Local Heart, Global Soul

December 12, 2014

A Brewery Tour With No Beer: …Seriously?

Filed under: GERMANY,Ichenhausen,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Every thought you had an excellent idea for an event and then found that reality didn’t quite live up to what you’expected?

When I signed up to the Autenrieder Brauereigasthof hotel in Ichenhausen’s  brewery tour, it seemed ideal.

The brewery makes soft drinks as well as beer, so something for the rest of the family to sample, it would be educational and the brewery was at the back of our hotel so no difficulties in getting there.

In yesterday’s post I have a photograph of a poster for a local beer museum,  it looked olde worlde as museums usually do and somehow I had imaginings of an old brewery going through my little grey cells.

I’ve never been a beer drinker, in fact I’d make the ideal brewery worker because I adore the smell of beer but detest the taste, I’m never ever going to be swallowing the profits. Still, I knew that when a free sample of the product was given out that Himself would be most accommodating when it came to relieving me of my unwanted tipple, so win-win.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Tours take place in the evening when the production line is not in operation, and when I enquired about the advertised tours the lady at reception told me that they don’t do them for very small groups like our family of four, but we would be welcome to tag along with a pre-booked bus tour who were coming out on a day trip especially to see the brewery.

The bus group would stay the night in the hotel and then head home the next day. The idea that people come from far and wide especially to see this brewery seemed very positive so although the kids moaned a little, Himself and I told them that this was going to be fun and as a special favour to their Papa we should do this as a family.

They grumbled a bit more but then agreed. We therefore joined a large group of German tourists and were led into the brewery by our guide. Red flags telling us that we might not be getting the experience we expected appeared about ten minutes into the tour.

The German being spoken by the guide is motoring along at the same speed as the autobahn speed limit. It’s impossible to follow.  Himself tries but admits defeat after a few minutes.

Apart from the younger bus driver, the bus tour group is made up of beer aficionados and all of them are a lot older than us.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Some of the bus tour people seem to be speaking a German dialect, which the tour guide also knows. There is no provision for English translation. We understand not a single word.

Well, I lie… I hear the word “beer” fairly frequently but that’s not particularly helpful in the deluge of words.

The guide likes to describe everything in detail. Absolute, minute, amazing, astonishing detail.

We stand for fifteen minutes at the first “stop” where apparently something to do with the sourcing and composition of ingredients is being described.

I find a step to sit on. Little Mr gets tired of standing and comes and sits on the knee of my good leg.

Then the guide indicates that we are about to move on to the next “point”, but before that does anyone have any questions? Several hands shoot up. The questions appear to be as long winded as the forthcoming answers.  More than ten minutes later we move into a small cinema screening area.

The movie, with it’s moving pictures more or less explains itself and we get ready to move on, the guide asks if there are any questions.  Sadly there are, many of them, and more than ten minutes later we are finally out of the cinema area. At each stage the long long explanation of everything around us is repeated and the guide asks if there are any questions.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

For some reason this group always have questions and with every positive response to this question I groan inwardly. The hours are ticking by. The outside doors have been locked behind us for reasons of security and the route back to where we came in is not a direct one.

The bus group move on enthusiastically and at one point I work out at we sat for roughly twenty minutes listening to information and then answers to questions.

The children are now not just bored ridged but also getting really tired. I don’t blame them, I am too. Even Himself is giving me the eye that escape would be preferable if only we knew were the exit was. The tour goes on and on and on.

For the bus tour group they got more than their money’s worth of information and they appear to be having the time of their lives, for Family Kiwidutch it was an unmitigated disaster.

Finally we round a corner where crates of the cola, fizzy fruit juices and beer made here are stacked from floor to ceiling. Another ten minutes paced with boundless information I don’t understand. At least there should be a tasting around the corner right? Wrong. After the last question is answered we are lead to a door and find ourselves outside the building.

