Published on July 10, 2019 | by Alastair Gilmour0
Man-cave hosts mint festival
As we reported last month, Café Amsterdam, the pop-up Dutch beer and food outlet created by Andy Hickson, has been taking coals to Newcastle. By way of explanation, Andy, manager at the Sir John Fitzgerald pub The Green in Gateshead, has spent a working holiday in Haarlem in The Netherlands, volunteering at Uiltje FreshFest, a new event focusing on fresh hoppy beer where nothing longer than 72 hours old is allowed across the threshold.
He was accompanied by Bacchus, Newcastle, barman Kieran Healy and his partner, travel writer and photographer Harriet Edgar.
“FreshFest was brilliant, exceeding all our expectations,” says Andy. “We’re talking about next year already. Robbert Uyleman, founder of Uiltje brewery, has got some great ideas, a true entrepreneur.
“The guy who owns the building where the festival was held apparently made a lot of money in batteries – all kinds of batteries – and has a passion for old VW vans. He does all the mechanics there and invites people to stay, so it was just like a great big man-cave. He also likes beer, so he phoned Robbert up asking him if he wanted to put a brewpub inside. Then it was ‘why don’t you have a beer festival?’.
“There were lots of beers from all over Europe from 26 breweries – from 21% abv to a 2.0% abv blueberry smoothie – with quite a few UK ones that included Jakehead IPA and Hickey The Rake from Wylam. There was fresh beer at every session, none of it more than 72 hours old which was a big logistical exercise.
“It was a mint festival, a neat concept, a real family affair, and so relaxed.”
Upcoming Café Amsterdam events featuring new-wave Dutch craft beer, gin and snacks include:
July 5-6: Flash House Brewery, North Shields; August 8-10: The Box Social, Newcastle; August 30-September 1: Errant Brewery taproom, Newcastle.