SCAC Odyssey 104 (Part 5: A Saturday in Groningen)

Three pubs, eleven beers and some whisky…

A Perfectly Blurry Photo

I woke because I needed to urinate. On the way back from the bathroom I opened the blackout curtains and instantly recoiled in terror much Christopher Lee being shown a crucifix made from ornate candlesticks.  It was so bright outside that I thought we may have missed the noon check-out time. I dropped the curtain and rummaged around in the dark for my iProduct… hmmm… ten past eight. Ah well, we’d been in bed for less than five hours but that was no reason not to get the show back on the road.

The plan was to head into town, get some breakfast and then hit a few pubs. We wandered into town and had a scout around for a suitable breakfast venue but after a couple of hours of aimless meandering through the (mostly) picturesque streets we gave up and ordered a couple of portions of Kibling (fried whitefish) from a market vendor. Food consumed, it was time for beer.

We headed to Poelestraat, which we’d realised during our earlier wanderings was home to quite a few pubs. Most of them seemed to be home to rowdy groups of lads so we headed into the one that so far hadn’t attracted any yobos. The Stadtlander is a lovely old world Dutch: worn wood everywhere except on the bar were polished metal holds sway. The beer list wasn’t earth shattering but it was pleasing enough. We kicked off with a La Chouffe [8%] before knocking back a De Konninck [5%] and a Bruges Zot [6%]. While idling at the bar I flicked through the pub guide that I’d been given the day before at In de Wildeman and we realised that we weren’t far from De Toeter so the decision was made to make that our next port of call.

Och aye tha noo

De Toeter is another traditional Dutch brown bar and it sits in a lovely location down by the canal. It’s a nice sized place and I’d imagine on a Friday and Saturday evening it is a great place to hang-out and drink beer. Our opening salvo was a Raging Bitch [8.3%], which we decided to take outside to one of the tables on the pavement where we could indulge in some people watching while soaking up the sunshine. Our next beer was a MacBen [7%] – a Scotch Ale from St Feuillien, which was a tasty beast but perhaps a tad too sweet to be drunk more than one at a time. The draught list was well into double figures and the bottle list was even more substantial. After perusing both for a few minutes we decided that we should order the strongest beer that they stocked – Grolsch Kanon, which had a relatively modest ABV of 11.6%. I thought it was okay for the first couple of mouthfuls but once the initial booze kick had subsided the flavour was pretty insipid. Time was ticking away and I wanted to visit De Pintelier so we ordered a final De Toeter beer: Delirium Red [8.5%] – it’s the most fantastically bright red colour and also quite tasty but only if you are a fan of cherry cola.

De Pintelier is hidden away down a side-street and looks very intruiging as you walk towards it. When we arrived it was packed with a good and friendly mix of people but we managed to find a couple of vacant stools that were slap-bang in the middle of the very long bar. I decided to stick on the Delirium trip and ordered a Tremens [8.5%] which was poured from it’s very own Pink Elephant pump.  Next, I decided that I needed a Kwak [8.1%] as I was starting to feel a bit pished and wanted to drink from the funny glass. My mate wanted to have some whisky, which is something that De Pintelier specialises in. We compromised by having a Kwak and then indulging in some whisky. I can’t remember the names of all the whiskies we tried but I know we were given a free sample of Snow Phoenix as there wasn’t enough left for a full measure… I just ordered ones that were named after places I went on holiday as a kid. Time was very much against us and so was the booze, which meant it was a perfect opportunity for me to start singing some Half Man Half Biscuit songs – my mate didn’t appreciate the lyrics of Shit Arm Bad Tattoo and went outside for a fag while I polished both mine and his Tripel Karmekiet [8.4%]… it was now very much time to go.

We said our farewells to the lovely bar staff of De Pintelier and staggered off to the train station via a kebab shop and a little supermarket, where we bought 18 cans of Hertog Jan Pilsner which would sustain us on the long journey south.

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~ by landells on July 12, 2012.

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