Dokkumer hotspot

In 1705, Aafke Jelles purchased the property at Diepswal (now number 15) for a sum of 1029 carolus guilders. Here, she and her husband Hoite Douwes brewed beer at the brewery ‘Het Half Maentje’. The property was described as ‘a delightful house, brewery, and beer house’ and had been in use as a brewery since 1625.

It is unclear whether the well stool, located in front of the brewery at the Grootdiep, also came into her possession. This beer pole drew clean water from the Bonifatius spring via a water barge. The water was then conveyed through a gutter high over the street to the brewing kettles in the brewery. Because of this process, beer was healthier than surface or well water, making it the most consumed beverage of the time. During its peak, there were no less than nineteen breweries in Dokkum!

Aafke was an enterprising woman. In 1715, she sold the brewery, the house, and the furnishings, including barrels, kettles, a cooling tub, and cans, to Jan Jansen for a sum of 1475 carolus guilders. Ten years after the purchase, the clever businesswoman earned more than 400 carolus guilders—a fortune in those days!

After a long period without breweries in Dokkum, there are now two active brewers: Brewery Dockum at the Koophandel and City Brewery Bonifatius at Diepswal 5. Over 300 years later, and just a few buildings away, history repeats itself. In honor of this, a well stool was installed in 2020. The only one of its kind in Europe! That deserves a toast: Tsjoch!

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