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2002 Maastricht


Paul, Ray, Trev, Tel, Kev, Mike, John G, Dave, Jonh A, Martin and Pete.


Visit Brand and De Ridder breweries.


Maastricht, De Poshoorn ,Take One, Gulpener, Chateau Neubourg, Falstaff, Inden Ouden Vogelstruys, Brand, UP (Urtyp), Zwarte Ruiter , Wijlre, Leeuw (Lion) brewery, Vos, Wieckse Witte, Maltezer, Dortmunder, Angleur, Vaudree.



After the customary farewell to British Real Ale with a couple of pints in The Hole in the Wall the group of eleven boarded the midday Eurostar for Brussels and onward to Maastricht. Arriving in the early evening everyone soon settled into the hotel, De Poshoorn, handily located 200 metres from the main railway station and one of the recommended biercafes in Maastricht. Tied to Gulpener the hotel serves their full draft range plus guests and an extensive bottled menu.

Other recommended bars found during our stay were:- Take One: A small bar presided over by Peet with support from Mery, with the emphasis on Belgium beers (although the odd Dutch beer does get a look in). If you want to die quickly (but happy) ask Peet for his recommendation, otherwise just enjoy the choice from eight draught and over 100 bottled beers stocked.

If none of these are to your liking, do not despair, there are reputedly over 300 bars in Maastricht

T Pothuiske: Another Gulpener tie (but so long as they serve Chateau Neubourg who cares) with 12 draught beers but only a small bottled selection.

Falstaff: A good selection of around 8 draught beers, including Ciney Blonde, the bar is frequented by students and plays VERY LOUD MUSIC.

Inden Ouden Vogelstruys: Located on the main square, the oldest bar in Maastricht is a must visit just for the decor, atmosphere and the incredible way the waiters manage to get the drinks to you when it is packed. Brand beer, it serves the UP (Urtyp) on draught.


After managing to get the last of the party out of bed (you know who you are, KO), we headed off by bus to Gulpen, about 15 kilometres away. Home of the independent Gulpener brewery, a visit to De Zwarte Ruiter (The Black Knight) will provide you with the all the beers available from this brewery, including the current seasonal offering. A very nice café. Fortified with a few beers we were ready for the walk to Wijlre, some 2km away and our tour of the Brand brewery located there.

After a short introductory film (in English) we set off with our guide, Noel, for a tour of this modernised brewery. Sold by the Brand family to Heineken in the late 1980’s the brewery maintains some independence, which fortunately includes brewing its complete range of beers. Noel’s informative tour duly arrived back at the hospitality room so we could sample the range. Moving swiftly past the pilsner, some lingered on the gorgeous UP before moving on to impressive Imperator (where more lingered) and finishing on the Dubblebock. After a few hours tasting our excellent guide escorted us to the bus stop and the next stage of the days travels- to Valkenburg.

Valkenburg is the home of the Leeuw (Lion) brewery and there are many café’s in the tourist town in which to sample their beer. After doing so, it was time to catch the train back to Maastricht and catch up with the bar survey there.


Another day, another brewery. But before embarking on this day’s tour there was time to explore the fine city of Maastricht or even walk to Belgium. Maastricht, as well as boosting a large number of bars also has many historical buildings and an extensive (and probably expensive) range of shops.

Enough of that., back to the beer. The De Ridder brewery is also part of the Heineken empire but like Brand maintains it’s own independence if not it’s full range of beers. Located in the city there is no room for expansion and De Ridder is about a quarter of the size of Brand. This time we were joined by five Dutch drinkers who had started out at 5 o’clock in the morning thinking the tour started at 10.00 rather than the actual 13.00, kick off! After a short film, this time in Dutch we headed off on the tour with our guide, Walter, who had been primed by Noel what to expect from his English guests. Being a much smaller brewery and all of us, including the Dutch, having been to breweries before, the tour was over fairly smartly and we adjourned to the hospitality room.

In March 2002, under Heineken’s instruction, De Ridder stopped brewing it’s own Pilsner. Consequently all the Maastricht café’s previously ‘tied’ to Ridder were offered Heineken or Brand instead and you no longer see Ridder logos about.) So we swiftly moved on from Heineken pils onto the Ridder Vos, very acceptable pale ale and the Wieckse Witte, an acceptable wheat beer. Again, Ridder no longer brews their own Bockbier and unfortunately the replacement Heineken Dubbelbock was not universally liked. Still once we got that one down, the way was clear for Walter to change the barrel and bring on the Maltezer. This Dortmunder style beer is brewed twice a year and is only available in three places, two in Maastricht and one ‘up north’. This was by far the best Ridder beer so they make sure it is not widely available. During the tasting session, which lasted to 17.30, we were joined by Noel who stayed with us during the evening’s further investigation of Maastricht’s bars.


Being so close, a trip to Liege and the Vaudree beer café seemed appropriate. As some of the party wanted to look around Liege and others wanted a gentle start to the day it was arranged to meet at the bar, which is located in the suburb of Angleur - one stop down the line from the main Liege Guillemins station. Whilst four managed to find the bar easily enough, seven thought it was too easy and decided to get there via Herstal - a stop in the middle of nowhere and in the opposite direction from Angleur! Still when found, the bar is well worth a visit. Open 24/7 it boasts 20 draught ales and a menu of over 1000 beers! A beer drinker’s paradise, the food is not bad either.

Returning to Maastricht we managed to see the Slovakia/England match and complete our investigation into Maastricht bars


A quiet journey back was finished off where we started with a pint in The Hole in the Wall at Waterloo.

Created on 01/22/2006 04:15 PM by drinking
Updated on 01/22/2006 04:20 PM by drinking
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