Besides (or maybe for some: on top of) plenty of Sodom and Gomorrah, Amsterdam has a lively beer scene. Moreover, many have a tap-room for you to hang out, drink fresh beer and eat something to keep you going. There are actually so many breweries and bars that it is impossible to do them all in a day – for a good list, check out the map our fellow traveler and guide has put together. Therefore, this is not a complete guide, but a report on how we spent one Saturday in April.
Brouwerij de Prael – deprael.nl
Nobody likes to get hit by cycling tourists or to step over last night’s vomit. But there’s this gem in the tourist area of Amsterdam, just one grachten outside of the red-light district. De Prael is an elder in the beer scene and a social institution, hiring people with a past and giving them an opportunity for regular work. Unfortunately they also hired a marketing person and now the beers are not called after Dutch singers anymore – of the “your grandma used to love them kind” – but rather Weizen and Pale Ale. The beers are still well done, show restraint or balance and the Weizen is actually very tasty, even for non-weizen drinkers. The restaurant offers small snacks and bigger dishes, all on ancient chairs and tables, offering a quiet oasis in all the madness that’s going on outside.
De Bierkoning – bierkoning.nl
Across the city center is Amsterdam’s #1 bottle shop. Here we picked up a New England Style IPA by de Prael that was exclusively bottled for the store, as well as the newest creations by Tommie Sjef, a blender from Nothern Netherlands and currently quite the hype. There’s no taps or anything, but a small fridge with cans that you can take out, find a bench and gaze upon the wonders that is Amsterdam. We picked up some Evil Twin, Beerbibliothek, Urban Chestnut and Magic Rock as a “travel-thirst-quencher” and headed out again.
Oedipus – oedipus.com
A short ferry ride from the main train station is Noord Amsterdam (the ferry is free and for pedestrians and bikes only). Then deeper into an industrial section of what feels like an island (it’s not, it’s just separated by the river ‘t Ij) and you’ll end up at Oedipus. The area might be a bit grey, but inside you are hit by a rainbow of bright colors. The decoration is vibrant with plants and garden chairs. The windows are big and thus it feels like you’re outside even when inside.
There are plenty of beers on tap, and while Oedipus keeps it decent with the ABV they are keeping it naughty with the names, like Vogelen and Mannenliefde, which were also among our favorites. Rick Nelson of Oedipus told us to eat something, but we were too early: Kitchen opens at 17.00. Luckily there’s a “Whole Foods” like grocery store next door where you can buy food and sit in the food court. Don’t bring it back to the brewery though: They had issues with the trash.
Despite our bad luck with food, a lovely place and worth the trek.