Dutch beer

While doing my shopping today I encountered a whole pile of six packs of “Royal Dutch“. On closer inspection of this beer that I never heard of, I learned that it is actually brewed in license of Posthorn, a brewery based in my home town (if there is such a thing), of Breda. WTF! I have never heard of this brewery and I was born in the damn place. Googling for Posthorn, or post hoorn as it would no doubt be spelled in dutch I was not able to bring up much more than this. A pretty sad party center on the Haagweg. Note the rather generic, mirrored logo on the can here.

Knowing something of Breda beer history, this is probably what is left of the Oranjeboom beer that until a few years ago was brewed in Breda. Basically interbev liquidated (pun intended) the whole brand and closed down the brewery in Breda. I have no idea what the Royal qualification in Royal Dutch refers to. I don’t imagine our water managing crown prince Willem-Alexander of Orange (aka. prince beer) had anything to do with this.

Of course Post Horn duely added water to meet the Finnish super market beer upper limit for alcohol of 4.7%. I must say, it tastes better than the average finnish beer. Similar to Becks if I’d have to pick something similar. I’ve tried several different Finnish brands in the nearly two years I’ve spent here and basically have decided that any non Finnish beer is probably better than any Finnish beer. I’ve sampled some pretty obscure foreign brands, even from my own home country, and they all taste better than boring Olvi, Karhu, Lapin Kulta or Koff. Especially the supermarket varieties of those are filthy stuff.

This Royal Dutch, is the second brand of fictional dutch beers I’ve encountered in the supermarkets here. The other one is labeled “Amsterdam”, which is apparently not worthy of the Grolsch brand of the beer company that produces it. Grolsch actually is pretty nice and I’ve even encountered a Finnish 4.7% export version of it in some supermarkets. Complete with the obligatory “beugel” bottle. Amsterdam is a pale shadow of this and indeed not worthy of the brand.

Flock

I just installed Flock – The Social Web Browser. Right now I’m trying out the blog editor included with it to write this little review. To cut the review short, I’m planning uninstalling it after publishing this post.

Lets just start by saying that this feels like a nice bunch of concepts and potentially useful Firefox extensions but not as a drop in Firefox replacement. Besides, the default theme feels rather amateurish and I already miss my dozen Firefox extensions. And while I am pleased that it supports Facebook, I find the lack of support for much else a bit disappointing. For example, I’m also on Linked in; phib; claimid. I have several openid logins; I use several Google services, including reader, gmail and calendar. All of these are unsupported by the self proclaimed social web browser. Hell, it doesn’t even integrate webmail from e.g. google, yahoo or microsoft (I have accounts with all three). You can find an overview of social networking sites I use on my blog: http://blog.jillesvangurp.com/my-other-sites/. Most of the stuff there is unsupported by Flock.

An exception seems del.icio.us. However, the extension functionality I get in Firefox is much better than the bundled del.icio.us support in Flock which is rather useless. Similarly, the blog editor is nice but nothing I can’t get using several Firefox extensions. I suppose the facebook sidebar is nice, but again there is also a firefox extension for that.

A rather novel feature seems to be the media bar. However, in its current incarnation it is limited to harvesting media from just a handful of popular sites like facebook (again), youtube and flickr. That’s nice but not all that useful to me.

So overall I have a bit mixed feelings. On one hand, this feels like a polished product, on the other hand there’s not much that I can’t get installing a few Firefox extensions. With Firefox 3 around the corner, I’m not planning to use Flock 1.0 based on the old Firefox without most of the extensions I can’t do without. Nevertheless, there’s some good ideas that I would like to see adopted in the form of Firefox extensions.

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