The History of the Decline and Fall of the Sports Pub the Bongerd

Half a litre weizen now €3,50

It was one of my first days in Wageningen and The Bongerd for me was just a sports centre. I came there to play the occasional squash, or to try out some new student sports. And afterwards I went for drinks in the canteen: the poorly decorated sports pub that too was named ‘The Bongerd’.

There was snooker on TV that day, as there was always snooker on TV those days, and I tried not to get distracted and I ordered a beer.

It was my first visit to ‘The Bongerd’ – ‘the pub’ and I had never even heard of Ayinger before. I didn’t even know if it was beer. For me, Ayinger could have been a laundry machine, or a German power tool or perhaps one of those weird hip cola-beer mixtures for Berlin expats. 

It was not just a German and Bavarian Weisbier

But I asked about Ayinger and they told me that it was beer. And that it was German and that it was Bavarian and that it was Weissbier.

It was not just a German and Bavarian Weisbier. It was the best German and Bavarian Weissbier and it was the cheapest German and Bavarian Weissbier. It costed €1,70 for half a litre and not a penny more. And when I payed at the counter, I had the magical realisation that I had entered an anti-capitalist dreamworld, where snooker played 24/7 on TV and where the best beer also was the cheapest.

It was the cheapest German and Bavarian Weissbier.

You can tell me I’m old, but this was not so long ago. There was a mere 3 years in between. In three years, we went from €1,70 to €3,50.

They’ll tell you it’s still cheap. They’ll tell you that it’s still good. But where’s the idealism? where’s our dreamworld?

History they say is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.