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Tag: coffee

Van Moll & Mokum

Another weekend well spent with beer and running! This time the beer festival was Van Moll Fest in Eindhoven, and the run was in Amsterdam, where I joined the Amsterdam Hash House Harriers!

The weekend didn’t start that well: only on Saturday morning I found out I had to take a rail replacement bus service, from Tilburg to Eindhoven! Kudos to the NS though, it was all well announced and indicated at the station.

This year’s Van Moll Fest was definitely muddier than the previous editions I had been to, but luckily no more rain fell after the gates opened. On the other hand, it did feel like it was quite a bit more expensive than previously, with many beers costing two or even three tokens for a 20 cl serve, and that at € 3 per token! There were however plenty of new breweries to discover, so it was still worth it for me.

Since Eindhoven is a bit of a pain to get back home from after drinking quite a few beers—I’ve had a bad and very expensive experience with that—I spent the night in a nice ‘auberge‘ this time… After some bacon & banana pancakes for breakfast at The Happiness Café, it was time to move on to Amsterdam. The journey started with a rail replacement bus service again, until Boxtel this time…

Upon arrival in Amsterdam—also known as Mokum—I first went for a proper coffee at Sango, just in time to shelter for the rain! I then still had some time to kill, and since I had to take the tram at the central station anyway, a couple of beers at BrewDog Centraal Station was the obvious choice!

The reason for coming to Amsterdam, however, was to run with the Amsterdam Hash House Harriers! They run at exactly the same time as BMPH3—Sundays at three o’clock—but since it was actually quicker to get to Amsterdam on a Sunday morning, I decided to run with AH3 instead this time. Even though it was my first time running with them, there were quite a few people I already knew from other hashing events.

I just can’t go to the Netherlands without having something with peanut sauce! I asked my fellow hashers about recommendations for nearby Surinamese or Indonesian restaurants, and thus I ended up at Café Kadijk. Some Javanese meatballs and satay ayam later, both well doused in peanut sauce, I was on my way to the train station again, for a final beer at BrewDog Centraal Station, and my train home…

A Beery Birthday in Rotterdam

A midweek public holiday in May was for me an excellent occasion to check out the newest additions to the craft beer scene in Rotterdam. Coincidentally, it was also my birthday, which meant I could claim a free birthday beer here and there…

After taking a very full train—even people standing in the corridors—from Brussels to Rotterdam, I really needed a coffee! There were definitely some decent coffee bars nearer to the station, but to get me closer to the rest of the locations I planned to visit, I decided on Urban Espresso Bar West this time. Breakfast was already more or less digested by now, so I had a nice piece of salted caramel cake with my cortado as an early dessert.

For the main dish, and to add another name to my long list of visited BrewDog bars, I then went to BrewDog Witte de Withstraat. The place was much larger than I expected from a bar in this street, but I was almost alone inside: the sun was shining, and terrace therefore more popular. After finishing my The Big Pastrami One pizza, I spent quite some time here, since none of the other bars I planned on visiting would open before 4pm… And I did get to enjoy my first free birthday beer!

Completely different, and way more local, was Kaapse Will’ns, the newest bar of the Rotterdam brewery Kaapse Brouwers. With just a limited number of taps, it tried to stay true to its origins as a traditional, local bar. Considering the number of people still asking for a Heineken, I’d say they succeeded! Funny detail: one of the tap handles actually says “Heineken“, but it’s the tap for sparkling water…

In the next bar—Bierboutique—the taps with “Heineken” on them actually did serve the horrid beer, and most of the other taps were from the same producer… The bottle and can list however was way more interesting, and I was able to try some more interesting local beers.

As last stop of the day I revisited the BrewDog Rotterdam Outpost. It wasn’t that busy when I came in, but considering the number of booked tables that would later fill up, it was probably smart they actually booked a table for me as well! One of the nice things of an Outpost is a selection of unique beers, brewed on-site. They were actually brewing while I was there! That beer obviously wouldn’t be ready in time to have as my free birthday, so I had another one instead.
For dinner I had the local special Brews Springstew, a six hour slow cooked stew with beef cheek, onion, celery, carrots, and Black Heart stout, served on a bed of fresh fries. Very nice, but I could hardly finish it!

When all the beers were tasted, it was time to head back to the beautiful Rotterdam central station, and take the train home…

Dutch Work Party – Return & Reflection

Reached this post by just scrolling through my blog? 
If you want to read about this trip from start to finish, instead of in reverse order, click here!

And then it was Sunday, and time to go home again… Bags packed, room cleaned, checked out, and it was time to walk into the village for the last time, to go to the station. Goodbye Kandersteg!

I had to take a regional train to Bern two hours earlier than I originally booked, which meant I had some time to walk into town for a coffee.

From Bern my EuroCity was supposed to go straight to Köln, but after standing still before and in Basel Bad for way to long, the train staff urged us to change onto one of the ICEs at other platforms. Just as well I took their advice, since the updated arrival time of the EC would have meant I would have missed my connection in Köln.

