A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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brett maxwell -

They have a great brewpub in Amsterdam also. I don't believe they had the Struis on tap while I was there, but I was a big fan of their Columbus. Unfortunately, I've never seen anything from them at my local stores.

Knut Albert -

They have some great beers, but the quality can vary, I had a few infected bottles last year. I'd recommend any serious beer lover to check them out if you come across them.

As for the mark up, it may be due to the small quantities involved, they would sell thousands of bottles of Chimay for each of the 't IJ ones.

TC Shillingford -

Was in Amsterdam just last week and came across the 't IJ brewery. Wonderful beer, and, at least at the brewery, pretty inexpensive. Brought home a few bottles--the Struis, the Columbus, the Y-Wit. Excellent beer, though I can't imagine why it's so pricey for the Cracked Kettle to ship it. Prices weren't too bad in-store.

Ron Pattinson -

Struis can be a wonderful beer. Personally, I prefer it without the brett, when it's deliciously chocolatey.

I'm intrigued by your desciption of the colour as "orange amber". All the ones I've had have been pretty dark brown. Are you sure that it wasn't Columbus you were drinking?

As it's a local beer, I would expect it to be relatively cheaper in Amsterdam than elsewhere. Though $6.20 seems pretty steep. I don't think I pay much over a euro here for a bottle.

Alan -

TC: I bought it in the US for the 6.20, not through Cracked Kettle. I just mentioned them to compare retail prices.

Ron: it did go muddier when I swirled but it was definitely a lighter colour than I had expected. Comparable to Young's Special London (going from recollection) and maybe even a little lighter.

Knut: I worked with importing from Amsterdam way back. I don't think the monks of Chimay would take that kind of cut for volume. And I would presume that a few palates of even a beer like with would be imported consolidating the load with other imports through one shipping or air container. I don't know where in the import chain that sort of volume pricing factor would apply.

Just to be clear, it was definitely well made and pleasurable. I am just not looking to pay 37.20 USD for a six-pack.

Stan Hieronymus -

One more reason you should have Michael Jackson's Beer Hunter series archived - either taped it when it was on TV or bought the tapes. He had a great little segment with founder Kaspar Peterson, who was able to open the brewery with money he made writing rock songs.

Sorry, I don't know anywhere you can get a copy. Beerbooks.com came across a few copies a while back and they sold in the blink of an eye.

Ron Pattinson -

That's very strange. The colour and your description of the taste don't sound like the Struis I know.

I wonder if they've labelled it incorrectly? That isn't as unlikely as you might think. Cafe Belgique once had "Vlo" that was actually Natte because of a mistake at the brewery.

Alan -

If you look at ratebeer, the orange colour other North Americans describe seems to be consistent with what I saw.

Jason Tucker -

I think I'm going to have to try this one out for myself. It sounds like it might age well, I'm going to have to cellar a few.

This is a good a place as any to say I've enjoyed your feed for some time now!

Alan -

Hey, thanks Jason. Nice beer stash.

Ron Pattinson -

I tried a bottle of Struis last night. I think you over th pond must describe colours differently. I would definitely call Struis red-brown. It was a bit too bretty for my taste, but still pretty damn nice.

Alan -

Oh, yeah? Maybe you have 40 watt light bulbs! Did you take a photo?

Jeff Cunningham -

Hey guys, just floating around the web and thought I would post a reply. Concerning the Ij beers. They don't actually export as they are just too small (and don't really sell in bulk at much lower prices). I assume Shelton are getting some but I doubt too much as the brewery can barely supply the demand in Amsterdam (we often have trouble getting it and the brewery is just down the road).

Importing beer into the States often incurs a 100% duty for the importer...nuts I know. Of course the importer needs to make some margin. The beer is purchased in Euros and is purchased in Dollars...Ugg gets pretty expensive, even when buying in bulk thanks to the weak dollar.

For us, shipping is pretty expensive. We like to use Fedex because they are reliable and fast but they are extortionate (we even get their highest discount at 65%). If anyone out there knows of a reliable shipping company that is cheaper than Fedex please let us know as we want to lower shipping costs. We have tried to use the normal Dutch post but it appears that they repeatedly smash the boxes against the ground until something breaks, they actually told me at the post office that a Fragile sticker means "throw me harder". Apparently the Dutch postal workers are quite disgruntled.

Anyways, hope you guys are doing well, I'll try to check the blogs more often.



Alan -

Hey Jeff - thanks for checking in. I hope things are well. I figured there was duty issues in there. I trained as a flower wholesaler in Aalsmeer at a point in a former career and when I got back to Canada and imported, I was blown away by the duty and shipping costs. <p>That being said, any consideration of the relative value of the imported beer as to local craft has to take these mark-ups into account. It's great to try them out to see what is what and how the other brewer's thinking - but to consider that the beer that costs 9 bucks from a foreign land is twice as good as a local at $4.50 is just bad math.