Blog

The best beer destinations in Europe

WHERE SHOULD YOU GO TO ON A HOLIDAY AS A BEER LOVER?

If you are a true beer lover you’ll want to visit a country that has good and interesting beers for you to try. So, which countries and cities within Europe should you visit? Where do they have the best beers? As an American craft beer bar in The Netherlands we’ve done our best to select some countries close to home for you based on the best beers for the best price. We hear a road trip coming…

First on the list is Germany. Munich is known for their ‘Oktoberfest’ where millions of liters of beer are consumed. Beer is an important part of the German gastronomy, so what country better to visit than one where beer is embedded in their culture? In Munich drinking a beer is considered a cultural activity… Well beer museum, here we come!

Second on our list is Poland. In Krakow, which is the most visited city in the country, you can find many small independent breweries with quality, unique beers. This is thanks to a little revolution the city has experienced in recent years. You can also find dozens of pubs where you pay very little for beer. Beer in Krakow is less expensive than a glass of water in Paris.

Third, of course, is Ireland. Who doesn’t think of beer when they think of Ireland? St. Patrick’s day, Guinness… do we need to say more? Dublin is the home-base of this famous brewery which you can visit as a traveler.

Last we would recommend you to go just past the Dutch borders: go to Bruges and Brussels in Belgium. Beer is a religion in Bruges. You can taste the white beers of Bruges here, which is a sweet beer. Brussels is the capital of Belgium so you bet that you can find lots of Belgian beers here. You can do a Belgian Beer tasting for example.

So, are you packing your bags already? We can’t wait to visit some of these cities again! Just promise that you’ll visit Brody’s again after your road trip as well. We want to hear all the stories.

 

 

Why are some beers served colder than others?

WHY ARE SOME BEERS SERVED COLDER THAN OTHERS?  

You might know that macro-lagers are served super super cold, but do you also know why? Well, when a beer is served cold, less flavors and aromas are going to come out.

Belgian dubbels or English casks ales are served warmer than the lagers for the reason that you’ll be able to smell all of the aroma and taste every little flavor as a chilled tap will unlock a wider range of flavors. Some beers are just meant to be cold, like most summer beers we’ve mentioned in our Brody’s Newspaper.

It all depends on the flavor of the beer.

How to pair your BBQ with beer?

Everybody loves to BBQ and drink beers in the summer, but which beers suits the BBQ? Let’s dive into the world of food-paring.

Of course, most people love to drink white beers in summer, so this is the first style that suits your BBQ.

Salads are mostly served alongside a BBQ. This is where ‘Weizen’ has a seat at your BBQ table. Saisons and farmhouse ales are tasty to pair with your BBQ because of the taste that has a lot of herbs and flower in it, combined with the bitter aftertaste.

Rauchbeer and smoked beer are other styles that can be combined perfectly at your BBQ. These go very well with roasted meats or vegetables to make the taste of both come forward. Are you having fish on your BBQ? Try a blond beer.

At last, the BBQ is not a BBQ if we don’t have a dessert. Try a sweet roasted stout with some chocolate cake or try your delicious ice cream with fresh fruit paired with a fruit beer.

These are the most important IPA styles

These are the most important IPA styles

IPA’s are one of the most popular beer styles. They have a rich history, which started with Britain having emigrants, sailors, and troops all over the world. While India was too warm for brewing, brewers in London started to brew beers with extra hops and higher alcohol levels to preserve the beer for the journey. Nowadays IPA’s aren’t just hoppy and strong anymore. There are so many different tastes to IPA’s. We’ll guide you through the most important styles.  

 

English IPA

This is the style where it all began. English IPA’s often have a roasty and fruity flavor. Malt often plays the lead role in this. Also they won’t use too much aromatic hop.

 

American IPA

The American version of the IPA is often brewed with American hops. This leads to a very characteristic hoppy flavor. Malt doesn’t play the lead in this beer style. You could argue that malt is just a small role. Citrus aroma’s and tropical fruits are what you’ll find when drinking this beer style.

 

Imperial IPA / Dubble IPA

This beer style has two names: The Imperial or the Dubble IPA. This style is often a lot stronger than the ones named above. It also has more hop in it. This might even be the booziest one from the IPA styles, as it’s ABV often is above 7.5%.

Do you want to combine an IPA with food? Try it alongside some spicy flavored curry, blue cheese or a sweet carrot cake.

 

The best beer styles for warmer weather

THESE ARE THE BEST BEER STYLES FOR WARMER WEATHER

When the sun is shining outside we all know that there is nothing better than an ice-cold beer in our hand. Whether it is on a holiday or in your home country: we appreciate a good, refreshing beer during the spring and summer months. However, not all beer is summer beer. You don’t want a sticky and heavy stout when you’re enjoying yourself in the sun around noon, right? So, what are the best beers for summer?

