This is a post by regular contributor Kimberley, who runs the social media at BCS. Kimberley is currently writing up her PhD in Mediterranean Archaeology and is based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Every once and a while, she will blog at BCS about all things beer and Classical in the Low Countries or – as I’d like to call it – ‘The Nether Regions’.
In a previous post, I mentioned my first ever local #beerhaul at Bierderij Waterland.* For this post, I am reviewing another beer from that haul – Den Dorstige Tijger by Ramses Bier. Den Dorstige Tijger is a single hop Centennial IPA. According to the label, hops have been added continuously for 120 minutes and the brew has also been dry-hopped before bottling. Unfiltered and unpasteurized, Den Dorstige Tiger tastes citrus-ey and very crisp. Despite the heavy hop usage, the IPA does not have the extreme bitterness that some of the American IPAs seem to go for these days. This makes for an IPA perhaps as great as Ramses himself!
First some more recent #beerhistory before moving towards the Classical world. The label details how the practice of adding hops for conserving beers for long boat journeys was a trick invented by the Dutch before being adopted by the English, eventually leading to the development of the India Pale Ale. Whether true or a case of chauvinism, this subliminal reference to the Dutch East Indies Company seems to have inspired the use of the old fashioned “den” rather than the modern “de” in the brew’s name Den Dorstige Tijger, which means “The Thirsty Tiger”.
So where does the Classical world come in? The name of the brewery of course! Officially, Ramses Bier is named after its owner, Ramses Snoeij. But Ramses (or Rammeses) is also the name of a series of Egyptian pharaohs, starting with Ramses I around 1292-1290 BC and ending with Ramses the XI around 1107-1077 BC. While the reign of the Ramessides predates the Classical World, don’t worry, I promise there is a link! When the Romans conquered Egypt, they brought to Rome a number of obelisks commissioned by Ramses II (also known as Ramses the Great).
And of course, from various previous posts on BCS we learn that both Greeks and Romans were perfectly aware of the role Egypt played in early beer production (see e.g. the posts on Zythos, Columella and Pelusium). This Egyptian claim to fame is something that Ramses Bier cleverly plays with in their charming bottle cap, which shows an Egyptian cartouche of a lady holding a beer chalice.
Ingredients: Brabant water, biological pilsner malt, bio cara malt and bio wheat, Centennial hop flowers, yeast
Brewed: Ramses Bier, Hooge Zwaluwe, The Netherlands
* BCS has no affiliation with Bierderij Waterland. I mention their store and brewery out of my own motivation to support the #drinklocal movement.