Best craft beer bars in Amsterdam
Covering everything from creative young local breweries to established tasting houses and well-stocked craft beer bars, Amsterdam's craft and speciality beer game is strong. Here are our tip hops-y highlights from Amsterdam's heady beer scene plus an extra pit stop in Haarlem.
In de Wildeman
Housed in a former distillery that dates from 1690, this authentic venue has retained its olde worlde charm and now operates as one of Amsterdam’s best beer bars, with more than 200 bottled beers and around 18 on tap. The selection changes regularly, with a focus on Belgian Trappist ales and local Dutch breweries. Don’t miss the amusing ‘wildeman’ gable stone at the building’s rear on Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 45, from which the bar took its name.
This small, independent (and rather hip) brewery has marked its place on the Amsterdam beer trail after setting up shop in an industrial canal-side space in Amsterdam Zuid, not far from the Olympic Stadium. Every evening except Monday and Tuesday, the tasting room doors are flung open from 16:00 to 21:00, allowing beer aficionados the chance to sample a regularly rotating range of beers with zany names including ‘Lipreader’, ‘Ditchwitch’ and ‘The Flying Bed’. The brewery also hosts regular gigs and events – check their website for details.
Now with three locations in Amsterdam, Brouwerij Troost has proven to be a popular haunt for beer loving folk in Amsterdam. Quickly exceeding capacity at their first location in former monastery in De Pijp, Troost opened a second location at a hip parkside hangout in the Westergas, and a third in Oud West where everything they make can be sampled. Whether it’s a refreshing New England IPA, a replenishing jenever or a homemade lemonade you’re after, you’ll find it at Troost. Want to know more about brewing? Why not take a guided tour to see where the brewing magic takes place, and get to sample a few too? Compliment your hop-infused palette with tasty comfort food including flamkuchen and burgers.
This traditional Dutch pub on the Herengracht is the place to get acquainted with home-brewed tipples. Serving only Dutch beers from more than 50 breweries in the Netherlands plus more than 100 bottled beers, the pub is the ideal place to learn all about local beer. If you wish to taste your way around the Netherlands in one sitting then the basement proeflokaal (tasting room) is the perfect place and regularly hosts beer tasting events for groups.
At Kleiburg Brewery, a project of the Kleiklooster, you can taste some of the best beer in Bijlmer: Porter Saison, Tripel IPA or Quadruple Poorter, for starters. The brewery doesn’t just make beer for the fun of it – it’s a social enterprise in which a portion of profits go directly back into the monastery’s activities for the good of the people.
Craft & Draft
This speciality beer venus can be found on Overtoom in the Oud-West district, just on the edge of Vondelpark. The first thing you’ll notice are 40 gleaming beer taps lining the wall behind the wooden bar. The international beer selection changes weekly so there’s always something new to sample – and the knowledgeable bar staff are always more than happy to offer some recommendations if the choice gets all too much. Did we mention there are 100+ bottled beers on offer and there’s a small shop for take-outs?
Brouwerij ‘t IJ
Perhaps Amsterdam’s most famous independent brewery due to its iconic location underneath the city’s tallest windmill, Brouwerij ‘t IJ is an essential stop-off on any beer tour of the Dutch Capital. You’ll see Brouwerij ‘t IJ beers served in any self-respecting pub in Amsterdam (Zatte and Natte being the staple triple and double flagship brews), but the best place to try them is at the brewery itself. In the summer a large terrace spills beery folk outdoors, while the inside exudes rustic cosiness, with private tasting sessions and tours on offer for those who wish to develop their beer knowledge further.