The guide is locking up and going home, the bus tour is cheerfully heading to their set-menu dinner in the hotel restaurant. Himself asks the guide as best and amicably as he can in German if there are maybe samples of the beer? or something for the children? No, there aren’t any, the bus tour folks get a free drink with their meal, as tag-alongs to their group we get nothing, but we can always buy ourselves something at the hotel bar.

What? A Beer tour with no sample of the product at the end of it? Seriously? There’s not even any olde worlde stuff to excite me, everything is stainless steel and soulless. I have never spent an evening so bored stiff in all my life.

I don’t blame the kids their complaints. I fact I found them exceptionally valid. Had I had even the slightest clue before hand how this was going to be beforehand I never would have done it. Even Himself was disappointed. This is a tour for those who adore beer, who want more information than you thought possible or probably ever wanted on the topic of beer, for  people who can keep up with all of this information delivered in light-speed  rate German and who enjoy all of this with no sample of the product at the end.  That’s just not us.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 11, 2014

Looking For A Brew And Finding A Brewery…

Filed under: German Cuisine,GERMANY,Ichenhausen,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch have checked into the Autenrieder Brauereigasthof hotel in Ichenhausen, Germany and like most hotel bookings made these days, I booked it on-line.

When searching the internet I’d been wondering about the weather and activities that would suit every member of the family to some degree or another.

The hotel’s indoor swimming pool was mainly for the children should the weather be too cold for outdoor pursuits, the family room and wifi were for practicality and to fit the budget and there was an extra attraction especially for Himself: Beer. Of course Germany is the home of many an excellent beer and we didn’t need to travel for over seven hundred kilometres to get one of those, but the distance covered was for an entirely different reason, one that will be explained in due course. My reasoning when booking the hotel was that should we encounter inclement weather during our stay and wish to stay more of the time indoors and at the hotel, that there should be something for Himself to enjoy too, and by chance this particular hotel came with something that was sure to keep Himself very happy indeed: it’s own brewery.

My tee-total status has been useless in the “designated driver” stakes because my foot accident has reduced Himself to being the only fit driver, ergo, he can not enjoy alcohol with a meal out and then get behind the wheel to take us home. Therefore the possibility of  enjoying some local beers in the restaurant or back in the family room in the evening is appealing. Therefore we make enquiries and signed Family Kiwidutch up for a beer tour.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Grain delivery…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

April 5, 2013

Crypt-ic Brewing and Other Peculiarities…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS,UTRECHT (Province) — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You are browsing though a post I have made using my achieve photos of a trip Family Kiwidutch made with the family of one of my cousins, visiting us from New Zealand a few years ago.

In yesterdays post I mentioned that in centuries gone by, the bad state of many roads meant that canals were a faster and easier mode of travel and that the haulage of goods, ingredients and livestock were usually done on the waterways.

For ease of transport  most breweries in the Netherlands were located on canalside and here is no exception, although we did also learn on our boat tour of Utrecht that the beer from the brewery shown in the first photograph supposedly had a rather “ peculiar” taste because they also used the canal water in the beer.

Since the waterways were also the dumping ground for anything and everything (mentionable and unmentionable) I hope that the alcohol in that beer was strong enough to kill off the certain nasties it must surely have contained.

Since this brewery managed to stay in business for hundreds of years, they obviously didn’t kill their customers with the beer… or maybe they did but it happened so slowly that people didn’t suspect the cause? … or is it simply that people  back then had cast iron constitutions?

We pass one spot of the “lower street” with not just a large wooden sculpture out the front but also a rather strange looking angel suspended from the tree…  This we are told is a sign that tells people that the crypts of wealthy people are located in the spaces behind.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A little further along we branch away from the smaller inner canals  where the “lower street”  idea is no longer present  but the warehouses and cellars still are, this time with doors directly on the canal front.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These little canals in turn branch into the broader ones that were effectively the early motorways of the city. A large wall and a gate  mark the ancient toll entrance  into Utrecht.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We also pass a sturdy looking jetty that is the docking point for  boats taking visitors to the nationally known Railway Museum a short distance away…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We boat  and  people watch: other tourists passing by in a similar tour boat to ours, to locals messing around with their craft and pets on the water’s edge.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There is a large building  that dates from the 1700’s,  it started life as an orphanage then became a  home for the elderly and has now been converted into apartments.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Some photos just take my fancy: bridges, squeezing under bridges, houses and views from the water…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 23, 2012

You’ll Only Find a Brownie Like this Once in A Brew Moon…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We’ve come for lunch to the Brew Moon café and brewery just outside Amberly,  north of Christchurch New Zealand.

