The first introduction to my co-workers here in Holland was a brewery tour and dinner in the Utrecht City Centre. I had no idea what was in store for me as all I was told in an email from my boss was to show up at Stadskasteel Oudaen at 16:50. Turned out the reason for the odd time was that we had a tour of an old brewery scheduled for 17:00.
The brewery was housed in an old castle in the heart of Utrecht and was the site of a brewery back in medieval Times. The breweries left Utrecht in the 1930s, but in 1990 the vault of Stadskasteel Oudaen was reinstated as a small brewery producing about 75,000 litres of beer a year. We got a tour of this microbrewery and a sample of the Ouwe Daen beer, which is a non-filtered wheat beer flavored with orange rind and coriander.
There was even a brewery cat who kept jumping up on the table trying to eat our fried hor d’oeuvres. It is quite common actually for restaurants and bars to have a cat wandering the premises. The reason to keep the mouse population down! I would much rather see a cat walking around the restaurant as opposed to a mouse scurrying around. Gross!