Do You Fancy a Good Beer in Amsterdam?
Whether you like ale, I.P.A., stout, pilsner, wheat beer, lager or any other type, Amsterdam has them all in all possible variations. Moreover, this city offers them produced by small independent breweries that have their own styles, flavors and spirit. It is understandable that most of the tourists want to try Heineken in Amsterdam, but we advise you to go further and deeper and discover the world of unique Dutch micro breweries and their tasteful draught beers.
Bits of history
The history of beer in the Netherlands goes back to the Middle Ages, when the Dutch were drinking it like water. As clean drinking water was limited at those times people would drink low alcohol beer instead, which was produced in their homes or monasteries. The number of breweries was immense then, but it was way before Heineken was established in Amsterdam. The Dutch beer scene has never been the same after that giant entered the market in 1864 and bought numerous small competitors. Since then Heineken has been thriving all over the world, owning half of the beer market in the Netherlands. It even merged with famous beer brand Amstel- so now you know where the similarity in taste of Heineken and Amstel comes from.
If you want to know more about it or learn about the Heineken kidnapping case (when the owner of this company got kidnapped and around 60 million euro had to be paid for him!), then it will be a great idea to get Heineken Experience in the former Heineken Brewery.
So how come have all those local micro breweries revived in Amsterdam? Believe it or not, but it happened thankfully to punk and squat subculture in the 80’s. They were so much against the capitalism of Heineken, that they started their own alternative beer scene. Later it grew into lots of independent breweries all over the city that offer good beer and different vibe that the mainstream beer pubs.
Oedipus Brewing offers colorful and diverse flavored beers with super original names. This startup has a fascinating story, hip style, lots of festival experience and most importantly beer that breaks the stereotype “all beer tastes the same.” Their brand new taproom (only half a year old) with 12 rotating taps serves as an artsy space, where beer, music and culture come together every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Oedipus Brewing also features all-inclusive tasting with a tour around the brewery and degustation of their specials.
Gedempt Hamerkanaal 85
Butcher’s Tears is a vintage and industrial microbrewery that is proud to present hand-crafted beers available to order at their tasting room. They try to do something different from other breweries in Amsterdam and revive nearly forgotten traditions of brewing combining it with lots of experimenting. The proeflokaal is located next wall to Butcher’s Tear brewery, where tasty unfiltered and unpasteurized beers can be tried sometimes accompanied by special events there.
Brouwerij De Vriendschap
Innovative and modern, Brouwerij De Vriendschap create new beers at their lab almost every week. Their craft beers can be tried in a few local bars in Amsterdam or purchased in one of the beer specialty shops. Although they have a nice spot in the north of the city, there is no tasting room or their own bar where you can enjoy their nice beers.
Brouwerij ’t IJ
Often mistakenly referred to as the windmill brewery, Brouwerij ’t IJ is one of the oldest small breweries in Amsterdam and located in the building of a former bath house. The truth is that De Gooyer windmill next door is not related to the brewery in any way. It only serves as a memorable landmark and is depicted on Brouwerij ’t IJ logo. When it comes to beer, this brewery has a good reputation and lots of loyal fans. Their 8 standard beers have organic certification, while their seasonal and limited edition beers are very different from the regular types. If you are curious about the scenes behind the bar and brewing process as such, then you can come for a 20 minute brewery tour at Brouwerij ’t IJ on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
Two Chefs Brewing
Two chefs from Two Chefs Brewing create interesting beers that are far from regular lagers, but full of taste and character instead. From time to time the founders of this small brewery can host popup dinners, but the best way to spot them is to look for pairing events in various restaurants in Amsterdam. Two Chefs Brewing beer can often be found at the special beer festivals around the Netherlands. The best way to follow their schedule is to check their website or facebook group.
There is a great solution called ‘t Arendsnest for those who don’t want to hop from one local brewery to another, but want to try all sorts of the golden grain juice produced in the Netherlands at one place. This pub features more than 30 types of draught beer and around 100 types of bottled beer from all over the country with beer tasting available at their basement proeflokaal.
And in case you don’t want to go out for a beer in Amsterdam and practice your “Mag ik een biertje alstublieft?” then there is an exciting unique beer shop for you. It has more than 1500 special beers from all over as well as original beer glasses and books. It is hard to image what beer you won’t be able to find there, as even the rarest ones are available there. So don’t limit yourself to the typical beer types that you’ve already tried!
This post is also available in: Dutch