In Köln I arrived not much later than my EuroCity should have, so eventually the only train going as planned was my ICE 10 to Brussels…


Even over ten years after the last time I was at KISC, it felt like home again straight away! The staff, my fellow members of the Dutch Work Party, the mountains… Seeing people of so many backgrounds and nationalities work together for a common goal, is truly inspiring, and it’s been a real pleasure and privilege to be part of that again.

It was also nice to wear my neckerchief again for a week, and actually do something hands-on for scouting again, and not just meetings and writing, even though that has its place as well.

So while I fully intend to help out with the 2027 World Jamboree in Poland in whatever capacity, I’ll definitely try to squeeze in another Dutch Work Party before then!

Dutch Work Party – Back to Switzerland!

For the first time in a little over ten years, I’m off volunteering at the Kandersteg International Scout Centre again! I joined the Dutch Work Party for this four times before—spring 2008, autumn 2008, spring 2010, and autumn 2013—but studies, work, relationships, and just bad timing kept me from returning… until now. As the only participant from Belgium, I offered to travel to Kandersteg by myself by train. This conveniently also enabled me to plan a extended stop in Bern for some beers…

As usual for trips to the east, the first leg of the trip was an ICE to Köln. You’d say by now I know how to get in Brussels Midi station on time, but thanks to the Brussels public transport company, this turned out to be quite a challenge: the metro broke down four stops before the train station, so when it still wasn’t moving after five minutes, I decided to call an Uber for the last bit. With only a minute to spare, I eventually made it onto my ICE

After grabbing some breakfast in Köln station—it was only a quarter past eight by then—I boarded the EuroCity 7, going straight to Bern. No solo seats on an EC, but the passenger who was to sit across from me from Koblenz, never showed up! My seat was all the way back in the last carriage, so I noticed the door with a view to the back, giving me the opportunity to do film from it, like train vloggers do!

Since this train also had a dining car, and I would be travelling until well after lunchtime, I decided to take full advantage of it and already get a taste of Swiss cuisine with some Ghackets mit Hörnli and a Möhl Shorley.

Due to accumulating delays however, my comfortable EC 7 was terminated at Basel, so I had to change onto an Intercity for the remainder of the trip to Bern.

After eventually arriving in Bern and putting my bag in a locker, I headed to VERSA for a proper coffee! The delay meant I didn’t have to spend a lot of time there killing time until the bars would open, and playing tourist was reduced to a minimum as well.

The first bar on my list was OnTap. They had quite an interesting list of beers from all over the world, but I of course had to start with something local: A Slice of Red by Riot Act Brewing, a brewery in Zollikofen, a suburb of the city of Bern.

Next up was Biercafe au Trappiste. As you can imagine, they do like Belgian beers here, and it was actually the only Swiss location to celebrate Cantillon’s Zwanze Day, today! Unfortunately the event would only start at nine in the evening, and even flashing my tattoo didn’t help to get an early taste of the Zwanze 2024… Still, I had to drink a Cantillon as well!

The final bar before getting back on the train, was the beer minded metal and rock bar Ebrietas.

Bag picked up, back on the train—an SBB RegioExpress this time—and an hour later I arrived in a rather cold and very white Kandersteg.

From the station it was then a twenty minute walk to my home for the next week: the New Chalet of KISC.

Back to the ‘Dams

My little autumn break wasn’t quite over yet, after my Warszawa-Berlin trip, so on Friday I went to both Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

For the long stretch Brussels-Amsterdam, I used up all my Thalys points—mostly earned by filling out questionnaires—for the high speed option. Although officially the company is Eurostar now, my train was still adorned with the Thalys branding.

After my morning commitments—my trip wasn’t all leisure—I stopped at Quartier Putain for a coffee and a piece of apple pie. I’m not sure if that name would go down well in cities where they actually speak French!

By then it was time to discover the newest addition to BrewDog‘s portfolio of bars: BrewDog Amsterdam Centraal! It opened just a week before, when I was about a 1000 km east from here, so I missed the EFP opening, unfortunately… The shipload of EFPs—literally, since they had organised a communal ferry crossing for the opening—didn’t drink the bar dry though, and they even had one beer on draught I hadn’t had yet!

It was only around lunch time, but the bar was packed, the staff seemed to be well-trained, and handled the crowd well. Apart from a couple of beers, I had the Cluck & Satay Skewer. It’s always nice to have something ‘local’ on the food menu of a BrewDog bar!

Just before leaving, I also had a nice chat with franchisee Peter, who seemed to be confident he had found a great location for the bar. I can’t disagree with him: located right within Amsterdam Central Station, it will definitely one I’ll be visiting more often!

From the bar to the train platform was only a couple of minutes’ walk, and soon I was off to my next destination: Rotterdam!

The BrewDog Outpost Rotterdam was the only BrewDog bar in the Benelux participating in this year’s edition of Collabfest, so if I wanted to taste any of the beers, I had to make a stop there. Not every bar get’s all beers, but the selection in Rotterdam was great. As it turns out, it even included the highest rated beer, which was Rotterdam’s own collaboration with the Moersleutel: the K9 Chocolate Stout – Brewdog Rotterdam Outpost Collab!

After trying almost all the Collabfest beers, and a few others, it was time to go back to the gorgeous Rotterdam Central train station, and catch the train home again…