11. Zum Uerige, Dusseldorf, Germany

Zum Uerige is no shrinking violet on the beer scene- it has been serving weary travellers for hundreds of years (perhaps).

IMG_1853

Service is brisk and efficient (in Germany?!) and the waiters tally up your drinks on your beer mat, which acts as your tab, and possibly also inspires competition amongst friends, depending on your drinking style. Quiet a few patrons on travel review websites find this rude- it’s busy, the servers wonder around offering fresh beers already poured, so I think conventional serving would really slow things down.

IMG_1889

This was our third beer hall of the day, and we both found it much more characterful than Cologne’s two offerings (see Früh am Dom and Brauhaus Sion).

IMG_1868

Why is everyone moving so fast…?

The Uerige alt beer is style-defining, and rightfully so: delicious.

IMG_1874

There are a variety of rooms, some supporting dining and others promoting vertical drinking. This adds depth and, crucially, keeps the noise down. The prices are fair and the grub is typical German bar food- pig and pickled things. We had goulash which was packed with very generously sized stewed meat.

IMG_1869

IMG_1896

Venue: 9/10

Hearty, warm and solid throughout. Very tastefully maintained. Efficient, brisk staff wandering around with fresh beers.

Beer: 8/10

A perfect example of a German Alt, eminently quaffable, and possibly the most stylish beer bottles around.

Worthy? Yes

Quality and history. Well-maintained without tacky refurbishments.

Advertisements

Candidate #9- Café de Bonte Koe, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Café de Bonte Koe is tucked away down a narrow alley in Leiden, the Netherlands. I went to Leiden with intentions of finding it, yet still stumbled upon it accidentally. So I had to go in.

IMG_1928

The wind was scything through my grossly inadequate jacket, so the literal and figurative warmth of Café de Bonte Koe was most welcome.

IMG_1978

We took a pew (this may or may not have been an actual pew) in the far corner that offers some privacy, being a nook as it is.

IMG_1948

I chose the beer from the menu mainly due to the interesting name, so when Laura came back from the bar presenting some kind of jam jar goblet I was very impressed.

IMG_1961

Want to jump in? I do.

Wilderen Goud is brewed by Brouwerij Wilderen (Anno 1743) in the provinces of Belgium, somewhere in-between Brussels and Maastricht, where they also age cheese, craft chocolate and distil gin- what more do you need? Their Goud is an eminently quaffable golden blond, a real session beer.

IMG_1942

Sweet nectar

I could have spent hours here. We had a slab of cheese- complete with cutting board and apparatus, and a fancy toastie. The staff were excellent, especially for the Netherlands, and took our orders and set our tab without even needing to ask where we were sat.

Venue: 10/10

As quaint as they come. Efficient staff and automatic tabs = effective inebriation.

Beer: 8/10

A tight selection. Not afraid to go for rarer beers produced with passion by small operations.

Worthy? Yes

There is a lot right with this place; in particular, that we were able to waltz in on a windy Saturday and get a seat, proving that there are certain advantages to being outside the capital.