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.
The wind was scything through my grossly inadequate jacket, so the literal and figurative warmth of Café de Bonte Koe was most welcome.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As quaint as they come. Efficient staff and automatic tabs = effective inebriation.
A tight selection. Not afraid to go for rarer beers produced with passion by small operations.
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.