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Des de Moor
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Des de Moor

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From the archive: Maximiliaan Meibock

Brouwerij Maximiliaan, Amsterdam

Brouwerij , Amsterdam

ABV: 6.5%
Origin: Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Date: 16 April 2001

Another review from the  written for the pioneering Oxford Bottled Beer Database (OBBD). I’ve left it uncorrected — so please read it in that historical spirit.

The Dutch beer scene has changed hugely since the first small crop of microbreweries in the 1980s and 1990s. Among these pioneers was Amsterdam’s Maximiliaan brewpub in Kloveniersburgwaal, which opened in 1992 in a heritage building on part of the site of the Bethany monastery or Bethaniënklooster on the city’s Oudezijd or Old Side. Its name referenced the fact that Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I was also ruler of the Burgundian Netherlands in the late 15th century.

Despite some success, Maximiliaan closed not long after I wrote this review, in 2002, unable to afford a rent hike by the building’s owners, the not-for-profit heritage management foundation Stadsherstel Amsterdam. Thankfully the site wasn’t lost to brewing: the owners of the Beiaard specialist beer pub chain took on the business including the brewhouse and reopened it in 2004 under the name De , or ‘converted sister’, a reference to the former religious community on the site. It’s still open today though the current Meibock uses a different recipe.

This is a strong spring beer from one of Amsterdam’s two micros, the Maximiliaan brewpub in the heart of the red light district. I didn’t sample it on home territory, however, but in Café Belgique, a tiny but welcome retreat hidden away within spitting distance of the madness of Damplein, which prides itself on supporting local independents as well as the Belgian imports suggested by its name.

The beer is a fine golden colour with a beautiful thick head and an aromatic hoppy aroma with a hint of lime and a lychee-like spiciness that suggests Alsatian Gewürztraminer wine. The palate is firmly malty with a creamy texture; then assertive bitter hops emerge, mixing with aromatic fruity hints. Further hops develop in the finish, but
soon soften to pineapples and cream. A serious beer with a sense of fun and a great way to welcome the spring.

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