Following in the footsteps of the famous Delirium Café Brussels, this pink elephant outpost offers the perfect spot to sample a range of beers from the Belgian Huyghe brewery, and more than 720 varieties from around the world. The large bar and restaurant is tucked away under an overpass on the waterfront, with a long terrace enjoying optimal views and summer vibes whilst being sheltered from the elements in colder months. There’s also a large restaurant offering tasty food to soak up all that beer
Oedipus Brewery Taproom
Started up by four friends who share a thing for beer, this colourful craft brewery based in Amsterdam Noord now produces a creative ‘complex’ of beers ranging from the easy drinking ‘Mama’ pale ale, to thai-spiced Tripels and the aptly named 10,5% proof ‘Kinderyoga’. You’ll see their colourfully bottled brews in many speciality beer bars in Amsterdam, or for the full Oedipus experience head straight to their recently opened taproom to sample a range of Oedibrew on tap.
It’s all about history for De Prael, one of Amsterdam’s best located breweries sitting bang in the centre of the city’s oldest areas. De Prael’s brewing process steps back in time selecting and grinding their own grains and malts without any filtering or pasteurizing, just straight-up classic beers without flavouring. With three locations in Amsterdam, and a menu that’ll have you wanting seconds, this is a one hop stop you won’t want to miss. If that hasn’t whet your appetite, maybe a guided brewery tour followed by a boat tour sampling their brews will.
A leading light of Amsterdam’s speciality beer brigade since 2009, this city centre pub attracts beer loving visitors from far and wide to worship at its taps. There are around 30 beers on draft and over 100 bottled varieties, with a strong focus on American craft beers and ales sourced from US microbreweries. That said, the bar’s Dutch brewed house beer Tembelbier is worth a try if you’re looking for more local flavour from your hops.
In just 20 minutes by train you can be in Haarlem, North Holland’s capital and home of the Jopen brewery. Located in the centre of town and in a former church, Jopen is a modern brewery, café and restaurant reinvigorating the city’s beer brewing traditions. Open for lunch and dinner, this is the place to sit back and sip a delicious brew as you watch the brewing process with a bird’s eye view. They have two other location, the Jopenkerk distillery in Hoofddorp and the Jopen Proeflokaal (Jopen tasting room) in Waarderpolder.
Poesiat & Kater
Get a taste of history at Poesiat & Kater, a brewery located on a historic location in Amsterdam-Oost with a tasting room that’s just as charming. Brewer Julián Álvarez Zárate, a ‘yeast specialist’, is the brains behind the brewery and creates not only Poesiat & Kater specialty beers, but the resurrected legendary Van Vollenhoven beer, both of which you can enjoy alongside brunch, lunch or dinner.
It’s a brewery and a restaurant, but neither outshine the other: De Bierfabriek is not only known for its world-class, house-brewed beer but its hearty dishes such as slow-roasted chicken from a charcoal barbecue. De Bierfabriek feels less like a brewery and more like a friend’s living room, though the self-serve tap tables are a sign you’re somewhere special.
Brouwerij de 7 Deugden
This brewery, whose name translates to the ‘seven virtues’ and employs those who have trouble finding work, doesn’t brew just any old beer. Using a mix of herbs and spices, the brewery offers up specialties such as Ruw+Bolster, which features a hint of lime; Scheeps+Recht, whose spicy-sweet flavour comes from cloves; or Stout-Moedig, which gets a kick from coffee beans. Tastings and tours are by request only, so don’t miss out on this unique experience.
Two Chefs Food Bar
The largest microbrewery in Amsterdam may sound like a misnomer but it’s true: this undertaking from two chefs was founded in 2012 as a way to stock up on ‘funky’ beers they couldn’t find elsewhere, and it quickly grew. In 2020 the Two Chefs found the perfect spot for their first proeflokaal. They settled in West to create a colourful universum with beers from tap like Fizzy Frog (Brut IPA), Holy Gunter (Lager) and Funky Falcon (Pale Ale), all paired with a great selection of food.
Part of Pension Homeland, a hotel and restaurant, this brewery has become a hub of additive-free, honest beer. Homeland has a large waterfront deck with a lovely view over the Eastern Docklands, near to the historic Marine Harbour and the National Maritime Museum. The brewery is just a couple of years old but already has a couple of favourites under its belt, like the Katzwijm IPA or the Kielzog Tripel. Ahoy!