Actually, it’s a miracle that it has taken so long: there’s a scandal in the Dutch beer community. Reportedly the Groningen Stadsbrouwerij has been cheating: buying crates of dirt-cheap beer in a local supermarket, soaking the labels off the bottles and replacing them with their own. To make matters worse the brewery (who owns neither brewing gear nor a bottling line) reportedly sold these rebranded bottles on to local bars and liquor stores – and to the supermarket where they originally bought from. Is this a scallywag thing to do, or the Fallen Angel of beer heaven?
Most scallywags would have been too honest for these practices, I guess. If the story turns out to be true (and it currently seems 99.9% so) that leaves thus only one option open. Some customers of Grunn, one of the many brands belonging to the ‘Brewery’, have given up trust in the collaboration and no longer sell its beer. Some of them found loose labels of Pitt beer (a Jumbo private label lager-ish beer, brewed at Bavaria or Martens) in boxes Grunn Goudhaantje. Grunn Director explained this by saying that “we also traded Pitt beer”. Apparently labels then suddenly swirled the warehouse and managed to nestle in the taped boxes Goudhaantje, or they were being slyishly slid in there by wicked Groninger Kobolds incited by Ab Normal, you know, that raunchy jokes telling rabbit that made watching late night commercial TV utterly unbearable. Don’t think you’ve suddenly been transplanted to another blog: the Groningen Stadsbrouwerij released a lager-like beer in 2004 named after the infamous rabbit. Perhaps it’s still waiting for its fee?
Right. I rarely interfere in the discussion on ‘gypsy brewers’ or those who have a recipe but not own brewing equipment. This topic leaves me fairly Siberic, as long as it is not suggested they actually self-brewed that beer. Be honest about the production place. Until now, it was no secret that the Groningen Stadsbrouwerij beers were brewed ‘elsewhere’: someday they would build their own brewery, like the history of Jopen went. This, however, is pure fraud, an economic crime actually. How the story will unfold we’ll see – at least the Dutch beer scene has lost some of its innocence. As mentioned, I am surprised that it has taken so long: a booming business will eventually attract ‘creative minds’ seeking to quickly fill their pockets and prospectors who deliver shoddy work. The Dutch beer scene is maturing.