Het Kanon, which means The Canon, is brewed by the Grolsche Bierbrouwerijen N.V.. This brewery has 2 brewing plants. One in Groenlo - where is was originally established - and one plant in Enschede. Both cities are in the east of the Netherlands near the German border. As is the new plant that is being build in Boekelo. When this new plant is finished the other two will close.
The brewery was established by Peter Cuyper in 1615 in Grolle, the original name for Groenlo. Cuyper is an old Dutch word for barrel-maker so there is a possibility that his forefathers were in the same branch of business. In 1677 Peter Cuyper was appointed guild master of all brewers in Grolle. The company expanded over the years on its site next to the canal. The canal was built around the ramparts of the town, in the shape of a six-pointed star, and still survives intact to this day. Itís a splendid sight which is well worth a visit.
At the end of the 19th century the brewery was bought by the family De Groen. During three generations they managed to let the small local brewery expand to a national and international firm. The brewery is famous in Holland for itís well known commercial slogans which started with "Craftsmanship is a Masterpiece" which says actually nothing I guess. Later they used stuff like "One day youíll stop drinking beer and start drinking Grolsch", "When times comes, Grolsch comesí and nowadays "Thereís beer and thereís Grolsch".
Grolsch doesnít have a very interesting history. But Saturday the 13th of may 2000 was a day Enschede and the Grolsch brewery will never forget. An explosion in a storage for fireworks wiped away a complete neighbourhood next to the brewery. The violence of the explosion damaged the brewery as well and brewing had to be stopped. But other breweries showed a helping hand. Grolsch Pilsner was brewed by Oranjeboom, Brand, Dommelsch and Bavaria. Although all used the Grolsch recipe none of them tasted the same or like the very distinctive flavours of the original Grolsch Pilsner itself. It lasted till October 2001 before the brewery was back in full operation.
Now something about the Canon itself. This beer was part of a series of 6 beers brewed in celebration of 100 years "Beugelfles" - thatís the special bottle Grolsch uses with an iron clasp. The six beers were Calixtus (with cinnamon), Twee Zwaluwen (with all kind of blossoms), Lodewijk XIII (with champagne yeast), Picardijn (with two kinds of wood), De Vierde Wijze (with abricot) and Het Kanon (with a load of alcohol). My personal favourite was De Vierde Wijze. But sadly enough the rest of Holland loved Het Kanon. So Grolsch decided to add Het Kanon to itís standard range of beers.
Het Kanon has a light caramel and light raisin aroma. But the alcohol rises up from the beer which is not my idea of a great aroma. It looks good though. A orange and amber colour with a moderate large white frothy head. The head diminishes fast but leaves a good lacing. Maybe the alcohol kills the head? A malty sweetness is what first rolls over you tongue. Itís full and warm. An alcohol bitterness comes soon but is not annoying. In the finish you can recognize some orange flavour and then a long alcohol burning sensation. In my personal opinion it would have been a more than decent beer if it had a little less alcohol.