The weather has turned for the worse. Rain is coming down at a slightly higher rate than a refreshing drizzle.
We don’t have a printed map because we (well, Dolores, really) only decided on this leg of the trip this morning. Luckily the begijnhof isn’t far from the station. Though we do walk all the way around it before finding the entrance.
It’s a pretty little kitchen garden surrounded by tiny houses. They can’t be very deep because the backs, which face the outside world, have to windows. It’s pretty quiet. Just as and a couple of elderly couples.
“If this were Amsterdam, it would be full of effing terrorists.”
“Don’t swear, Ronald.”
“It’s true, though.”
The town itself is much quieter than Tilburg. It’s a smaller place and it is getting on for 5 PM. Dolores is pleased that there’s some old stuff to look at. Like the stone church. Not that such things detain us for long. The rain is getting worse and there’s a pub to visit.
I noticed when looking for the location of the Begijnhof this morning that De Beyerd, Breda’s principal beer pub, was just around the corner. Seems silly not to drop by. Especially as it now has a brewery.
It’s only a few minutes’ walk. Unfortunately it’s mobbed inside. Must be why it’s so quiet on the street. Everyone is in here. But there is room outside. A garrulous, large man invites us to sit at the table with him and has wife to make sure that we’re under the umbrella and out of the rain. They’re a contrasting pair, him large and talky, her small and quiet. It seems to work.
When we’ve finally managed to order and our drinks are coming, the waiter manages to spill one of our beers all over the women who have just sat at the next table. Luckily the beer misses us.
“He did exactly the same thing when he brought our drinks.” Mr. chatty says, pointing to the damp stains on his wife’s kecks. She just smiles shyly.
The beer the waiter threw all over the poor ladies is Drie Hoefijzers Klassiek. Drie Hoefijzers was the name of a big Lager brewery in Breda which, as part of Oranjeboom, was bought and closed by Inbev. In the later years of operation, they'd introduced a top-fermenting beer called Drie Hoefijzers Klassiek. After the brewery closed, De Beyerd got the rights to use the name and brew several beers under the Drie Hoefijzers brand.
Klassiek is pleasant, but restrained beer. Not one for the geeks, but a nice drinking beer.
We only stay for the one, as it’s getting late. Back at Doom headquarters, when we finally find our way to the platforms, we realise that the service we planned taking to Amsterdam is messed up because of a technical problem. So we go back the way we came, via Tilburg and Den Bosch.
Safely settled on the train, I pull out the spare can of Heineken I bought this morning.
“That’ my emergency pint.”
“I wondered why you don’t go into the shop at the station.”
It lasts me nicely back to Amsterdam.
4811 GH Breda.
Tel: 076 521 4265
Advice for Pub Staff, 1965, Pt.1 — the Beer - The 1965 book Bar Service offers a snapshot of what was going on in pubs at the time and contains lots of interesting, often amusing, details. It was wri...
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