Pilsners are perfect for this type of weather. Thanks to our friends for the Czech Republic we’ve been drinking this beer for over 100 years. It’s a common style lager that is brewed with pilsner malt. The local pilsner is becoming more and more popular in the craft beer world. It’s familiar and refreshing at the same time. Gose is also a style we love to drink in the summer and spring. It tastes like a day at the beach. It’s brewed with salt (really) and coriander and has a low ABV.

Then, of course,  there is no denying that IPA’s are the go-to beer during these months. IPA’s aren’t always bitter anymore as they used to be. In this era, the IPA’s are fruit-forward, aromatic and refreshing. Besides these styles there are many more that are screaming ‘summer’. Think about blonde ales, Berliner Weisses, and nice tasting ambers. We always have new beers on tap each week, so make sure to ask our bartenders which one is their favorite beer for warmer weather this week.

So, which beer on our menu are you going to try next?

Going on a holiday? Read our tips in advance!

Better prepared than sorry… don’t miss a beer beat!

Whether you’re staying in Europe for winter sports or crossing the continent, good beer can be found everywhere. We recommend you to check out the application ‘Untappd’ to find verified venues and trending locations in your surroundings. We are certain that you’ll find a spot that you’ll like! You can also go on CraftBeer.com to find a brewery in your area.

If you want to make sure that you won’t miss a beer beat, there are a few items you should pack on your next trip. We’ll list them below.

  1. A tool to open your beer
    A keychain bottle opener will probably do the trick most of the time. Take it to the beach and enjoy a beer while the sun strokes your head.
  2. Growlers and a cooler
    This is probably more important if you’re traveling by car. Taking a road trip to your next summer destination is better with cooled beer.
  3. Sealable plastic bags and bubble wrap
    If you travel by plane, you can still take some unique beers from your holiday destination with you back home. Make sure that you pack the beers in a bubble wrap and sealable bag to keep them whole.
  4. Cash
    Believe it or not… some small businesses might not be able to accept creditcards or maestro’s. Don’t miss out on a good beer, just because you didn’t have any paper money on you.
  5. Cards and games
    What better way to enjoy a good beer then over some games? If you’re going on a holiday with your family and you have find a brewery you’d like to visit, this might just be the way to convince them that it’s perfect for some family time.

What is true about the history of The Russian Imperial Stout?

Some beers have a pretty doubtful history. There is just a lot of misinformation out there. Why? Because we like our stories to be easily repeatable and neat. Therefore we don’t like it when something it pretty complex. The Imperial Stout – often known as Russian Imperial Stout – has this complexity to it…

The ‘Russian’ part has been mythologized for hundreds of years. It began as a marketing stunt from breweries, which has found their way into history books. We can’t promise that the historical information that we have about this beer is perfect, but we can at least give it our best go. Imperial stout. We can call it the heady, roasted nectar of the gods.

The American craft beer market takes the original imperial stout and will give it twists with anything you can imagine. Name it, and it is probably on the market. However, when we get back to where this beer is from, we all know that an imperial stout is a beer with a high amount of alcohol in it. Many say that it was developed when in “need for a product that wouldn’t spill during long journeys” – instead of the regular porter back then. We can say that since the porter made longer journeys back in the days and it was doing just fine, that this isn’t correct. It’s more likely that the Tsarists court, which had a lot of money to spend, just wanted a stronger beer than the regular ‘stout porter’ (which would be more expensive).

The first “Russian imperial stout” is attributed to Anchor Brewery in London (in 1616). So. This is where it probably comes from. Nowadays we can probably claim that – while the word ‘Russian’ is meaningless since the beer style is brewed on every continental – it probably stands for a higher ABV and higher hop rate (than the American double for example). Another great fact is that the Russian Imperial Stout is probably the progenitor of the Baltic porter as a recognized beer style.

Anyways. We like our strong and dark lagers, whether it’s an imperial stout, an American double or a Russian imperial stout.

What are the best winter beer styles?

During a walk outside we can see the foggy cloud of our own breath. There is no denying it anymore: winter has arrived. It is the perfect time to cozy up around a fireplace or meet friends at a warm bar while having some beers. Luckily the good thing about winter is that there are beers made especially for the winter season. So, which beers styles are best for drinking during these winter months?

Of course, we have to start with Winter Warmers. These are malty, sweet ales with a solid malt presence in their body and flavor profile. A lot of breweries create their own version of this typical ‘holiday season’ beer style, such as Anderson Valley’s Winter Solstice or SweetWater’s Festive Ale to name two.

Styles like stouts and porters are also very popular during this months. Logically, because they will leave you with a warm fullness that is perfect for hibernation.

Another technique that is loved by winter brewers is barrel aging. The process of aging in a liquor barrel will result in an oaky flavor which is a well-suited taste for colder months. Finally, we can also say that chocolate and coffee scream ‘winter beers’.

While stouts and porters usually have subtle notes of this in it, many brewers will add extra chocolate and coffee to their brews to make for a heavy and dark flavor when it’s cold outside.

