From 23 to 25 February, the City of Arnhem hosted the Mout Bier Festival in the Eusebius church. Borda’s team were there and interviewed 3 different breweries to uncover the key aspects of the creative process behind the best Dutch beers. And, of course, took the chance to taste some amazing styles that we found there.


 

Interview with Koen Overeem, from Rock City Beers (Amersfoort)

Rock City Beers Photo

How do you compare the Dutch beer with the beer from other European countries such as Germany and Belgium?

In my opinion, these countries are a bit stuck in their own traditions while Holland is a way more forward, for example looking overseas and using inspiration from America. We always find interesting things happening there because they are always trying different ingredients… they are more daring to try.

At Rock City Beers there are no limits in trying, so we are always looking for the best combination of flavours. We do that by using what already is in the beer, accentuating specific characteristics, or we can also use extra ingredients. For example, a bock beer always tastes raisin, or chocolate, or coffee. We tried to accentuate the aromas of chocolate and coffee and were successful in brewing the ‘Mokka Bocka’. It was all about enhancing specific results of the brewing process.


 

Interview with the brewers from Oersoep Micro Brewery (Nijmegen)

Oersoep Brewery Photo

In your opinion, what is the main character of the Dutch beer?

Well, we do a bit of everything. We borrow knowledge from the Germans, Belgians, Americans, and also from the UK, and use them as a toolbox to make our own mixed style.

Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?

Oersoep makes a new beer once or twice a month at least. It can be a variation from a previous beer, but also a new recipe. Our brewery is separated into two departments with different styles: one takes care of our production line for supermarkets, while the other department ventures in the field of wild beers, a slow process of fermentation with wild yeast. Usually, these beers are stored for a long time in wine and whiskey barrels to achieve a complex taste and aroma. What we find interesting about the wild beers is that they are unpredictable and therefore will never taste the same.


 

Interview with Dennis Pancras, from Rigters (Buurse)

Rigters Brewery Photo

How would you describe the Dutch beer scene?

In the Netherlands, there is a scene of creative breweries that are always experimenting. If we compare the present scene with that from10 years ago, the amount of breweries has exploded. So, with this huge amount of new products in the market, we all have to be creative to sustain the competition. That’s what makes the beer scene so interesting… and because we try to brew with different ingredients. At Rigters a new recipe starts with an idea that involves a kind of flavour that we enjoy. The next step is to sit together, hear everybody’s input – for example about trying one specific yeast or hop – then we get to work. With this process, we have achieved excellent results.

Cheers!