by Nathan Hak Beer Journalist at Beerwulf.com
Amsterdam Pack12 brewers, 12 beers, 1 journey.
Amsterdam is the beer capital of the Netherlands. Most Dutch brewers are located in the city: 45 in total, including brewers who use contract brewing and brewers with in-house breweries. Beerwulf got on its bike to collect 12 beers for an Amsterdam pack that will please every beer fanatic. Join us on this journey!
Brouwersgracht and the Bierkaai
If you’re on the hunt for brewers, you’d think it would make sense to start your search at the Brouwersgracht (Brewer’s Canal). Though, many Amsterdammers consider it to be the prettiest street in the city, you won’t find any brewers here.
Instead, you should visit the Oudezijds Voorburgwal, also known as the Bierkaai (Beer Quay). The harbour workers who used to work here were known for their fighting prowess. Lugging all those beer vats around made them super strong and unbeatable. That’s where the Dutch saying “vechten tegen de bierkaai” (“fighting against the beer quay”, meaning “attempting the impossible”) comes from. De Prael Brewery has a tasting room and shop in this area and Thomas gives us their IPA to add the pack: “It’s brewed with American hop varieties which give this IPA beautiful tropical aromas.”
We cycle past the striking NEMO science museum to Bruut Beer. Ward hands us their Vogt beer: “A fresh, bitter beer that’s exotically hopped. It’s an easy-drinking beer with 4.6% alcohol.” From there, it's just a few steps to the Funenkade, where ‘t IJ Brewery is situated. In the tasting room underneath the windmill you can try lots of mouth-watering creations. Wouter de Zatte gives us: “A tripel with a fruity aroma. Slightly sweet with a dry aftertaste. It’s our classic from Amsterdam, where everything began for us in 1985.”
We cycle towards the south of the city via the Kriterion cinema, where we meet brewer and film-maker Finbarr from Cinema Brewers. Their Lebowski is added to the pack: “An American-style lager with lemongrass and dry hops. A beer that embodies the friendship between Walter Sobchak and The Dude from The Big Lebowski.”
We cycle to the Vondelpark via the Magere Brug to visit Bird Brewery. Brewers Ralph and Rik are doing a spot of bird watching to gain inspiration for a new beer. They give us their Rumoerige Roodborst: “Our lightly hopped Amber Ale, which was named the Best IPA in the Netherlands. Tropical, fruity and extremely delicious!”
Via the beautiful canals of Amsterdam and the Jordaan district, we cycle west to pick up the Tricky Tripel by Gebrouwen door Vrouwen. It was their first beer and an overnight success, according to Tessel en Do: “It was the recipe that always worked at home and the one that we first dared to mass produce. It’s a nourishing beer with lots of malt and is very smooth.”
We’re not that far away from the Westerpark where Troost Brewery has an awesome brewpub. It’s the ideal place to take a break. They also brew the majority of the Troost beers here, including the Honingblond, brewed according to Erik’s recipe: “A somewhat heavier blond beer, brewed with honey. This gives it a nice, sweet kick at the end, yet the beer is still beautifully bitter.”
Our next stop is the Westelijk Haven area. The impressive Two Chefs Brewing brewery moved to this area not so long ago. The brand-new fermentation tanks glimmer as Sanne and John hand us their beer: “Our Green Bullet is a classic IPA with floral aromas and hop varieties from New Zealand”.
Then we get on our bikes and cycle to the Houthavens, where Lowlander’s Botanical Brew Bar is parked. It’s a beautifully decorated rickshaw which they use to introduce the masses to their beers. Frederik gives us the Lowlander White Ale: “A wheat beer brewed with elderflower, chamomile and curacao orange peel. This gives it a lovely fresh, fruity aftertaste.”
We take the ferry from the Houthavens to Amsterdam Noord. A pleasant 10-minute journey brings us to Eeuwige Jeugd. Thomas and Jules give us a Lellebel: “A fresh and fruity blond beer with notes of citrus and passion fruit. Delicious!”
In the most northern part of Amsterdam we meet Aart from Walhalla with his mythical beers. He gives us a beer named after the god of farming: “Osiris, a farmhouse ale with 7%, caramel malt and nice, fruity hops.”
Our journey ends near the IJ, where the colourful Oedipus brewery is situated. Rick adds the last Amsterdam beer to the pack, Mannenliefde: “Our saison, with fruity Sorachi Ace hops, lemongrass and Szechuan pepper. Nice and fresh!”