There’s a cabinet of food on display … it all looks delicious but I can’t eat it all so I choose a slice of  bacon and egg pie .

(I see a definite  theme in my menu choices this holiday LOL!) but to be honest it looks too good to resist and all of the previous examples have been fabulously tasty.

This piece of bacon and egg pie  turns out to be no exception and I’m delighted with my meal. The kids didn’t end up having lunch because they weren’t hungry having eaten a late and substantial breakfast/brunch of toast and sandwiches, so they enjoyed a simple ice-cream later for “dessert”.

For dessert I choose the chocolate brownie with ice-cream (actually as is our habit, Himself polished off the ice-cream because it makes my asthma worse). I’m supposed to have a low dairy and egg diet,  but am willing to suffer some wheeziness for  a treat like the bacon and egg pie on occasion but I know better than to add an extra dairy item during these days as I don’t want things to get out of control.

The brownie has to be without doubt the best I have ever eaten. It was super chocolatey without being too terribly sweet which is no mean feat.

I of course  cheekily asked if the recipe might be available and my request was not surprisingly declined with a smile, but I’d go so far to say that I’d happily make a future trip back out here just for the chocolate brownie, it’s that  good.

We will be stopping here on future trips!  Dining here is really relaxed, the weather is perfect, we are sitting in the shade, the kids are playing on the machinery out the front and are posing for silly photos that I am taking of them from the table.

The icing on the cake is that we buy a few bottles of  Brew Moon beer to take home and share with beer-loving friends in the Netherlands. Perfect  lunch all round.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 22, 2012

Lunch For the First Time in A Brew Moon…

Last time we were at Brew Moon it was either closed or we were on our way to a family appointment and didn’t have time to stop: https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/05/24/new-post-83/. This time is different, we are heading out to Amberly for the express purpose of going there for lunch.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The weather, in contrast to the high winds and rain still lingering in the North Island, is bight and sunny, clear and exceedingly warm.

We go inside and find that there are three sitting areas, first in the main part of the building, by the café and bar area: cool and in deep shade the regular sitting area, which would also be cosy in winter because there’s a long burner in the corner.

Secondly, inside and to the right of the cafe is a partly covered sitting area… today it’s filling up fast with customers looking for a quiet place to have a coffee or dine and Himself and I judge that neither of our kids are doing particularly well in the “best behaviour” department  today so we decide to take ourselves as far away from the other patrons as possible, and sit in the third sitting area:  tables outside under the verrandar at the front of the building.

It’s one thing for the kids to inflict their ill humour on us, it’s a completely different thing if  complete strangers have to endure it too.

It turns out that our self imposed exile probably ends up being the best seat in the house…the kids wander off in an unrestrained moment and walk though the semi covered area… they return saying that it’s really hot there because there’s no breeze, where as we have the shade, a nice view of the coming and goings, stuff of the kids to play on out the front and a few puffs of wind on occasion to take the edge of the shimmering heat.

The food in the cabinet looks great so after we order lunch, we  take a look around and then head for a leisurely sit at our table in the shade.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 7, 2012

Mike’s Beer…. Organic, Whisky,Coffee, Imperial or Pale Ale Brew?

Filed under: Beer,PHOTOGRAPHY,Reviews,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Beer, glorious beer! Of course we are looking at the main product of Mike’s Brewery… There are Porters, Pale Ales, specialist beers like Whisky, Coffee  or Imperial Porters, which are limited editions in individually numbered bottled and all organic! I’m no beer drinker but we bought some to take with us for Himself to enjoy and review later and Himself said he was very pleased with his selection because everything he bought tasted very good.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 6, 2012

Beer, Pies, Coffee and the Longest Chip We’ve Ever Seen…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are just north of Urenui, on the east coast of  New Zealand’s North Island and visiting the White Cliff Estate organic brewery, a.k.a. Brewery Mike’s.

