Come and take a unique look behind the scenes into the oldest craft beer brewery of the Netherlands, located in one of the oldest buildings in Nijmegen and visit the depths of Heaven! In our very own brewery De Hemel (translated to ‘Heaven’ in Dutch), you will find everything there is to know about the beer, the people, the process and techniques of our brewery. During a guided tour (or individual visit), you get to see the ins and outs of the brewery, and with the help of labels, pictures, short films, machines and equipment, become quickly acquainted with De Hemel. There are also opportunities to take an insight into the production of vinegar, mustard and spirits. Visiting the brewery is naturally accompanied with a tasting session of our very own products to complete the experience.
Visiting hours: Saturday & Sunday between 13:00 and 17:00. No booking needed.
Admission: €11,- per person, including a tasting session of 6 homebrewed beers.
Group Visit For groups of 10 people or more, we advise booking a guided tour of the brewery. This includes a tasting session at the end of the tour, with a choice of 6 or 10 homebrewed beers. A mixture of bar snacks can be served to complement the tasting session at a small additional cost. Alternatively, you can take on the full Hemel experience and combine the tour with a brewer’s lunch or dinner (only available to groups of 20 people or more).
Visiting hours: Available during any day of the week (by scheduled appointment). Visiting time can be made via a consultation.
Types of tours
Tour including a tasting session of 6 beers. Duration of 1 hour 30 minutes with an admission price of €11,- per person (minimum price of €110,-).
Tour including a tasting session of 10 beers. Duration of 2 hours 30 minutes with an admission price of €15,50 per person (minimum price of €155,-).
During the tasting session, we can serve a mixture of bar snacks for an additional price of €5,50 per person (minimum price of €55,-).
Took book a brewer’s lunch or dinner, or any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact (link contactgegevens) us.
De Hemel Brewery in Operation
The birth of the brewery took place in 1983 in the small village of Heumen, in the eastern part of The Netherlands. During this time, De Raaf Brewery (translated to ‘raven’ in Dutch) opened her doors as the very first craft beer brewery in the Netherlands. 16 years down the line, including two housing moves and a change of name, the brewery established itself in the Commanderie in Nijmegen, and ever since, has remained the location where we produce and sell beer today. De Hemel is a local brewery in Nijmegen, and most of our products are consumed at the brewery itself, or at one of the many selected bars in town.
The focus of the brewery has always been the small-scale batch production of craft beers, which differs from the large scale production of the big brands available on the typical supermarket shelf. Remaining an independent brewery is of the most importance to us; this allows us to maintain the quality and craft of our products exactly the way we want it. Through this manner, we can carry on doing what we do best; brewing heavenly beer for the citizens of Nijmegen.
The Brewing Process
The very base and basics of the brewing process are thousands of years old, and the techniques used during this process are identical, all over the world. Brewing beer is a natural process, thus, there is no need for modern day equipment in order to produce beer. However, it certainly does aid and improve the brewing process, which is why the modern day brewer relies on state of the art brewing equipment to achieve the highest quality.
In De Hemel, we brew beer on a relatively small scale (approximately one thousand liters per batch). This gives us the opportunity to brew with a large variety of different flavours and styles, and also experiment with new recipes. The very basic ingredients of beer are water, malts and hops. But there are also many other different elements and flavours, for example herbs or fruits, which can be added and combined in the brewing process. Yeast is also a very important ingredient for the flavour of a beer; we use our own type of yeast in order to produce the typical De Hemel flavour. On the whole, all of the basic ingredients come in many different styles and flavours, and these are the very tools that a brewer uses to define the taste of a beer.
Vinegar and Mustard
Now and again, the taste of a beer becomes unpleasant due to its age, or a (fortunately rare) mistake during the production. However, we are able to recover this and give it a second life as vinegar. In our vinegar reactor, we allow the beer to become sour in a controlled manner, resulting in a product known as Beer vinegar, or just vinegar for short.
We are able to sell this, but by using it as an ingredient instead, and combining it with different combinations of mustard seeds, vinegar, beer, herbs and spices, we can make three different types of Beer mustard. . In addition, by varying the different concentrations in the ingredients, and the courseness of the ground seeds, we can define and produce the mustard to a very specific taste.
The distillery of De Hemel is located in the basement of the brewery. The production of spirits started as a manner to give beer, which could not be sold further on, a second life, just like vinegar.
In our copper distilling kettle, we distil beer and wine on a weekly basis, and separate the alcohol and other certain flavours from the beer. This product is called ‘bierbrand’, and is the very base of our spirits. Typical examples include beer whisky, sweet liquors or the Dutch specialty, jenever.
De Hemel produces a wide variety of beers in different styles and flavours. Some of the beers we offer throughout the year, while others are seasonal or limited editions, such as autumn and easter beers, and new styles which we experimented with.
Below you can find a list of our regular beers, available throughout the year:
Luna Pilsener, 5%
A top fermenting pilsner. This style is usually brewed with a “bottom fermenting” yeast, which in contrast to other pilsners, gives the Luna more body. It is dry beer and has a pleasantly hopped taste.
Godelief Belgian Ale, 5%
The oldest recipe in the history of the brewery, produced since 1983. A mellow amber ale, light in alcohol and full of aromas. It is mildly hopped in order to give the beer some character, but also keeping it pleasant enough for easy drinking, right throughout the day
Serafijn Wheatbeer 5%
Brewed with wheat and barley malts, hops and aromatised with orange peel and coriander, giving a refreshing, herby and light taste. Mostly found enjoyed on a summer terrace.
Mariken Blond, 6,5%
A herby blond beer. The summer flavour is kept and contained within the bottle by using just lighter malts, fresh hops and our very own secret herb.
Moenen Smoked, 6,5%
Brewed with Beechwood smoked and dark aromatic malts, this gives a deep red coloured beer, with a smooth aroma and distinct smoky flavour.
Helse Engel Tripel, 8%
Full of light malts and a distinct hopped taste; this makes the Helse Engel a tripel with a certain character. It is full of flavour, but remains a very easy going drink.
Nieuw Ligt Barley Wine, 10%
Malts, hops and sugar candy give Nieuw Ligt its refined aroma and full flavours. Due to its high alcohol percentage, you experience typical velvet like softness.
Nieuw Ligt Grand Cru. Matured Barley Wine, 12%
A Grand Cru version of the Nieuw Ligt. Once a year, we make an extra strong batch of Nieuw Ligt, and let it mature for at least 6 months in a tank. After this period, we fill it in bottles and let it sit to further for a few more years, in a closed environment, before maturing into a unique tasting beer. The peak of its taste is usually found 5 years after this.