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Six from the Netherlands

"X" Porter was created by the North Holland Alternative Brewers' foundation, a group that makes styles not typically found in the Netherlands. It was produced at the Maximiliaan brewpub, in Amsterdam. The brew was intended as a Brown Porter.

The beer was sent to me by Amsterdam-based Canadian Derek Walsh, who tells me that the recipe was derived from the writings of Britons Dr. John Harrison and Terry Foster (the latter resident in the U.S.). The brew was made from Pilsner, Crystal, Chocolate and Black Malts, to a gravity of 10.9 (just under 1044), producing an alcohol content of 4.3 by volume. It was hopped with Saaz, and an unidentified spice was added. It was not filtered or pasteurised.

The beer has a dense, rocky, very pale, head; a ruby-to-black color; a lightly dry aroma; creamy flavors, developing notes of dark toast; and a long, dry, appetizing finish. It seemed to me a hybrid between a dryish Mild and a traditional light-bodied Porter. I could have happily drunk it by the pint.

In the original Haarlem (with a double "a"), an old barrel-size was the jopen. This name has been taken up by a group that revives Haarlem beers.

Jopen "Four Grain" Bok Bier (5.5 per cent alcohol by volume) is russet and cloudy, with an aroma like a freshly-bitten tangerine; very lively, anise-like, flavors; and a fragrant, smoky, finish.

Jopen Hoppenbier (6.5 per cent) is brewed from barley malt, wheat and oats. It has a very big head; a hazy yellow color; an orangey aroma; a very smooth texture; a spicy start; light flavors of sweet lemons; and a scenty, sherbety, finish. An appetising, interesting, beer.

Jopen Koyt (8.5) is brewed from oats and a blend of herbs. It has a claret to dark-brown colour; a chlorodyne aroma; and a syrupy, aromatic, spiciness, with notes of iron, nuts, orange peels and violets. Very arousing to the senses.

Published Online: OCT 1, 1997
Published in Print: OCT 1, 1997
In: Beer Hunter Online

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