Amsterdam Pub Guide
Introduction - Nieuwezijd
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The latest version of this site is at my new domain http://www.europeanbeerguide.net/pubs.htm.

Introduction
Dam square Amsterdam
Index
Practical Stuff
Where do I find Pubs?
Dutch breweries (large)
Dutch breweries (small)
Belgian breweries
Amsterdam breweries
Bockbier Tasting 2004
Bokbierfestival
Amsterdam Beer Tours

Amsterdam Pubs
Nieuwezijd (Dam)
Oudezijd (Nieuwmarkt)
De Jordaan
De Pijp
Amsterdam East
Amsterdam South
Amsterdam West
Utrechtsestraat
Buying Bottled Beer

The pubs of Amsterdam
Amsterdam has an absolute stack of pubs - 1200 of them for only 700,000 of us. (I don't mean to rub it in, but I'm lucky enough to be a resident of the Birmingham of Holland, as no-one calls it.) I make that one pub for every 583 people.

You can't possibly expect me to describe them all, and I'm not going to. This is my selection. Arbitrary, bigoted, left-handed - these adjectives, and more, appear in the English dictionary. Where was I? - objective, inclusive, perfect (see previous note).

Some said I was a crazy taking the arduous task of compiling this guide upon myself. "Aaaaaaaggh mmnnnnnnngggggg" was my reply. Any subsequent ordeals, I underwent willingly. Just remember this: if you make no use of these pages, my boys will have suffered in vain. Do you want the anguish of those tender young souls on your conscience? Do you?

The dynamic nature of a modern post-industrial economy means that my research will never end. Pub openings (and pub closures) require me to spend long hours researching in bars. At least that's what I tell everyone.

Sadly, the choice of beer in Amsterdam doesn't match the number of its pubs. Many bars (though, the number is happily diminishing) still only sell a single beer - draught pils. In a British or Belgian pub you can expect to find a minimum of 10-15 beers on sale. In Amsterdam, students and yuppies will be your drinking companions if you've got a choice that big. Here's a thought to bear in mind: more 90% of all beer sold in the Netherlands is pils. If you take this fact into consideration, the beer selection offered by Amsterdam's pubs doesn't look quite so mean.

These are the pubs that I would recommend you visit in Amsterdam. Not the best, the oldest, the trendiest, or the ones with the most or best beer. No. These are where I would take you, should you say:"Do you know a decent pub?". This is my choice of bars and pubs selling at least one beer worth drinking. Usually more. Beers that is. Unless it's a pub I like. And there's loads of them I like for no discernible reason. You work it out.


More general information on Amsterdam, its pubs and the beers they sell . . .

Map of Amsterdam city centre
Amsterdam centre map Index

For more about Dutch breweries & beers:
Dutch breweries
Every Dutch breweries and all their beers.
Dutch beer tasting notes
Detailed tasting notes of many Dutch beers.



Amsterdam Pub Guide (Part One)
Dam Square - Leidseplein

Café Belgique
Gravenstraat 2,
1012 NM Amsterdam
.
Tel. 020-625 1974
http://www.xs4all.nl/~phj
Café Belgique interior
Opening hours: Mon - Thur: 12:00-01:00
Fri - Sat: 12:00-03:00

Sun: 14:00-01:00
Number of draught beers: 8
Number of bottled beers: +-40
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks.
Prices: draught beer 1.85 - 3.20.
Café Belgique is a tiny pub behind the Nieuwe Kerk. (My front room is bigger. Constructing a fullsize replica has often crossed my mind.) The carved wooden counter, glass shelves and gleaming brass taps lend a turn-of-the-century air which draws in many an idle passer-by. Maybe they would be just as attracted to my house, if my wife were to become temporarily insane and allow me turn my dream into reality.

Ignoring your fellows is not an option in somewhere this size. It has to be pretty empty for you not (quite literally) to be rubbing shoulders with your neighbours. Alone, beer-loving and English-speaking? Nowhere else (Damstraat excepted, where that old Amsterdam street call "Coke, ecstasy, heroin" can still heard) is it easier to strike up a conversation.

Despite its location in tourist central, Belgique draws in a good share of locals; suits from the Beurs, shoppers from Nieuwedijk, artists from their attics. The laid-back vibe is helped by some of the best background music you'll hear in Amsterdam.

Café Belgique The decoration is appropriately beery, consisting mostly of the old enamel advertising signs which used to adorn the exterior of Belgian pubs. Sadly, most of the breweries have long disappeared, demonstrating the damage caused to Belgium's rich beer culture by the buy-em-up then close-em-down philosophy of large brewery groups. The tiny size of the bar and the prominently positioned stairs lead many to assume that there must be more rooms upstairs. But don't be fooled: there are only two seats upstairs, one for men and one for women. In the summer months there are a couple of tables on the pavement outside, when the police aren't having one of their bizarre occasional crackdowns on 'illegal' terraces.

