Beer Walks I: ‘O, dear that’s a gigantic tosti!’

Being outdoors on a lovely spring day enjoying the sun and awakening nature is a perfect outlook for a day off. Like all our walks through the Dutch countryside we have a goal that is related to beer and this time it is Brouwerij De Molen and the nearby Speciaal Bier Winkel in Bodegraven. Once a year Bodegraven is the Walhalla for beer enthusiasts from all over the world. We have visited the Borefts beer festival several times now but today we will visit Bodegraven without the masses around the mill although there is always a possibility of a full terrace when we will arrive.

DSC08640The starting point for our walk is Gouda. Within a five minute walk from the Gouda Goverwelle train station we enter the Goudse Hout: a very attractive nature preserve. A perfect example of Dutch (flat) landscape. Beautiful yellow rapeseed, water with all sorts of birds, especially geese, and around it paths only accessible by bikers and walkers. We visit the so called Heemtuin which is located within this preserve: herbs, willows carefully topped, little bridges and a pond surrounded by upcoming reeds all maintained by volunteers. Created for educational purposes, for us it’s pure enjoyment.

Reeuwijkse Plassen

Reeuwijkse Plassen

Leaving the Goudse Hout we continue our walk on the very small roads. Unfortunately regularly a car passes by forcing us to the small area of grass next to it. Soon we see the water of the Reeuwijkse plassen. In the beginning a lot of houses block our view at the water but after that recreation areas give us the opportunity to enjoy the view. The sun is warmer than we realized and the prospect of a cold beer and food becomes more attractive by each step. Passing through the Reeuwijkse plassen by a small path we enter the Reeuwijkse hout. Even though there is a warning for (harmless) snakes we see none. Here you can find a little beach and diving area. The last part of our walk is less attractive. A busy highway is splitting town from nature. Entering Bodegraven this way is necessary to achieve our goal and our pace is increasing.

At last we see the mill. My legs are tired and longing for relaxation. It’s not busy. We see tourists buying bottles from the shop, making photographs of the De Molen sign and enjoying a nice glass of beer on the terrace. The menu has enough choice to enjoy a good meal. The asparagus soup with beer and the salmon and trout sandwich are

Huge Super Molen Tosti

Huge Super Molen Tosti

delicious. The ‘O, dear I’ll never finish this super molen tosti’ we never heard of before. It was good to ask the waitress by forehand about the size of this gigantic tosti. Not put off by the answer we ordered it. At least four layers of cheese, together with ham and pineapple are between the two slices of bread. Maybe not recommendable for someone with a cholesterol problem. At least your hunger will be satisfied for half a day. For a drink we try the Pale Ale Citra and Brood en Spelen. Intriguing is the ‘Bommen en Granaten beer bonbon’ but there is no room in our stomachs left. Only de Molen beer mustard we take home with us for to use for dipping the delicious Vocking leverworst in.

If we leave the grounds of De Molen it is just a few steps further to the Speciaalbierwinkel of Jan Kraan. For a small town like Bodegraven there is a lot of choice in beer. The shop is not competing with De Molen but they complement each other. Here you can find more than 500 beers from Dutch breweries. Owner Jan Kraan tells us that his dream of having all Dutch beers available in his shop is unfortunately difficult because he sells not enough and expiration dates will result in throwing bottles away. We choose beers which we have not tried before and of course we want a beer from the owner himself, who brews his own Kraanwater. Carefully we lift our bags packed with the bottles. An important advice when beer is your hobby: a good backpack is essential and buy your bottles after the walk and not before. The sun is going down and it’s time to go home. We had a perfect day with lots of nature, beer and food and of course the photographs to prove it.

gouda-bodegraven

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