1018 AL AMSTERDAM
Beer lovers will be delighted to discover the range of delicious beverages brewed right here in Amsterdam. Housed in a former bathhouse at the foot of a windmill, Brouwerij 't IJ offers a selection of delicious organic beers brewed on site. De Prael brewery is located in a historical building downtown. Besides beer, they cook up Dutch specialties for lunch and dinner.
Located in Amsterdam Nieuw-West, De 7 Deugden (Dutch) is a microbrewery offering a variety of activities for groups, from beer and cheese tasting to simply enjoying a few beers with friends. And a recent addition to the city's brewing scene is Butcher's Tears: head along and sample their delicious unfiltered gems in the new tasting room.
De Bekeerde Suster (Kloveniersburgwal 6-8) is a spacious bar and restaurant that brews their own beer. The Bierfabriek (Rokin 75) is the latest addition to Amsterdam's brew pub scene, offering two beers brewed on location, plus special tables for groups with built-in taps. All of the breweries offer tours on request.
Besides microbreweries, Amsterdam is home to arguably the most famous Dutch beer brand: Heineken. While the bulk of the brewing no longer takes place in the city, the Heineken Experience is a “must see” for many visitors, offering fun interactive displays and of course a couple of glasses to taste.
Tasting the best Dutch beers
If you don’t manage to visit a brewery, be sure to stop by ‘t Arendsnest for a thorough introduction to Dutch beer. This atmospheric pub on the Herengracht offers a wide variety of beers from regional Dutch brewers, and the knowledgeable staff are more than happy to offer recommendations. They also organise beer tastings for groups of eight or more. De Brabantse Aap (Heinekenplein 5-8 & Spui 30) also offers a wide selection of Dutch beers, including those brewed at De Bekeerde Suster, which is run by the same owner.
Beer Festivals in Amsterdam
Every April, the Meibock Festival hits town to serve up the best spring beers from the Netherlands and further afield. And later in the year, its big brother - the Bokbier Festival - takes the stage. Beer-loving hordes convene at the Beurs van Berlage for this event to sample a huge array of delicious autumnal beers. Entrance is usually €10 (including glass) with beers costing €2.50. In between the spring and the autumn bock beers, beer lovers can enjoy a variety of interesting craft beers at the annual Amsterdam Craft Beer Festival, where the best craft brewers gather along with those who appreciate and partake in the fruits of their labour.
Exploring international brews
After you’ve finished sampling Dutch beer, expand your horizons and explore the amazing international beers available in Amsterdam. As you might imagine, Belgian beer is well represented. De Zotte (Raamstraat 29) has 130 different Belgian beers on offer, plus delicious cheeses and hearty Belgian dinners. Just up the road, you'll find Tripel (Lijnbaansgracht 161) - a relatively new addition housed in a former underground club.
Gollem's Proeflokaal (Overtoom 160), Café Gollem (Daniel Stalpertstraat 74 & Raamsteeg 4) and Café Belgique (Gravenstraat 2) are also great locations to taste Belgian beers. In de Wildeman (Kolksteeg 3) has a carefully curated selection of international beers, while the Beer Temple (Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 250) focuses exclusively on small-batch American brews. The Biertuin (Linnaeusstraat 29) near the Oosterpark, offers everything from beer brewed on the Dutch peninsula of Texel to American IPAs.
Grab a few to go
After tasting your way across the city, you might find a few new favourites! Grab a couple of bottles to take home at the Bierkoning, an absolute heaven for beer connoisseurs. They have an impressive selection from the Netherlands, Belgium and further afield, as well as a variety of branded beer glasses for an extra special souvenir.