The beer selection, predictably enough given the name, is mostly Belgian and, while not the largest, is reasonably varied, offering an example of most major styles. Amongst the draught beers in particular, there are seldom two of exactly the same type. Notably, it is the only regular draught outlet for Vlo, a beer specially produced by the local 't Ij brewery for the beer shop De Bierkoning. It's one of a handful of truly top-class, original Dutch beers and is highly recommended both by myself and anyone else who has the vaguest idea about beer.

A few years ago the number of draught beer taps was increased by two and this has allowed the number of occasional beers to increase. There's usually a new draught every two weeks or so and these have included such rarities as N'ice Chouffe, the outstanding winter beer from La Chouffe. In the Winter, La Trappe Quadrupel usually graces one of the beer taps at some point.

Overall, it's one of the best specialist beer bars in Amsterdam and amongst the top in the whole country. Not to be missed.

(The photo of the interior of Belgique was taken by Arjan, a far better photographer than I. His surname I don't know, I'm afraid. He's one of the barmen. Tell him Ron sent you - or, better still, that you really like his photo. It is very nice, after all. The password is: "Amersfoort mafia".)
Rating: ***** Public transport: Tram 1, 2, 5, 6, 13, 14 to Dam Square


Het Schuim
Spuistraat 189,
1012 VN Amsterdam.

Tel: 020 - 638 9357
Het Schuim
Opening hours: Sun - Thur 11:00-01:00
Fri - Sat 11:00-02:00
Number of draught beers: 6
Number of bottled beers: +-10
Regular draught beers:
Food: Meals, snacks.
Prices: vaasje 2.00, La Chouffe 2.75, Duvel 3.75.
Schuim is a decent-sized pub in a rather bland new building, not far from Dam Square (or the Bier Koning, Amsterdams best beer shop, which is just around the corner on Paleisstraat). I suggest you take this photo along with you for identification purposes, as there isn't really any sign (OK, there is a tiny one, but I challenge you to spot it on your first visit) to give away the pub's name.

The style of the interior is unashamedly modern, but with enough effort and thought put into it come up with the something attractive and comfortable. The furniture is a slightly jarring mixture of garishly coloured low armchairs and heavy stiff wooden tables and chairs.

It also acts as a gallery and the walls are hung with changing collections of paintings. These range from being quite good to putting you off your beer, but if there's anything you particularly hate you can at least reassure yourself with the thought that it will be gone in a couple of weeks.

With part of the university directly opposite, it, unsurprisingly, attracts large numbers of students. But don't let this put you off too much, as there is also a reasonable number of normals, even some over 30.

A combination of the disastrous bar counter design (pillars almost totally hide the barstaff from view) and the quaintly surly, uncooperative sloths standing behind it, has created a level of service way below even Amsterdam's usually crap level. If you're in no hurry, seeing just how long it can take to purchase a single beer, can be good fun. An attempt to buy a round at 11 o'clock on a Friday night doesn't raise quite as many laughs.

Very little has changed in Schuim, except for the paintings. You can see how busy it was on the afternoon of my visit, yet it still took two barstaff 5 minutes to serve me. Look at the photo of the bar and you can see where desperate drinkers have started chewing the pillars out of frustration. I fully understand.

One addition - and one of the few places you'll find the pub's name - are brass fretwork lampshades. Nice. A bit hippy, but nice. Where's my camera so I don't need to trouble the thesaurus again.

A bizarre pricing policy sees La Chouffe good value , but Duvel expensive. I've tried, but I can detect no logic behind the prices. It all adds to the anarchic charm. Bitburger Pils has gone, but there is still a guest tap, often serving an Ij beer.

Oh no. One of the paintings is starting to look quite good. I don't remember consuming any mushroom dishes today. There has to be something wrong with my senses. I had best just give the beers in my notes a quick count - 1 ... 2, 3 ... That can't be it. Could the cause be:
  • my eyesight is failing
  • my taste has been lost
  • there's very clever lighting in here
That's all the possibilities, except ones with space aliens or dragons. Or maybe there's one more possibility, no matter how improbable ....

Despite several crap features, I still really like Schuim. It has personality. An often annoying, but occasionally disarming, one.

What else can I say about Schuim? Oh yes, it's Xavier Hollander's favourite Amsterdam bar (at least that's what she claimed in the local paper, Het Parool). It's also a "smoking" bar. Spend any length of time here and you'll realise that my mates don't just call it "Scum" because the real name is too hard to pronounce...
Rating: **** Public transport: Tram 1, 2, 5, 6, 13, 14 to Dam Square


In De Wildeman
Kolksteeg 3,
1012 PT Amsterdam.

Tel: 020 - 638 2348
http://www.indewildeman.nl/
In de Wildeman
Opening hours: Mon - Thur 12:00-01:00
Fri - Sat 12:00-02:00
Sun Closed
Number of draught beers: 18
Number of bottled beers: +-150
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks.
In de Wildeman interiorHalf way between Centraal Station and the Dam, De Wideman is tucked away in a small alley which has the pedestrianised Nieuwedijk at one end and Nieuwezijdsvoorburgwal at the other.

