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There was a feature in local Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool the other week which really struck a chord. It was called "Centrum Mijden" - "Avoiding the Centre".

Many Amsterdammers are fed up with the city centre, annoyed by the tourists and filth. (The less tolerant ones, filthy tourists.) Instead they're sticking to their own neighbourhood.The same tendency is apparent in the beer scene. Most of recent openings were outside the centre.

I pondered this yesterday at a small beer festival at Butcher's Tears held in conjunction with a local off licence, Ton Overmars. (Where I buy my St. Bernardus Abt.) A beer festival held out my way is another indication of the decentralising trend. It's also nice to be able to walk to an event.

Ton Overmars has doing a good job of stocking beer from new local breweries. A couple more appeared this week: Noordman and De Naeckte Brouwers from Amstelveen, which is where I work. Both were due to be at the festival, but Noordman didn't show up.

I'd brought along a small present for Eric, brewer at Butcher's Tears: a bag of wild Amsterdam hops. I picked them on Saturday/ They looked really lovely, a beautiful shade of light green. I've no diea what they taste like, but they look dead cool. I hope he can find some use for them. Who else has 100% organuc Amsterdam hops?

It was a ticket-only event. Good because it meant that it wasn't too crowded. I hate crowds, especially when they slow down my beer supply. If I come over as grumpy misanthropic, well, that's probably because I am deep down. Hiding my inner rage is why I'm nice.

The photo above is from early in the day. So you'd expect I made more notes. I didn't. Not out of laziness or drunkenness, but because we bumped into our nextdoor neighbours. Not the time to be nerdy.

In case you're wondering, my one note was "Quite good. Spicy without buggering up the beer." Oedipus Thai Thai is the beer.

There was quite a delegation of Pattinsons, with both Dolores and Andrew coming along. Dolores was slightly worried it would be all "grapefruit beer" as she calls stuff made with American hops. She's not a big fan. Luckily Oedipus had brought along a Kuitbier. Much more to Dolores's taste: not too strong and not too hoppy.

We're off to another festival next weekend: Borefts. A much bigger affair. I've promised Dolores cask Bitter. Her favourite type of beer. I'll be taking an Imperial pint glass with me again. I can't stand drinking from the ridiculous thimbles they supply. Measures of less than a half pint are against my beliefs.

Wijnwinkel Slijterij Ton Overmars
Hoofddorpplein 11,
1059 CV Amsterdam.
Tel: 020 - 615 71 42

Butcher's Tears
Karperweg 45
1075LB Amsterdam.

Oedipus Brewing
Westerdok 274
1013 BH