Beer lovers from across the Netherlands can enjoy all kinds of great brews from 12 through 14 April in the Martinikerk during the biggest specialty beer festival in the country.
By Hans de Preter / Translation by Traci White
The 2018 edition of the Groningen Beer Festival is the eighth time the beer-loving event has been held. This year’s festival will feature more than 150 kinds of beer, as well as new features like the “beer dinner” catered by five Groningen restaurants and an Open Air event on Friday afternoon.
The Groningen Beer Festival is four days long, giving visitors plenty of time to check out everything on offer, from dozens of craft beers to tasty hors oeuvres and other foods. In addition to beer tasting, competitions and master classes will also be organised over the course of the festival.
International and domestic breweries alike will be well represented at the festival: 150 beer varieties will be on tap. Most of the stands will be staffed by the brewers and beer importers themselves, which means that visitors can learn more about each beer from the people who know it best.
Beer Festival Groningen Open Air
The first edition of the Beer Festival Groningen Open Air will take place from 3 to 8 p.m. on Friday, 13 April and Saturday, 14 April. The Open Air event, which will be held at Het Ludina’s terrace near the Ebbinge bridge and will be free, will feature ten fantastic breweries. It’s the perfect spot for your end of week drinks on Friday evening, but there is plenty to enjoy on Saturday, too. Jazz musicians will liven up the event: Bert van Erk will be performing on 13 April and Rebellious Rose will be performing on 14 April.
A “beer dinner” featuring regional products and northern beers will be held the evening before the festival begins. The beers served at the dinner have been specially brewed in consultation with renowned beer sommeliers to pair with the meals prepared by local chefs.
It will be a five course meal, and catering company Johnny Drent will oversee preparation each course which will feature a different restaurant: Voila, Beer&, Het Zusje van André Dokter, Block & Barrels and Het Ludina Terras. The evening’s festivities will be overseen by Melissa Cole and Fiona de Lange. The meal will be coordinated by Arvid Bergström, the chefs of the participating restaurants and Johnny Drent.
d’Olle Grieze will be providing a Schwarzbier brewed in conjunction with Pivo, and Browerij Martinus is contributing a table beer. Het Frysk Brouwcollectief is brewing a Tripel with a Frisian twist. Drenthe-based brewery De Veteraan will supply a Saison, and Groningen Geuze and a wood-aged Eisbock will round out the beer offerings to be served during the meal. International, domestic and local beer sommeliers will be on hand to provide additional information about the pairings for the guests.