A Little More About The Brewery
Although I didn't get a chance to visit it this seems like a company with a proper business philosophy - they make beer for us drinkers to enjoy, make themselves a bit of money and at the same time support their local suppliers. They also seem to be very involved with their local community providing not just employment but also are part of the town's social scene.
Their website is only in Dutch and so I can only get a jist of what they are about but it seems like a fun company. The brewery is modern but they come across as a company with the traditional values that they started out with in 1825.
I don't think they actually offer brewery tours but they do have an attractive-looking taphouse across the road. This wasn't open on the evening of my visit but the Black Rider Inn on the Markt is as good a place as any to sample both the local product and the Limburg laid-back ambience.
As I mention on my opening page I've only tried their pilsner, which as good as any, and their range of other beers gets good reviews on all the beer afficiando sites and so maybe next time I'm in the area I'll get some more research done - of the "hands on and swallow" type rather than this internet stuff LOL ;)
Here's the website: Gulpener Brewery
Glimpsed Through The Trees
It is quite easy to get off the beaten path here in Gulpen as the town is small and compact and most of its buildings are clustered along the main through road.
Once out of town you are in the rolling rural South Limburg landscape with its wooded hills and lush green fields.
I only got a glimpse of this through the trees as I was having my usual meander and didn't have time to further investigate but it seems this is the town's Neuburg Castle. Doing a little research as I was writing this page it seems more of a stately home than a castle and is the residence of a branch of the de Marchant et d'Ansembourg family.
It was used as a temporary billet by the US 30th Infantry regiment in 1944 on their way into Germany after liberating Maastricht during the Second World war.
Gulpen, between green hills and valleys
"Under the protection of mother Mary"
South Limburg holds a magical attraction towards the rest of the Netherlands. Of course because of it's Bourgondian lifestyle with deliscious and lots of food and drinks, but above all because of the absolutely un-Dutch landscape of hills and valleys. It is here, that the Ardennes find their most Northern slopes, about which the Dutch immediately go wild, talking about mountains (in Dutch "bergen"). The highest peak of them all (now, don't laugh) the Vaalser"berg" with 321 meters. The second highest is the Gulpener"berg" from where a large statue of mother Mary watches over the valley an the village.
"Peaceful small village in central South Limburg"
For visitors of this area of Limburg, Gulpen is a well ecquiped and centrally located village. From here almost all mayor attractions of the region are to be reached within 20 minutes driving. Bicycletours and walking routes lead throughout the landscape and are a lust for the more sportive holiday people. Wide view from the tops (such as ours from our tent!) can be a joy for (especially the Dutch) eyes.
"A tent with a view"
It can almost not be imagined, but we camped out here halfway October 2005 and in a tent. Normally night temperatures are in this time of year already approaching 0 degrees Celsius, which is definately not comfortable when staying with a boy of 4 years old. However, this year October was acceptionally warm and day temperatures roose easily to 20 degrees Celsius. Sunshine and blue skies included. Well, we enjoyed our view during breakfast, when a chilly 7 degrees Celsius surrounded us, but still ... we got a great weekend out of it.