As a beer lover, a visit to Hertog Jan Brewery in Arcen had been on my bucket list for years. In the summer of 2018, I bought a package from SurpriseFactory for the three of us, containing a guided tour of the brewery and a Brewer’s Lunch. The Burgundian ambiance, for which the southern provinces of The Netherlands are famous, eventually made us stay for dinner too! Hertog Jan Brewery is almost as well-known as the Castle Gardens of Arcen.. and for good reason.
For the love of beer
The visual experience starts upon arrival; a pipeline transports Hertog Jan pilsner beer directly from the brewery to the pub across the street.
Our visit started in this pub, called Hertog Jan Tasting, with coffee and a piece of tasty Limburgian pastry (‘vlaai’).
In the brewery, the experienced tour guide tells the rich history of Hertog Jan in bird’s-eye view. The beer making process is explained, and visitors are encouraged to smell and taste the main ingredients of beer. The tour takes you past the authentic copper kettles and into the beer cellars.
The beer cellars store Hertog Jan special beer casks and bottles of Hertog Jan Grand Prestige.
Visitors can buy a numbered bottle of Hertog Jan Grand Prestige in the gift shop (or online) and let it mature in the cellar for up to 8 years. According to Master Brewer Gerard van den Broek, 6 years of maturing gives the best taste, but you can make an appointment to pick up the bottle at any time within 8 years. During the tour, visitors are allowed to pull their own pint – visiting a brewery without tasting the end result of the brewing process is not the same!
After touring the brewery, and tasting the beers, we sat down for the Brewer’s Lunch in the pub. The lunch consisted of soup, salad, a boiled egg and luxury bread topped with cheese and ham. I couldn’t resist ordering a tasting of various Hertog Jan beers as well. When in Rome..
During lunch, I read an announcement regarding the mid-summer BBQs, organised every summer on various Saturday evenings. Coincidentally, our visit was on a Saturday. Seizing the day, we ended up staying for dinner too. The lazy, sunny Saturday evening that followed really topped our visit to Hertog Jan Brewery in Arcen.
Plan your visit to Hertog Jan Brewery
Do you also want to experience Burgundian ambiance in The Netherlands? Discover Where to eat in Maastricht.