Lunch has just arrived and whilst fries are not healthy, they and the pies are welcome on a hot day after our car journey.

Himself washes his food down with a beer and pronounces it very favourable indeed but the one for the road is definitely a coffee.

Kiwi Daughter scores the longest French fry we have ever seen, she holds it up to her face and it reaches from her forehead to just past her chin.

I then get a series of photographs where she tips her head back and tries to swallow it whole like she’s eating a Dutch pickled herring. I’ve deleted her face from one of the photos to give you and idea of  how long it was, the top is by her forehead and the bottom reaches past her chin. That must have been one massive potato!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 5, 2012

A Comfortable Look Inside…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It was a hot Taranaki day when we stopped in at Brewery Mike’s for lunch.

I can’t remember now if the old hall used to be a schoolhouse or if it was an RSA  (Returned Serviceman’s Association) Hall but either way it’s been well decorated for it’s present use, there are relaxing seating areas inside as well as out.

There  is a small display of local art (Kiwi Daughter spent some pocket money buying one of the paintings  in the photo) and some interesting old photos of local brewing, but since our food was arriving at the table outside I forget to check if  these were photos taken of this brewing family or not.

The place is cool in the summer heat and by the looks of the log burner in the corner surrounded by sofas, it’s probably pretty comfortable  in the winter too.

I like that not only is the beer organic but they stock a few organic snacks too, for example organic chocolate. Let’s take a look around.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 4, 2012

Stopping in at Mike’s for a Brew….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

An easy drive down the coast near the small town of  Urenui,  Himself suddenly spies a large sign on the roof of a building that says “brewery” and as the beer drinker in the family he’s suddenly finding himself very interested in a break from the road, a hearty lunch accompanied… possibly, very strangely coincidently…. by a beer.

We have stumbled upon Brewery Mike’s White Cliff Estate organic brewery…

We pull in to find an old hall that”s been converted into a  beer shop and café, a massive deck has been built out the front and it’s been covered with a sail-like canopy so there is ample shade, excellent for a scorching day like today.

The kids want to run round on the large lawn at the front but after a few circuits and a quick investigation of the outer edges they decide it’s just too hot and come and flop at the table with a cold drink and waiting for the food to arrive.

We place our orders and take a look around…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 19, 2011

Going to Jail in your Wooden Shoes is Thirsty Work…

We continue our adventures with the St Nicolaas  Boat Club of Amsterdam. (http://amsterdamboatclub.com/index.html)

The Dutch have always been imaginative when it comes to using space. This is not the first place in The Netherlands where I have seen this arrangement of “building” incorporated into and under a bridge,  and in all the other cases, these were the local prisons!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Dutch can’t be accused of being unimaginative when it comes to finding ways to  feature the nation’s icons.

Not only did everyone who saw this “klompen” (wooden shoe) have a giggle, but afterwards the thought occurred to me:   Is it a single lost soul sole or might it be one of a pair?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Lastly there are the buildings that you see regularly along canal sides in all old cities in the Netherlands… they have a  building style and windows that are particular to them all.. and all of them will be sporting the traditional “hijsbalk” or lifting beam , as featured in this post https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/new-327/.

So did you know that all these buildings started off life as breweries? Yep… and there are lots and lot of them too. Why so many?

Well, sad to say, In Europe drinking water of centuries past simply wasn’t fit to drink. Contamination with sewerage and other waste materials made it the least healthy beverage of all, so the populous drank  beer instead. Even children drank weak beer. That’s the reason that little breweries were everywhere,  and they mostly had this “standardised” style.

The hijsbalk was naturally in service to lift the barrels of beer, and the central windows designed in this shape  for easiest transferral  of the barrels and ingredients.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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