I was blown into Rotterdam on a fresh 8°C wind from the Hook of Holland.
I’d no sooner got here than it clouded over, turning rainy and biting cold, so it was an easy decision to head to Sijf for a spot of elevenses – in this case Brouwerij Noordt’s Dubbel.
It was pot luck on the 7% ABV, as the decent-looking bottle menu was lacking that particular detail, but I picked this because it was a local brew and I hadn’t tried it.
Compared to a Westmalle it’s got less depth and more fruit, and it helped warm me up as I waited for my blue hands to thaw out.
By the time I had finished my pint, luckily the sun had come back out so it was onwards to Stadtsbrouwerij De Pelgrim which has its own beers on tap.
I tried the Mayflower Tripel (7.8%) and Vagabond Stout (8%). Both beers were excellent and very much in the Belgian tradition: high fermentation and a good depth of flavour.
There are some charming bars and restaurants here in Delfshaven, including my next port of call: Tapperij Vanoods ‘t Kraanjte.
To drink it was The Calling IPA from Boulevard Brewing Co, which at 8.5% is every inch a double.
This is the sort of beer where you know exactly what you’re getting and that it is a good thing – in a chewy toffee, citrus/pine way. Lovely stuff.
It was then on to Kaapse Brouwers near the SS Rotterdam, where I’m spending the night.
Here it was possible to sample a few of their own brews including Jaape Red Ale (9.4%), Gozer Imperial Oatmeal Stout (9.6%) and an Imperial Stout made in collaboration with De Pelgrim – they even had #2 Anniversary Quad by Kees on draught.
Of course, this was duly sampled – by the water in the evening sun. Tomorrow, it looks like there will be more weather and also some real cycling. Stay tuned!