Over the holidays I spent some time in the Dutch city of Haarlem. Keen to reacquaint myself with the local culture I found myself in a bar just off the main square, ordering a beer within moments of arriving. The conversation went like this:
Alice: Please may I have a beer?
Bar Tender: Sure, Brand?
Well, I nodded, expecting a list of beers to be reeled off by the bar tender. However, the beer arrives, and it’s a Brand.
Brand, in this instance, is actually a Heineken owned beer from the Limburg region in Southern Holland. Sounds good to me, after all, Heineken is a seal of endorsement that I’m happy to take a bet on. The name tickled my fancy though, in Dutch it means ‘fire’; which is pretty apt given that a quick google search has reviewers describing it as ‘fairly nasty’, at least to the non-dutch drinkers.
Some further research via the tinterweb taught me that it’s brewed in the oldest brewery in Holland and exported to handful of countries - which I imagine is where it will stay, as unfortunately, the name ‘Brand’ will just mean ‘brand’ to the rest of the world. As for my own review? Well let’s just say I found it more ‘own brand’ than ‘on brand’ - just saying!
Alice Merrick, London