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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Johan -

To confuse things even more, they're actually a mixed Flemish Dutch couple. Hildegard, who's the brew master, is Flemish, and Bas who created the label artwork, is Dutch. The Urthel beers are brewed at the Koningshoeven premises, but not by the monks. If they were, they'd be Trappist beers. I'm pretty sure Hildegard does the brewing herself.

Alan -

Hmmm...so we need to know what currency is used for the payment for the rental of the kettles.

Paul Garrard -

The joy of most sensible European countries is that they have this common currency called the Euro. Makes travelling across borders to buy beer a whole heap easier.

Alan -

Dangnabbit! I was stuck in 1968 again. Clearly what I meant to say was which government collects the excise tax.

Alan -

Note: more monky now than 1999-2005:<blockquote class="smalltext">As part of this settlement, the monks have taken a more active control of the brewery day to day operations, working several hours each day.</blockquote>

JosB -

Netherlands please, not Holland.
As for the excise duties: probably the excise duties for the beer that stays in the Netherlands, excise will be collected by the dutch government, and for the beer that is exported, it will be collected in the country where it is actually sold.

Alan -

"Please"??? Please yourself. I lived in Aalsmeer and need no bad edjification. In English it is "Holland" or "The Netherlands" but not "Netherlands". In Dutch it is "Nederlands". If you are going to be priggish be correct. Your unspoken point that, in Dutch, Holland refers to two of the provinces of the Netherlands is interesting enough but not on point.<p>I know nothing about Dutch excise tax regulation but "excise taxes" as they described under Canadian law are a tax collected on production or import so you may be right but they would be registered for collected by the Dutch for the production facility so, again, this is a Dutch beer: <i>Hollandaise</i> as it were. Belgium might collect import excise taxes but so would Canada. This is not a Canadian beer any more than it is Belgian.

The Beer Nut -

Beg pardon, sir, but Holland is not a standard English-language name for the Netherlands. I doubt you'll find it on any maps or reliable documents. It's one of those common mistakes foreigners make, like saying "England" when they mean Britain or the UK.

Alan -

Interesting. Here in northern North America it is far more common to call the country "Holland" and as we have loads of immigrants from the Netherlands - we even have north of Ontario a big Dutch greenhousey area called "Holland Marsh" but you have to watch some of those names as an earlier British surveyor was a Mr. Holland. You say "The Netherlands" to most Canadians and the eyes gaze. To most, we liberated Holland. Also, note that the tourist information URL for the Dutch embassy in Canada (ie their own choice) is www.holland.com.

I am not saying The Netherlands is wrong - that would be dumb. Of course, you may be quite right about the mapping but that is not the source of common understanding. So, just to be clear, "Holland" is a standard English-language name for the Netherlands but not where you live.

That being said, the reason I have the category called "Holland" and not "The Netherlands" is purely due to the scarcity of sports for letters available for my post titles if I am going to keep the titles all on one line. for standard browsing size.

Alan -

Note: the entry in the Canadian Encyclopedia entitled "The Liberation of Holland", though it is fair to note that much of Canadian operaions were in the provinces of Holland. Also note mixed use of the two phrases interchangibly here at our national War Museum.

The Beer Nut -

Thank you for entertaining the ramblings of this whiney old crank. I'll grant my learnéd friend that it's a standard name for the Netherlands where he lives, but it's still wrong. Similarly, the Library of Congress does not recognise the existence of the UK in its subject headings. The term "Great Britain", which has meant something different since 1801, is used instead. Different, standard, but still wrong.

And then there's the use of "Scotch" to mean Scottish, in contexts other than beef or whisky. Where did I leave my blood-pressure pills..?

Alan Campbell McLeod -

Gold: "...I'll grant my learnéd friend that it's a standard name for the Netherlands where he lives, but it's still wrong..."

Scottish is English for Scotch...

[Later: ...or Scots, really.]

Ron Pattinson -

Beer nut - what about scotch eggs? Oh, and Scotch Ale.

Alan -

I am pretty sure I buy Scotch marmalade, too.

Alan -

Not to mention Scotch tape by 3M with the nice tartan design on the package. And Scotch mints.

The Beer Nut -

Scotch eggs are made places other than Scotland (thankfully). Therefore Scotch in this context does not mean Scottish. Likewise Scotch ale and Scotch tape. Where your marmalade and mints come from, Alan, is not for me to speculate upon.

Alan -

You would be suggesting by that logic that I am not Scots given that I was born away. That is silly.

The Beer Nut -

No, I'd be suggesting that you are not Scotch. But I can tell I'm wrong from your overpowering peaty aroma.