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A Beer Lover's Guide to Amsterdam

Picture of Tom Coggins
Tom Coggins
Updated: 8 June 2017

The beer scene in Amsterdam is booming and the city features an impressive quota of diverse hangouts that collectively cater to almost every drinking preference. To prepare beer buffs for their next trip to Amsterdam, Culture Trip has compiled the following guide to the best brewing hotspots and events inside the city.

Breweries and Taprooms

Butcher’s Tears

Over the past five years, Butcher’s Tears in Amsterdam-Zuid has captivated scores of beer lovers, thanks to its experimental approach towards brewing. Besides serving hard-hitting craft beer, the brewery’s stylish taproom also hosts numerous concerts and events throughout the month.

📍Butcher’s Tears, Karperweg 45, Amsterdam, +31 6 53909777

Brouwerij het IJ

A mammoth windmill looms over Brouwerij ’t IJ’s beer garden and serves as the brewery’s semi-official mascot. Although the brewery makes many different kinds of delicious beer, its Natte Dubbel and Zatte Trippel are legendary in Amsterdam, due to their velvety, smoky flavours and notoriously high proof levels. 

📍 Brouwerij het IJ, Funenkade 7, Amsterdam, +31 20 528 6237

Oedipus Brewing

Oedipus is at the forefront of the Dutch craft brewing scene and serves 12 different, innovative beers inside its cosy taproom in Amsterdam-Noord. The brewery often makes special, seasonal beers which draw from international brewing methods, like its Berlin style wiesse, Vogelen, or its fruity, saison ale, Lekkerbek.

📍Oedipus Brewing, Gedempt Hamerkanaal 85, Amsterdam

Brouwerij de Prael

This down-to-earth brewery in the Red Light District serves a wide selection of classic and modern craft beers alongside traditional Dutch pub food. The whole taproom and restaurant resembles an old-school, watering hole, complete with vintage furniture and tiled walls.

📍Browerij de Prael, Oudezijds Armsteeg 26, Amsterdam, +31 20 408 4470

A beer from Brouwerij de Prael | © hmmmayor / Flickr

Beer Cafés

Gollem’s Proeflokaal

Although Gollem has four separate Belgian style beer cafés in Amsterdam, its largest alehouse is located on Overtoom. There are always over 20 beers available on tap at this rustic tavern, alongside around 150 other bottled delicacies. Gollem’s Proeflokaal also serves delicious, hearty meals and traditional Dutch pub snacks throughout the day.

📍Gollem’s Proeflokaal, Overtoom 160-162, Amsterdam, +31 20 612 9444

Proeflokaal Arendsnest

As Proefloakaal Arendsnest only sells craft beer produced by Dutch breweries, it is among the best places in Amsterdam to sample regional brews. There’s always plenty of exceptional, local beers on offer at the bar, including stouts, lagers and IPAs from famous Dutch breweries such as Jopen, Texels, or La Trappe.

📍Proeflokaal Arendsnest, Herengracht 90, Amsterdam, +31 20 421 2057

Arendsnest’s entrance | © Andrew Bowden / Flickr

Craft & Draft

Craft & Draft keeps 40 rotating international beers on tap and over 100 bottled brews behind its bar. Unlike most other beer cafés in Amsterdam, Craft & Draft’s selection gravitates around foreign imports and mainly features beers produced outside of the Netherlands, such as Brooklyn Lager or Budvar Pilsner. However, there are still plenty of Dutch beers on offer inside.

📍Craft & Draft, Overtoom 417, Amsterdam, +31 20 223 0725

Delirium Café

There are over 750 different beers available in Delirium Café‘s Amsterdam branch, many of which possess exceedingly high-alcoholic content levels. This branch of the global franchise is owned locally, but its house beers are still Delirium brews – known for being emblazoned with an iconic pink elephant.

📍Delirium Café, Piet Heinkade 4-6-8, Amsterdam, +31 20 811 0381

Delirium Café’s logo | © Phil Whitehouse / Flickr

Beer Festivals

Sloten Bier Festival

📅  Sunday, June 25th

In late June dozens of craft brewers converge at RADION in Amsterdam’s Nieuwe-West district in order to showcase their wares at the Sloten Bier Festival. There’s also plenty of food available at the festival, to keep hungry beer connoisseurs on their feet.

📍RADION, Louwesweg 1, Amsterdam, +31 20 452 4709

Planet Oedipus

📅  Saturday, August 12th to Sunday, August 13th

In summer 2017 Planet Oedipus will bring together brewers from 10 different countries and host an extensive food market alongside a series of live concerts organised by local and international musical collectives such as Amsterdam’s Red Light Radio. This blowout festival will take place at an old soccer club in Amsterdam-Noord that has been converted into gardens and urban farmlands.

📍NoordOogst Stadslandbouwproject, Meteorenweg 272, Amsterdam +31 6 22505291

PINT Bokbierfestival

📅  Friday, October 27th to Sunday, October 29th

For three days in October every year, legions of beer lovers head over to Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam for the annual PINT Bokbeirfestival. This autumnal beer festival is dedicated to Dutch bokbier — a particularly hearty, dark ale that is traditionally drunk during the colder months of the year.

📍Beurs van Berlage, Damrak 243, Amsterdam, +31 20 530 4141

A dark bokbier | © Smabs Sputzer / Flickr

Museums and Activities

Burgers & Beer Cruise

As its name suggests, this cruise through Amsterdam’s historic canal belt offers punters an unlimited supply of beer as well as a juicy, freshly grilled Black Angus beef burger. The cruise begins at Amsterdam’s Centraal Station and continues through the city’s main iconic waterways.

📍 Prins Hendrikkade 25, Amsterdam  

The Heineken Experience

Heineken is undoubtedly the most popular Dutch beer in the world and was produced in central Amsterdam until relatively recently. The company’s original brewery was converted into an interactive museum in 1991 and allows visitors to experience Heineken’s fascinating history and the main principles behind beer production.

📍The Heineken Experience, Stadhouderskade 78, Amsterdam, +31 20 523 9435

The Heineken Experience | © Guilhem Vellut / Flickr