Amsterdam, The Netherlands
September, 2002; July 9, 2000, and many times in between.
First off, it is spelled 't IJ. The
apostrophe is before the t; it is short for "Het", one of the
Dutch words for "The". Second, both the I and J are
capitalized. Among other things, IJ is a single letter in Dutch (although
classically, the I sits on the seat caused by the curve of the J, but this is
seldom seen anymore.) IJ also refers to the body of water on which
Amsterdam occupies a southern shore. The IJ (or Het IJ) leads to the
IJsselmeer. The brewery, located in an old public bathhouse connected to
an older windmill, is named after the body of water. It also rhymes with
the Dutch word for egg (ei), so the brewery's mascot is a goose egg.
Clever, eh? I see this misspelled more often than Guinness.
Understandable, but with a little attention simple linguistic nuance is not hard
to sort out. If I can get this, most people should be able to handle it.
't IJ is one of the few breweries operating in
the city of Amsterdam, where I lived for 18 months before moving to
Rotterdam. They opened in 1985, and produce a range of beers inspired by
Belgian styles, but with 't IJ's unique interpretation. Consistency is
spotty (it's a variable beer, man), although this seems to have improved over
the course of 2002. The so-called pilzen still encounters problems, so I
rarely order it. These notes are brief, but as this beer is widely
available in Holland, I'll enhance them as time allows. Stylistic
conventions are not relevant to this brewery.