I woke up to seeing this strange bright orb in the sky which I was later told was in fact the sun. Since the weather was a bit nicer, I decided to take up the suggestion of my buddy Erik to go check out Haarlem, which was less than an hour away via bus.
The tram to bus transfer was pretty painless and soon arrived at the pretty town of Haarlem. My first destination was a craft brewery that had helped establish the Haarlem beer scene, Jopen which had taken over a former church.
I read it gets busy quickly so had times to get there right when it opened and I was one of the first patrons there. A flight of course was in order but also needed some food so I decided to get the fried eggs with ham and cheese on toast – basically a large open faced Egg McMuffin – proper beer food.
The standard tasting flight consisted of a light wheat beer, their IPA and a Belgian style quad. All were very drinkable if not memorable. However, I got to try some other specialized beers that were more in my wheelhouse including a smoked white ale, barrel aged stout and an IPA infused with gin.
I had tried another Haarlem craft beer called Ultije, which happened to have a tasting room just a couple of blocks away so that was my next stop.
I sidled up to the bar and asked if I could do a flight. The bartender said I could pick any 4 beers from the 30 on tap. I saw several barrel aged stouts so made a flight of darkness.
Left to right
Utije Baltic Porter
De Moersleutel Imperial Russian Stout
De Moersleutel Wanna Taste My Candy Cane? Imperial Stout with Orange, Cinnamon, Clove, Star Anise
De Moersleutel Imperial Stout aged in Japanese whiskey barrels (!)
I chatted awhile with the bartender Nicholas about the local beer scene and particularly about the brewery that was 3 of my 4 beers. He said they were former homebrewers who like the dark and heavy stuff. Their site said once you have their beers all others will be ruined for life. They may have had a point.
After an unwise mad dash for the bus with a belly full of heavy beer that ended in failure, I had 20 or so minutes to walk around the town a bit before getting on the next bus back to Amsterdam.
Still enjoying a nice beer buzz, I thought now would be the perfect time to visit the glorious Amsterdam staple FEBO.
FEBO is both an automated food dispensary as well as some limited items that are requested at the counter. I had been told that one of the things from that option was the roasted chicken thighs. So I first used the machine to get some fries and a veal croquette along with the chicken.
All 3 were hot salty goodness but the chicken thigh was by far the highlight. My feet and back were starting to ache and since this is a marathon, not a spirit I took the usual tram and walked back to my hotel.