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Time to explore Europes Beer


read 1012 times • 24 replies • posted 6/11/2013 10:38:10 AM

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AlexMenary
Originally posted by chriso
Originally posted by AlexMenary
I am going to Brewlab in Sunderland England in March for the 9 week brewing program. In the middle of the 9 weeks, there are two weeks off and I plan to spend at least some of the time traveling around and checking out new local beers.

I presume the course isnít 7 days a week? If so, youíll have weekends to look at some places in the UK. Most major cities are within easy reach by train for a weekend. Many for a day trip. Be warned though, train tickets can be very cheap if you are prepared to tie yourself to specific train departures AND book well in advance, but very expensive if you pay on the day. Not so bad if itís a day trip as you can buy a cheap day return, often for not much more than an advance ticket. But, if you are leaving on one day and coming back on another youíre going to get stung if you donít book in advance.


That is some good info to know about the trains, I will keep that in mind.
6/11/2013 12:56:45 PM

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beastiefan2k 2274:176
Beer and people from Belgium are Belgians. Similar to how beer and people from Canada are Canadian.
6/11/2013 1:08:16 PM

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humlelala 880:43
Ferries from Newcastle are certainly a viable option of reaching the continent but it might be worth keeping in mind also that there is a small airport in Newcastle served by EasyJet. Looking at their fares right now it seems to be possible to get a return ticket from Newcastle <> Amsterdam for 95 USD departing on Thursday March 13th and going back on Sunday March 16th.

Of course these are early bird prices and likely wonít last all the way through to next year.
6/11/2013 1:08:46 PM

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ACD 569:29
I'm a Sunderland lad, so if I'm back in the north east visiting my folks at the time then I'll certainly help show you around. Not much of a Sunderland beer scene, but Newcastle has plenty of really great beer bars. You've also got to go to the Stadium of Light to watch SAFC play - that's about the only good thing to do at the weekends (and even that's painful sometimes!). My old man is pals with the head of brew lab & always says how impressed he is with the whole set up - you'll have a great time

6/11/2013 1:12:14 PM

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konstifik 573:36
Originally posted by AlexMenary
Originally posted by konstifik
So "Time to epxlore Europes beer" really means "Time to explore beers in the UK and Belgium"? ;)

In Belgium you can easily visit places like the Kulminator, DHVL, Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, Delirium Cafť, Moeder Lambic etc with public transport. No need for a car unless you want to go to places like the trappist breweries.


Haha ya to some extent that is what I mean. I donít want to spend a ton of cash getting around Europe, so really I will likely stick to the UK and Belgium.


You could easily make it to the Netherlands cheaply as well. From Antwerpen (where youíll want to go to visit Kulminator and more) itís just over an hour by train to Amsterdam. Some very good beer bars there and you could make it to Bodegraven to visit De Molen as well.
6/11/2013 1:51:12 PM

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TAR 2410:27
Originally posted by Gazza
Originally posted by TAR
Skip England and explore Franconia and fall in love with kellerbier, instead.

Or you could stay in England and have beer thatís not full of diacetyl and/or overattenuated.... (usually)

Heh. My suggestion was more about the overall experience, as drinking and cycling in the idyllic Franconian countryside is up there with the best of experiences life has to offer, beerwise. I didnít mean to imply England would be a valueless place to explore. Each year I contemplate a trip to England, as I absolutely adore cask ale (and I would love to drink with you, someday!), but I am trying to better understand lager, so I always end up in Franconia instead. :-)

The USA has its duds, Belgium has its duds, as well as England and any other beery country. As a huge fan of Franconian beer, I will be the first among us to say there are more beers tainted with DMS, diacetyl, raw grain husks, medicinal sweetness, fusel alcohol, etc., in Franconia than there are clean, well-crafted examples. But discovering new gems and revisiting old ones more than makes Franconian a worthwhile destination for me; twice a year isnít enough for this lager geek! It simply is something all beer geeks must experience for themselves, at least once.

I have a feeling when I see the British countryside, I wonít ever want to leave the place. Maybe THATíS why I havenít yet visited, come to think of it.
6/11/2013 1:59:03 PM

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AlexMenary
Originally posted by ACD
Iím a Sunderland lad, so if Iím back in the north east visiting my folks at the time then Iíll certainly help show you around. Not much of a Sunderland beer scene, but Newcastle has plenty of really great beer bars. Youíve also got to go to the Stadium of Light to watch SAFC play - thatís about the only good thing to do at the weekends (and even thatís painful sometimes!). My old man is pals with the head of brew lab & always says how impressed he is with the whole set up - youíll have a great time




That would be awesome if you are around while Iím there. It would be great to be out with a local instead of trying to navigate the beer scene without anyone who knows it.
6/11/2013 5:26:13 PM

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Erlangernick 1:2
Originally posted by TAR
Originally posted by Gazza
Originally posted by TAR
Skip England and explore Franconia and fall in love with kellerbier, instead.

Or you could stay in England and have beer thatís not full of diacetyl and/or overattenuated.... (usually)

Heh. My suggestion was more about the overall experience, as drinking and cycling in the idyllic Franconian countryside is up there with the best of experiences life has to offer, beerwise. I didnít mean to imply England would be a valueless place to explore. Each year I contemplate a trip to England, as I absolutely adore cask ale (and I would love to drink with you, someday!), but I am trying to better understand lager, so I always end up in Franconia instead. :-)

The USA has its duds, Belgium has its duds, as well as England and any other beery country. As a huge fan of Franconian beer, I will be the first among us to say there are more beers tainted with DMS, diacetyl, raw grain husks, medicinal sweetness, fusel alcohol, etc., in Franconia than there are clean, well-crafted examples. But discovering new gems and revisiting old ones more than makes Franconian a worthwhile destination for me; twice a year isnít enough for this lager geek! It simply is something all beer geeks must experience for themselves, at least once.

I have a feeling when I see the British countryside, I wonít ever want to leave the place. Maybe THATíS why I havenít yet visited, come to think of it.



Interesting sentiment, quite close to home fŁr mich, actually. I used to think I had no interest in the UK, beer-wise, pub-wise, culturally (heh), or landscape-wise. Then we started visiting while on holiday from here. Itís hard for me to say Iíd rather *live* there now, because there are so many non-beer things we love about living in Franconia, but if I could swap my life for one in Sheffield, it would be a hard decision to make.

Iíd cheerfully swap all 280(?) Franconian breweries for a handful of northern UK ones though, thatís an easy decision. It would be hard to see Roppelt, Griess (have you been yet?), and Witzgall go, but thatís the price to pay.

You canít say you like/love cask ale until youíve had it properly in situ, IMO.
6/11/2013 11:38:37 PM

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Erlangernick 1:2
No reason for the OP to even THINK about getting a car. Finding your way to remote country pubs by train, bus, and foot is a big part of the appeal!
6/11/2013 11:40:17 PM

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imdownthepub 9623:398
There is a ferry from Newcastle to The Netherlands and hence Belgium, book though as it is very popular. From Sunderland the best days out would be Newcastle (avoid local football derbyís though as Newcastle vs Sunderland is a bit feisty), Edinburgh and York all can be done on the train. Sunderland itself is somewhat devoid of good beer places.
The Northumberland coast north of Newcastle is spectacular and does have a few Brewpubs. Iím sure there will be others on your course with the same interests if its about Brewing.
6/12/2013 12:46:14 AM

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