Christoffel Bier is brewed in Roermond. There are two main varieties, Christoffel Blond and Christoffel Robertus. Christoffel is a relatively young brewery, founded in 1986. Christoffel brews according to the German “Reinheitsgebot von 1516”, which means the brewing process takes place in a completely natural way. Around the year 1990, Christoffel Blond was awarded the title of “Best Beer from the Netherlands” for three years in a row.
While I'm sure that many places in Roermond serve this fine beer, the bar at the Dinner Inn connected with my hotel (Hotel Roermond) did not. Fortunately, I was able to try Christoffel Blond later in the week at a pub in Maastricht. The beer has a full body, a very balanced taste and a beautiful bitterness due to a generous addition of fresh hops during the brewing process. Highly recommended!
When I found out that The Dinner Inn connected to my hotel did not have Christoffel, I "settled" for a Heineken. The fact that Heineken is the standard local brew on tap is proof of how great the Netherlands is for beer.
Heineken is a 5% abv pale lager, made of purified water, malted barley, hops, and yeast that is force carbonated. It is refreshing with a slight hops aftertaste.
While Dutch is the official and foremost language of the Netherlands, Limburgish is the regional language in the Province of Limburg. The attached Wikipedia entry provides detailed information about this local language that is still used in certain areas.
When I scheduled my 1-day stay on a Monday in Roermond, I thought it was going to be the quietest day of my trip. As it turned out, the city center of Roermond turned into a fairgrounds during my visit! As the day progressed, the city squares and streets filled up with rides, games, and other amusements. They even had pony rides around the Munsterplein.
If you have young children, they would really enjoy the rides and games at this large fair.
Usually around February the province Limburg goes crazyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!
For 4 days people wipe the makeup off and smear it back on. Rubbish bins are raided for anything that will make a good costume - old socks, coats, feathers, hotwater bottles.... and before you know it, a creation is born. A beat on the street takes you in a trance to the nearest space at the bar, where you can admire all the other inspirational creations. Every year I tell myself to enjoy the few days off at home... but I can't help it .... that beat....!!!
In the South of the Netherlands, every winter around february/march, Carnival takes place. It's not like the Rio carnival, it's too cold for that, the athmosphere is much more different, everybody is dressed-up, drinking, making music and there are many parades and other activities. It's a very colorfull and loud event.
Most people tend to go to Maastricht or Den Bosch for carnival. Den Bosch because it's the northernmost city where you can celebrate it, and Maastricht because it's basically the capital of carnival and much more worth it in my opinion. However, Roermond gets you in the mood as well. Most people skip other places in the country and go for a touristy carnivalimpression in Maastricht. Roermond keeps it like the locals do and the city is full of acitivities.
Each saturday there is a festival (Staatiefestatie) with music on the stationsquare. The whole week there is a fairground on the market, and on mondays there is the big parade through the center of Roermond.
Recently signs were placed at the various entries to the city that bear two names: Roermond and Remunj. Remunj is the name of this city in the local tongue. Limburgish has been recognized by the European Union as a regional language, but the Dutch government officially forbids its use by governmental institutions. It's sad that it took a lot of juristic puzzling, but in the end these plates finally show Roermond's 'other' name.