Tuesday, March 8, 2016


http://wfmu.org/flashplayer.php?version=1&show=64304&archive=136409 Interview with Erwin and Michel of the Jopen brewery -- Part 1 of 2 
http://wfmu.org/flashplayer.php?version=1&show=64304&archive=136409 Interview with Erwin and Michel of the Jopen brewery -- Part 2 of 2 

http://mofohockey.org/podcastgen/download.php?filename=2016-02-02_bh188.mp3 Non-Flash ENTIRE podcast (Part 1 and 2)

The Jopen brewery in Haarlem, Netherlands began simply as one component of many festivities celebrating the 750th anniversary of the founding of the historic city of Haarlem, the namesake of another historic district, if not quite as established, in old New Amsterdam. Brewery manager Erwin and brewer Michel explained that, along with ideas of a jousting contest, culinary exhibitions, and other cultural events, a group of about 10 Haarlemers thought that brewing an old beer recipe was an excellent idea to honor the town.

Brewer Michel and B.R.

After all, beer and the taxes raised from its sale were a significant source of revenue for the city dating back to its founding. Popular Haarlem gruit beer, transported in 112L wooden barrels called Jopen, was sold all throughout the Lowlands. So, after some digging in the city archives, recipes for two beers were unearthed -- one from 1407 name Koyt which was in the gruit style, and another from 1501 called Hoppenbier, which was one of the earliest documentations of hops being used in beer brewing in Holland!

Lydian and her husband Michel at Spuyten Duyvil.
Though it was only meant to exist for the year long celebration, the people of Haarlem loved the beer and the demand justified the establishment of an ongoing commercial enterprise. The initial project began in 1992, and by 1996 Jopen became a regularly functioning brewing company. They started as a contract brewer and bounced around a few breweries, including Halve Maan (Half Moon) and La Trappe in the Netherlands, and De Proef in Belgium. Eventually, in 2010, they took over a decomissioned church and built their own brewhouse there, right in Haarlem.

Michel and Andy of Spuyten Duyvil.

The brewery has a wide range of ales in the portfolio, and continues to brew its original two beers. They try to work in some historic angle to all the beers that they produce. One thing that do is brew a lot of beers with oats, in addition to wheat malt and barley malt, which was a traditional Dutch brewing technique, giving the beer a nice, round, full body and mouthfeel.

Erwin at a foodtruck in East Williamsburg.
Jopen will be available in the United States beginning in March of 2016, starting with the Koyt (1407 recipe), Hoppenbier (which will be labeled "Haarlem 1501" in the US), Doubting Thomas, a 10% quad hopped with American hops, and the Adriaan Wit, which was created as a benefit to help renovate an old historic windmill of the same name. We don't know about you, but we're "jopen" to trying them all!

The brewhouse in Haarlem.
Glasses filled with Jopen collaboration Disco Bitch.

Jopen Librije's Bier.

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