'Italia 2016

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