I admittedly found it a struggle to begin my article on Amsterdam. A lot of things were swimming in my head and were causing me to keep stumbling over that infamous “writer’s block”: APEC issues, the terrorist attacks, the fact that my last article was admittedly a pretty heavy one… Would a blog entry on our experiences in Amsterdam be untimely, insensitive, or inappropriate?
After a couple of beers, a conversation with one of our French friends, and a James Bond marathon in the heart of APEC lockdown central (that is, Makati CBD), a phrase hit me: MOVE ON. I feel like that phrase sums up everything I need to start this particular piece.
One of the definitions of “move on” in thefreedictionary.com is “to go or cause (someone) to leave somewhere”, and on an incredibly shallow note, that’s precisely what we did in October: We left Paris for Amsterdam.
Another definition (which I personally like) is “to put a difficult experience behind one and progress mentally or emotionally”. When we did our research about things to do in Amsterdam, the first suggestions that pop up online involve incredibly opposing things: The Anne Frank House, followed by the legendary “coffee shops”. It’s a poignant evidence that Amsterdam has moved on from the aftermath of a devastating war (for which they were leveled) and have now “progressed” and “evolved” into one of the happiest countries in the world, known for embracing multiple forms of leisure activities.
An activity that appealed to the beverage nerd in me involved a beer tour with Urban Adventures. Sean was an amazing tour guide, showing us a different perspective on beer and the Amsterdam drinking scene. He introduced us to a hip microbrewery (Bier Fabriek is legendary for making delicious chicken, which goes well with their craft beer), the concept of seasonal beer brew (the autumn beer with notes of pumpkin and cinnamon in Beer Temple was divine), a proeflokaal (Wynand Fockink) that makes their own liqueur (Sean also showed me how to properly to drink one), and a shop that sells and supports small businesses in Amsterdam (with special emphasis on microbrewers).
Admittedly, prior to the tour, I found it challenging to wrap my head around beer (a lot of varieties and brands exist out there). After a couple of hours of talking to Sean, I learned to approach it from a point of preference. It seems so simple yet complex at the same time, but so far, it’s working on my end. Sean’s enthusiasm to get information on his favorite drinks out there, without the intimidating technical terms, or shoving snobby opinions on anyone, was contagious.
Am I moving on from wine to beer? In terms of evolution, I’d love to. I am eager to progress in my little beer knowledge… The best part of this is, the best way to learn is through “research”.
Wine and beer geek… It does have a nice ring to it.
What is your favorite beer? Cheers!