When visiting a new city it’s always fun to check out the local distillery, wine cellar or brewery, sometimes to learn about production but more importantly to sample some of their wares. In Amsterdam, the Heineken Experience is one of the city’s most visited attractions and if you like huge queues and mediocre Dutch beer then you should certainly add it to your list. For those with a more discerning palette the Dutch capital is home to a number of excellent smaller breweries which offer something far more tasty and unique. Here’s my hit list for any beer aficionado wanting to check out the real Amsterdam brewery scene:
Oedipus Taproom & Brewery
The first thing that jumps out about Oedipus beers are the colourful, illustrated labels — they really are little label sized works of art. The brewery itself was started by Alex, Paul, Sander and Rick who, after working in beer bars became enamoured with craft beers and decided to develop their own. After practicing with home brewing, refining their technique, trading at music festivals and a crowdfunding campaign (that’s the condensed version of the story), they have now established their very own (and very cool) Taproom & Brewery in Amsterdam Noord. The taproom serves up 12 rotating taps of their very own brews and guest beers, with something new available every week. Add to this a chilled out open space with occasional live music and food trucks and you’re definitely onto a winner, this Amsterdam Brewery is certainly one of the hippest and not to be missed!
Opening hours: 15.00 – 21.00 on Fridays & 14:00 – 21.00 on Saturdays and Sundays
Address: Gedempt Hamerkanaal 85, 1021 KP Amsterdam
Tours & tastings: Special tours and tastings available on request. Click here for more info.
Brouwerij ‘t IJ
Before we even start talking about the beer I should mention that this brewery is based next to a WINDMILL (the biggest wooden windmill in the Netherlands as a matter of fact). If you’ve read my previous post about bike trips or checked out my Instagram you’ll know that I really love windmills! As if this wasn’t enough of a cool factor, the brewery itself is located in a former bath house (look out for the men and women signs over the door). Now you’ve checked your gender and made it through the right entrance the only thing you need to decide is which of their delicious beers to sample from this Amsterdam brewery which has been producing the good stuff since 1985. My personal favourite is the Natte: a smooth and dark beer which also happens to be the oldest beer they produce. Of course, if you can’t decide you can always grab a tasting board and try them all! Top tip: if you’re in need of sustenance post-beer the Burrito Maker just across the street serves up some of the best burritos in town!
Opening hours: 14:00 – 20:00 everyday
Address: Funenkade 7, 1018 AL, Amsterdam
Brouwerij de Prael
Tucked away down a back alley near the Red Light District you’ll discover the bustling Brouwerij de Prael: an inviting Amsterdam brewery in the heart of the city. Long wooden tables, brick walls and a warm atmosphere make this a delightful place to grab a few beers of an afternoon. If you want to look around the brewery and see how the beers are made then tours are available if you book in advance (entrance at the shop just around the corner), otherwise a trip to the bar is an equally wonderful way to get your beer fix — tasting is the most important part after all! With over 9 beers to choose from and an equally beautiful bar to stand and choose them at, you could find yourself umming and ahhing for quite some time, fortunately the friendly staff have plenty of advice and knowledge to guide you to your perfect beer.
Opening hours: 12.00 – 24.00 Monday – Wednesday, until 01:00 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and until 23:00 on Sundays
Address: Oudezijds Armsteeg 26, 1012 GP, Amsterdam
Brewery Tours: €8.50 with 1 beer or €17.50 with a tasting of four beers. Click here for more info.
If you didn’t know this place was there, you’d never find it. Tucked away down a street lined with industrial garages, The Butcher’s Tears brewery and tasting room is a hidden gem in the truest sense. A tourist hotspot this is not, making it the place to rub shoulders with locals and enjoy that peaceful and well-priced tipple that can be hard to come by in Amsterdam. Choose from the ever-changing selection of beers on tap or the bottled options – all brewed on the premises. The sparse white interior and car park come beer garden are all just part of the brewery’s effortless charm.
Opening hours: Wednesday – Sunday: 16.00 – 21.00
Address: Karperweg 45, 1075 LB Amsterdam
Happy beer drinking. Please drink responsibly, some of this stuff is bloody strong!