Whatever beer you would pick during the colder months, it is clear that they have one thing in common in most cases: they usually are big and higher alcohol beers.

Let’s talk about Bock Beers!

A bock beer or a ‘bock’ is a strong lager that has a German origin. However, nowadays many countries are known for their versions of bock beers. In our home country, The Netherlands, we have our own specialty: ‘herfstbocks’. We’ll dive into the world of bock beers and explain the difference between types to you.


Bock beers are the perfect beer to have during fall and the beginning of the winter. A bock beer isn’t as heavy as a stout or a porter, but it sure does retain a smooth mouthfeel for the colder days. The traditional bock is a sweet, relatively strong (6.3% – 7.2% by volume) and lightly hopped (20-27 IBUs) lager. The color can range from a deep, dark brown to more copper and reddish shades. The flavors can also vary from sweet caramel to more traditional malty versions. The aroma is almost never fruity, but will most likely be malty and toasty. In any case, a bock beer will almost always have a bountiful and persistent off-white head. Nowadays we have many different variations to this traditional style, which we’ll get in to.

Doppelbock
Doppelbock might be the most known style of bock beers. It’s a stronger version of the original bock that finds his origin in Munich. Historically the doppelbock was sweet and high in alcohol. Back in the days, they used to drink doppelbock during times of fasting (when solid food was not permitted). Dobbelbock’s are still strong today, ranging from 7% – 12% ABV. The aroma is usually very malty with some toasty notes and noticeable alcohol strength. Darker versions might have a chocolate-like aroma.

Herfstbock
Many Dutch breweries – major and micro – offer their take on the original bock beer at the start of these seasons. These ‘herfstbocks’ are only a ‘herfstbock’ according to beer consumer organization PINT when they are brought on the market between September 21 and December 21. However, this is only according to PINT. In most cases, the beer will be dark brown and have an average alcohol percentage of 6% – 8%.

Heller Bock
The heller bock is also known as the ‘maibock’ or the ‘helles bock’. While this is still a relatively strong beer (6.3% – 7.4% ABV), it is a lot lighter than the doppelbock and more similar to the traditional bock, except for the fact that it has a lighter color and more hop presence. The color ranges from deep gold to light amber. The flavor is less malty than the traditional bock. A heller bock might be drier, hoppier and more bitter.

Eisbock
Last but not least we’ve got the Eisbock. This is a traditional specialty beer from the Kulmbach district in Germany. It’s special because it is made by partially freezing a doppelbock and removing the water ice. This process concentrates the flavor and alcohol. Eisbock is pretty strong compared to its sibling styles. It has 9% – 13% ABV. The color is mostly deep copper to dark brown with ruby highlights. Expect a rich and sweet flavor from this one that will always be balanced by a significant alcohol presence.

We love to drink a bock beer during this time of the year. Whether it’s a more heavy doppelbock or a lighter heller bock. Keep an eye out on our menu, as we’ve got different kinds of bock beers on tap each month!

 

Where do Pale Ales come from?

Pale ale might also be known to you as “bitter”. It is obviously known for its light color but has more history to it than you might think.

It was around 1703 that we first heard the word “pale ale”. It is a term used for beer brewed from malt that is dried with coal. This way of roasting, however, was first used in 1642. So you could argue that the “pale ale” goes back to 1642. While the pale ale was a big hit in the US around only 30 years ago (we’ll get to this later), the history of the pale ale beer style lies in England and goes back 300 years.

Before the 18th-century brews in England were mostly known for their stouts and porters – who have a different brewing process. Due to the technology and fuel at this time, these were the most common beer styles. They had this dark color because of the heating process that created dark barley malts. However, around the early 18th-century, new and reliable methods started to appear to produce pale barley malt, which led to a new, very pale colored beer. As the technology was very new at the time, the new malt became expensive, which meant that the pale beers were only for wealthier drinkers. As time went by, the pale malt became more affordable. Slowly, the pale-colored ales took over the stout and porters in popularity.

Eventually, the pale ale is the beer that is responsible for the modern brewing revolution in America. In 1980 the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. produced their first batch of pale ale. Beer lovers that were seeking something flavorful and typically American, were immediately sold on this. The beer was refreshing and characterful. The Sierra Nevada Pale Ale soon became the standard against which all American pale ales were measured. New microbreweries, that sprang up around that time across the US, tried to produce beers that had this same beer vein.

Fun fact: there are many differences between American and British pale ales. American brewers tend to stay away from the name “bitter”, as they make the pale ales in a more assertive American style than the English tradition. British pale ale malt is robust and nutty, while American malt is crisper and softer. Traditional English hops are floral, earthy and refined, whereas American hops evoke wildness with a bit of citrus and pine profile.

The English will try to go for balance in their pales, while the Americans show off a full hop character with a striking aroma.

At Brody’s you can find both: we have English and American pale ales on our menu. While every beer is different, with a pale ale you can expect an amber-gold beer with fruity and fresh aromas and relatively low alcohol.

Scroll to top