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Published August 10th 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.