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Hertog Jan Brewery

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by Karen Ross (subscribe)
I love slow travel, slow food and discovering new adventures and delicious regional food in new locations. I'm on an indulgent quest and I'd love you to follow at https://www.facebook.com/walkeatshare
Published August 9th 2022
How I learned to enjoy beer
I didn't inherit the 'beer drinking' gene but sensed there was no sense resisting this very popular drink during my time in Europe. Beer drinking is a way of life in many European countries, including The Netherlands where some drink it at breakfast.

Beer selection
Beer selection


My heroic commitment to the discovery and enjoyment of regional food and wine has now expanded to beer. When I found myself at Hertog Jan Brewery my commitment was rewarded with new and distinctive taste sensations.

Hertog Jan Brewery
Hertog Jan Brewery, Arcen, Netherlands


Hertog Jan consistently makes it into the list of 'top ten Dutch breweries'. It's located near the small town of Arcen, 170kms south-east of Amsterdam. Directly opposite the brewery is a pub, called De Hertog Jan Proeverij.

De Hertog Jan Proeverij
De Hertog Jan Proeverij


In the interests of efficiency, a pipe transports beer across the road from the brewery to the pub.

Beer transport pipe
Beer transport pipe


The pipe heads directly toward the bar ...

Direct beer line to the pub
Direct beer line to the pub


and conveniently deposits beer in the beer taps.

Beer taps
Beer taps


The bar area is brimming with character, as all pub bars should be, but since my visit took place on a sun-shiny afternoon we sat outside in the beer garden.

Beer garden at De Hertog Jan Proeverij
Beer Garden at De Hertog Jan Proeverij


Beer flights were ordered and arrived along with an accompanying commentary from a smiling server. Fruitiness and freshness was mentioned along with alcohol percentages. European beers tend to have higher percentages than those from outside Europe.

Flight of beers
Flight of beers


Our flights cost nine euros each and came with tasty snacks.

Hertog Jan snacks
Hertog Jan snacks


Of course, it's not only about the beer, Dutch cheeses, meats and bread are also worth discovering and they all meld together in perfect harmony. So we ordered a platter.

Cheeseboard at De Hertog Jan Proeverij
Cheeseboard at De Hertog Jan Proeverij


Each beer was distinctive in flavour and I learned, to some extent, to identify differences.

Arcener Tripel
Arcener Tripel


The commentary had informed us that Grand Prestige is the jewel in the crown of the Hertog Jan brewery. It's dark and heavy and is made from a mix of four kinds of malt. It is one of the few beers that can be aged, and the taste becomes richer over time. After many years the taste becomes similar to a Port wine which is exactly what I detected when I tasted it. I impressed myself with my beer-tasting prowess.

Hertog Jan cellar
Hertog Jan cellar


Grand Prestige vintages are stored in a cellar below the pub and left to age before heading back across the road to be sold in the brewery shop.

Hertog Jan brewery shop
Hertog Jan brewery shop


After a most pleasant tasting experience, I headed to the shop to buy another one. A selection of five beers, including the Grand Prestige, cost ten euros and will allow me to enjoy the experience all over again.

Take-away tasting pack from Hertog Jan
Take-away tasting pack from Hertog Jan
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Why? Even non-beer-drinkers will be tempted by the Grand Prestige
When: Open every day 10am-11pm
Phone: 31 77 473 6080
Where: Kruisweg 44, 5944 EM Arcen, Netherlands
Cost: Varies
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