Student - February 26, 2020

Celebrating freedom with beer

Roelof Kleis

If you want to drink to 75 years of freedom, you will now be able to do so with a special ‘liberty beer’. The first glasses of the new brew were served on Thursday in Hotel De Wereld.

© Roelof Kleis

These days it is standard practice to mark an event with a specially brewed beer. Wageningen could do that too, thought Joppe Boon when he was at the festivities to mark Operation Market Garden last September in Eindhoven. ‘Eindhoven Brewery was selling beer in five bottles with the faces of prominent liberators on the labels.’

75 days
Boon contacted the local brewery Stadsbrouwerij Wageningen with his idea. They were enthusiastic from the start, says founder Stefan Duurkoop. The brewery worked with the Liberation Festival organizers to design a new beer: Road to Freedom. The first bottle of the brew was handed to Wageningen’s mayor Geert van Rumund on Thursday afternoon in De Wereld. The date was no coincidence: 20 February was precisely 75 days before the 75th Liberation Festival kicks off.

The beer itself is a top-fermenting pale ale with an alcohol content of 7 per cent. Almost all the ingredients come from Wageningen: the water is local tap water and the barley comes from Graangeluk and is grown in Wageningen. The hop used is an American product called ‘Liberty’. Stadsbrouwerij has brewed 2000 litres of the special beer. And it’s a question of ‘while stocks last’, says Duurkoop, as there was no more local barley available.   

Hunger winter menu
The beer is available on tap at Hotel De Wereld and café Het Rad van Wageningen, the brewery’s own pub. Bottles can also be bought in Wageningen’s wine shops. At the launch of the beer, Wageningen’s vocational college also presented its own liberation cookie. Furthermore, on four dates Hotel de Wereld will serve a ‘hunger winter menu’, a three-course meal (19.45 euros) consisting entirely of products that were obtainable during that tough winter.

Major celebrations are planned to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands from the Nazis. See the website wageningen45 for the full programme.