Groningen Part 2: Shop update and a new place to drink beer.

Last year on this very site I published a piece on Groningen and it’s beer stores and specialty beer café’s. Last weekend I was back in my hometown and made another visit to the stores again to see how much things changed since last year. What I encountered in the shops is another sign that the revolution is still going strong, and Groningen is catching up fast.

New beer distributors have started delivering up north, greatly increasing the variety of beer in the stores. For example, it seems that a shipment of Mikkeller and Brewdog came into town and it now sold in the stores mentioned below. The prices of the bottles seem lower compared to the Western part of the country. This is another reason to visit, but bring a car or a sturdy crate, you might be coming home with more than you wanted.

The owners/managers of the stores too have seen the value of varied and changing selection of specialty beer and every single one of the stores mentioned below has only gotten better since the last time I wrote about them a year ago. A short recap of the visits.

IMG_6129 De Roemer

De Roemer’s core business remains their excellent stock of wine, whiskey and other heavy liquor. Their space for beer hasn’t grown but is, though small, excellent and rotates frequently. Since my last visit in December it seems half of it was new again. A good place to find some special barrel aged De Molens or an Emelisse White Label. The owners’ beer knowledge is also getting better and better but he also keeps his mind open for suggestions.


IMG_6134Van Erp

My encounters with the shelves in Van Erp’s store in downtown Groningen have been varied. Sometimes the selection is so wonderful you are not able to take everything you wanted back with you, other times you walk out of the store with only 2 or 3 new ones. This I found out has a reason. I was lucky because the day before I came in new De Molens had arrived. But word of mouth and the internet disperses news fast and it usually takes only a week before it is all sold out. So my apologies to Van Erp. In the first article I lamented the sometimes lack of selection, it seems now that they are selling their stock so fast that sometimes they just can’t keep up. So the only thing I can still blame them for is that they don’t have enough on stock J. For those willing to take a trip, in their second store in the town of Roden (about 20km away) they also have a good selection of beer.


IMG_6135Mitra Vismarkt

In last year’s article I named the Mitra on the Vismarkt the number 1 destination to fill your crates with good specialty beer. And manager Bas has no plans of stopping and is planning to increase the number of bottles in store even more. His ideas about where he wants to go with the store are wild but if they pan out it will become a haven for beerlovers. More on that hopefully in the coming months on this blog.


Extra addition: The Dog’s Bollocks

In the last article I wasn’t too happy with De Pintelier, a Belgian beer bar where the staff doesn’t know what brett is. Jeroen Bax told me about a new place that was checking out, and we did. The Dog’s Bollocks is a bar/restaurant that has a more than decent beer menu, and a few special beers on tap (‘t IJ and Thornbridge this time). It offers beer menus so you can try 4 different IPA’s or Triples. Bigger bottles can be shared and the menu outside the regular one is very fine.

IMG_6138What sets it apart from the other specialty beer places in Groningen is the food. Especially the burgers seem mighty fine and a favorite since the staff was carrying them constantly from the kitchen to the hungry guests. Their huge burger that you can share with friends rivals the size of the infamous De Molen tosti. The menu is meat oriented but has vegetarian options. We didn’t get a chance to try the burgers, but next time I will definitely order the smoked burger, that is served under a glass dome filled with flavorful smoke. And what better to wash down a culinary delight like this with a good De Molen, Maximus or Bax beer while watching a football match on the screens.

I’m getting more and more proud of the city I spent my youth in, keep up the good work.

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