I recently found myself lucky enough to get sent to The Netherlands for work. I was going to find myself in The Hague for a few days and had to plan to optimize the trip to bring back as much beer as possible. I will write a follow up article on the challenges of flying with beer in a separate post. The point of the current article is about getting the beer while traveling. When I’m going to a new place, the first thing I do is look for beer stores. Typically conducting a Google search for “beer guide …” will bring up a result for BeerAdvocate. For some reason, I haven’t been able to conduct a valid search within BeerAdvocate to get to these guides, but the Google search gets me there. Go figure. As an example, here is a great beer guide for Phoenix, Arizona. This wasn’t working for The Hague, so I set about looking up other places and happened to find an article from Yelp: Best Breweries in The Hague. The article specifically calls out a beer store with a huge selection of Dutch beers (ABC Beers). Eureka!
On my first night there, I tried to go to ABC Beers. Unfortunately they were closed and the best I got was a picture of their hours of operation so I could come back another night.
The next night I trudged through the rain to get back there before they closed. The place is very unassuming from the outside, but it was absolutely worth the trip.
Too often, when I find a good place to buy beer it is a larger liquor store with a big staff and a random person that actually knows their beer. ABC Beers was completely different in all the right ways. The place is relatively small, but packed wall to wall with beer.
They have bottles for sale, they brew their own beer (Haagse Harry Pogtah Bieah) and they have beer on tap so you can drink as you browse the store. The owner, Dean, is behind the counter and they even have their own Norm from Cheers who helps you out with your beer selection even though he doesn’t work there. This is definitely a place that has it all. I talked with the owner about bottle collecting and other collectors he knew. They I purchased 24 individual bottles and trudged them back to the hotel through the rain. This is where the nature of the adventure shifts from the adventure of the hunt to the challenge of transportation. This was going to be an enormous challenge to get back home. I suppose that is as good a setup as I can get for my next topic: Transporting Beer by Plane.