As Spring Arrives, Amsterdam Drinks

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About 70 people attend the Letebier Festival at the Delirium Cafe Amsterdam on Saturday the 21st. Raluca Dumitrache/ Staff Photographer

With 57 different beers to choose from, Delirium Café Amsterdam’s third-edition Letebier Festival received the Spring weather with different kinds of beers. It was the most ambitious one yet.

The biggest speciality beer bar in Amsterdam invited more than 10 international breweries and received about 70 people from April 21st to April 22nd at Piet Heinkade.

Beer enthusiast and part of the organization of the event, Henk Klijn, was very pleased with people’s response regarding the festival. “We start at three and before three there’s people lining up to get in,” he said. The event aimed to get together people who wanted to try and learn about craft beer. “The thing here is that you can meet the brewer and talk to them about their beer. You can taste them all, you don’t need to buy a bottle to drink,” Henk added. “My main goal with beer is to make people know why and what they are drinking. I want them to enjoy beer, I want them to drink, not to swallow.” Alongside the beers, snacks were also offered for tasting: different kinds of cheese, hamburger, pizza, among others.

Mariette Bonten, ALFA Bier’s Brewers manager, explained that the brewery was founded by a Dutch family that has been in the brewery business for almost 150 years. Their two most acclaimed beers, Alfa Elde Pils and Alfa Krachtig Dort, were on the festival.

Overall, people enjoyed the festival. Harleem citizen Ashley, master student, tried 4 different beers and was pleased with her choices. “It is interesting to know more about beer, and having the brewer here just makes the experience more pleasant. The brewers are super engaged in giving little bits of information to add to the experience.” Maarten Tegenbosch, owner of Romat NLD Ltd. and German beer Schneider Weisse promoter, was one of the beer storytellers, as he also defines himself. Tegenbosch explained that the trademark of their beer is that all of them are made with wheat. “We’re here because we know Delirium,” he said. “You will find the Schneider Weisse beers only in the most professional places because in order to pour a proper beer, you need to have the necessary instruments.”

44-year-old IT specialist and former student at the Univerisity of Amsterdam, Sammy, is one of the many who enjoyed the beer tasting and learning about it. “It brings people together, I like it. I mean, this guy in front of me, we don’t know him, but he is a beer expert and we’ve been talking about beer for twenty or more minutes.” While maintaining his conversation, he has already tried two different beers.

The Lentebier Festival brought all types of people together and taught them about beer. Little by little, Henk is accomplishing his goal to make people aware of the beer culture in order for them to enjoy what their drinking instead of just swallowing it. It was what Henk would have called a huge success.

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Avenue Reporter

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