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1994 Rotterdam


Paul, Ray, Dave, Trev and Kev.


Try the Meibok.


Meibok, Hotel Roxinn, Pencil, Cambrinus, The Spring, The Tram Bar, Dirty Harry’s, Seven Seas.


After trying the Dutch bokbiers in Amsterdam we thought we would give their other seasonal beer- Meibok a try. Launched in April, this beer is generally between 6.5 and 7.0% ABV and with strong malt flavour which is sometimes quite sweet. With no festival devoted specifically to the style, we settled on Rotterdam with its extensive rang of bars including a good beer café already known to Ray.

Initially a group of four, we were joined at the last moment by Kev who managed to book the same flights.


After flying into Rotterdam airport, the shuttle bus took us to the central bus/railway station and a short walk to our accommodation, the Hotel Roxinn (‘s-Gravendijkwal 14). We had booked two twin bedded rooms but with Kev joining us we were offered an alternative- the loft space for all five. Although this meant climbing four flights of typically steep Dutch stairs and communing with the pigeons, we accepted. Luckily there were ashtrays built into the balustrades at every landing so you could have a fag break on the way up.

Two of the recommended beer cafés were near the Blaak metro station, with its surreal architecture.

Pencil: (Rijstuin 172). Located at the base of the Blaak tower near the buried train, this was a very young person’s place and we felt understandably ancient. Surprisingly it had over 50 different beers of which two or three were draught. Just the place if you want a game of pool or billiards but not really a beer drinker’s refuge.

Just across the road from the pencil tower was Cambrinus: (Blaak 4). A modern open plan beer café with a list exceeding 180 and at least 6 on draught, this was the serious drinker’s refuge. The excellent choice included the beer style we were after- Meibok. After an enjoyable few hours, we left by the terrace which overlooked the Oude Haven with its many bars and restaurants.

At the end of the harbour there were several good bars along Haringvliet and we tried both the ‘Amazon’ (size of the women) and Amstel 1870 (type of beer).

Returning towards Blaak we were attracted to loud music from Plan C: (Oude Haven Slepersvest 1). The club was holding a Boogie and Blues Festival. The group, Dirty Laundry, was excellent and provided an entertaining finish to our first night.


A late start found us on our way into the centre after midday. In need of a drink we tried out The Spring: (Mauritsweg). Although in an Irish bar, we settled for the Oranjeboom. A quite afternoon until Trev became aware the beer was 5% ABV after which we were treated to a virtuoso performance of Crocodile Rock.

After a food break, and now with a new companion, Heinrik we reconvened in The Spring, and headed for the Old Harbour and the bars along Haringvliet. Along the way we failed to appreciate the meaning of the red light outside a bar and had a very quick drink where ‘big boys don’t cry’.

The group in Plan C (Jack in the Box) were less to our taste and a return to The Spring was followed by The Tram Bar: (Hermesplantsoen). An old tram turned into a bar, it was packed and provided intimate contact whether you wanted it or not.


An even latter start and strait to The Spring where we meet Scottish football supporters on their way home after the international against Holland in Utrecht the night before. They had lost 3-1. An entertaining crowd who showed everyone what a Scotsman wears under his kilt.

The disco near our hotel proved disappointing and we again ventured to the bars along Haringvliet. Refused admission to the disco here, it was back to The Spring and the Scottish lads still drowning their sorrows.


Sightseeing. Straight down s’Gravendikwal to the Euromast set in the park on the shore of the Maas. Heading east along the river you see some of the older docks of this famous port finally reaching The Old Harbour and the surrounding bars.

After an early close at The Spring we were recommended to try Dirty Harry’s: (Nieuwe Binnenweg 144a). After this excellent little bar with its own smokes, we moved on further down Nieuwe Binnenweg to the Seven Seas with the worlds largest bouncer and the constant playing of the Outhere Brothers masterpiece ‘*bleep* U in the Arse’. We finished in the bar opposite, joining the female workers in an English breakfast at the end of their night’s work.


Time to go home.

Created on 01/22/2006 09:57 AM by drinking
Updated on 01/22/2006 09:59 AM by drinking
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