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Star Beers


We finally opened up one of the de Molen beers we purchased in the Netherlands. It’s a brew that we haven’t seen here at all, called Gajes & Geteisem. It’s described on the label as a Cherry Brett Stout with an EBU bitterness rating of 99. I was kind of hoping that it wouldn’t be that bitter, but I also gravitated towards this one because it seemed like it might not be that sweet, either.

Beer Tasting Array

(An array of interesting beers we tasted that night.)

As it turned out, we were both pleased and disappointed. The beer was fairly flat, with very little carbonation. Sadly, this has happened with a few of the de Molen imports, but not enough to be overly wary. It’s just a shame that the very thing we elected to bring back with us was one of those unfortunate batches.

As for the flavor, it was multi-layered, with almost too much going on. First, the basic beer was a thick, dark, cherry stout. Not too sweet, but also nowhere near a 99 on the bitterness scale. The latter point was a relief to me, though it could be a disappointment to someone looking forward to a super-bitter taste.

Second, the beer was aged in Wild Turkey and Bordeaux barrels, both of which flavors were present underneath the cherry-stout base, along with hints of coffee. There was definitely an alcohol presence, as well. Someone in our tasting group likened the overall flavor to “cough syrup,” but I think it was much better than that. I definitely had seconds. And thirds. Generally, I would say that it’s an intense, intersting beer. I only wish it had had more carbonation. As it was, it felt a little like drinking a port, rather than a beer.

We’d been wondering what the name meant, so I googled a language translator to decode the Dutch. If you visit RateBeer (which gave the beer a 97 of 100 rating), you’ll see that they translate the name as “Rabble & Hoodlums,” but I have another theory.

Gajes & Geteisem

Our tranlsator came up with several different English equivalents for the first word, among them “rabble” and “rebel.” But it arrived at only one English option for the second word, “scum.” This, and the de Molen context equal only one answer to me: It’s a Star Wars homage, “Rebel Scum.” When I realized this, I laughed out loud. Maybe it was more like a cackle.

You have to check out John’s post about the de Molen tour because the funny thing about their brewery is that they’ve named all of their fermenting tanks after Star Wars characters and things: Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Yoda … The biggest one of all is named Jabba the Hutt. So sure, you could translate the name of the beer as “Rabble & Hoodlums” if you wanted to, but I think it’s a not-so-secret Star Wars nod.

Berkeley Bowl de Molens

(Berkeley Bowl de Molens)

You can’t get Gajes & Geteisem anywhere here that I’ve seen, but Berkeley Bowl has a nice selection of some other brews from de Molen. We had both Heaven & Hell and Hell & Verdoemenis on tap in Amsterdam, and both are yummy. Bommen & Granaten is a barley wine, so you won’t get positive comments about it from me. But if barley wine is your thing, you might like it. I can’t stand the stuff.

Berkeley Bowl also has an enormous row of Mikkeller beers from Denmark. You can get a smaller but slightly different selection at Whole Foods, too. I tend to gravitate toward Beer Geek Breakfast, which is dark and thick, brewed with espresso. Rate Beer gives it a full 100 score, which is well deserved. There are a few variants of this, including a bourbon-barrel-aged batch and the more expensive Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, which trades regular espresso for civet-digested beans (check out the link for a fuller explanation). I haven’t tried that one yet, but it also gets top marks.

Mikkeller row

Next up, we have two bottles of Mooi & Meedogenloos (“Beautiful & Ruthless”), which we tasted at the Eagle’s Nest in Amsterdam and picked up at the brewery. Fingers crossed that it’s as delicious as we remembered. And carbonated!


From → Food, Movies, Travel

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