For those with any sense of aesthetics, I would recommend access from the Nieuwedijk. You might otherwise have to look at the inept and inappropriate green glass office block that disfigures the corner with the Nieuwezijdsvoorburgwal. Not without reason is this compendium of uninspired modernist cliches one of the most hated buildings in Amsterdam. I would gladly pay to have it dynamited, if only I wasn't as broke as a christmas present on Boxing Day.
In de Wildeman no smoking roomOriginally the tasting room of a defunct distillery to the rear, the conversion of the premises to beer bar has been done remarkably tastefully. The atmosphere of distillery sampling rooms (see Wijnand Fockinck) has been successfully preserved, especially through use of the trademark green woodwork.

The former use of the building is shown by an attractive tile decoration celebrating the distillery's 250th anniversary in 1940. In the main room, one wall is almost completely taken up by a carved wooden bar. They certainly need it to be long to fit in all those beer taps. Best of all, for those of you wanting to be able to try your beer in an unpolluted atmosphere, they have a no smoking room (usually pretty empty, which I suppose says something depressing about people - see the photo to the right).

What is being served through the taps at any one time varies greatly, but is mostly Belgian with the odd German, Czech or even French beer thrown in for variety. Occasionally a barrel of genuine British cask-conditioned beer is dispensed by gravity on the bar.

In de Wildeman no smoking roomThe good contacts built up between Amsterdam and Bamberg have seen Franconian beers frequently appearing on draught. This can be in the form of a small cask on the bar from which beer is dispensed by gravity. If you like quality German beer, ask to see the German beer list. The best ones don't appear on the list standing on every table. There are always a few Franconian gems to try.

Several times a year they hold special beer weeks. For example, in May when the usual range is replaced by meibock beers, or a British-themed week when several cask-conditioned beers are served.

The bottled beer selection is much less Belgian dominated than the majority of Dutch beer bars. Available are about 40 Dutch beers, 20 German and 10 British. Amongst the Belgian beers are representatives from all the Trappist breweries, including Achel and Westvleteren, though obviously supplies of the latter cannot always be guaranteed.
Rating: ***** Public transport: Tram 1, 2, 5, 6, 13, 14 to Nieuwezijds Kolk


Café Gollem
Raamsteeg 4,
1012 VZ Amsterdam.

Tel. 020-626 6645
http://www.cafegollem.nl

Café Gollem
Opening hours: Sun - Thur 16:00-01:00
Fri - Sat 16:00-02:00
Number of draught beers: 9
Number of bottled beers: +-150
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks
Just off Spuistraat, Gollem is another pub with an amazing number of beers for its size.

It's a bit gloomy inside, but that can't be helped, given its situation, far from direct sunlight. At the front is a counter surrounded by barstools and up a few steps at the back is a small seating area with a pair of tables. The decoration is appropriately beery, with various bits of memorabilia strewn around the walls.

Café Gollem interior Gollem was the first specialist beer bar in Amsterdam, way back when flares were hip in the 70's. When I first lived in Amsterdam, it was experiencing a less distinguished period of indifferent beer and uninterested bar staff. I'm not that easily annoyed (I'm normally the annoyer, rather than the annoyee), but I got so pissed off at the bad service one night, that I didn't return for several years.

All that is now sorted out (it could have been fixed 5 minutes after I left ) and I can now unreservedly recommend it to any beer lover visiting Amsterdam.

It offers a pretty extensive range of bottled beers, mostly Belgian and Dutch, but with a smattering of German, Czech and British. In addition to the 3 guest draught beers, there are always several 'guest' bottled beers.

In 2006 a specialist beer shop opened just across the alleyway called De Gekraakte Ketel which sells around 300 different bottled beers.
Rating: **** Public transport: Tram 1, 2, 5, 6 to Spui


Café `t Arendsnest
Herengracht 90,
1015 BS Amsterdam.

Tel. 020-421 2057
http://www.arendsnest.nl

Opening hours: Sun - Thu 16:00-24:00
Fri - Sat 16.00-02.00
Number of draught beers: 12
Number of bottled beers: +-75
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks.
Located in a stylish canal house, what had been a confusingly duplicate De Beiaard has been transformed into Amsterdam's only pub specialising in Dutch beers. In fact, it sells at least one beer from every brewery in the country. That selection includes a specially-brewed amber from De Schans of Uithoorn, a small town just outside Amsterdam.

The menu includes a small selection of aged beers, something which is common amongst specialist cafés in Belgium but somewhat of a novelty in Holland, especially when in concerns Dutch beers.

The style is comfortingly retro, though the beer memorabilia is a little deceptive. Though most of the posters and enamel plaques appear to come from a bygone age, they are mostly contemporary. And very striking some of the examples are too.

They have an excellent website, the contents of which are also used for the beer menu: a very informative document on Dutch breweries and their products. If this isn't enough, the owner is very knowledgeable and happy to furnish his customers with information and recommendations. He's so well up on the subject, that he's written a book about it.

The landlord, Peter van der Arend, recently started his own virtual brewery. He hires a brewery and then brews there himself. His main product is Nest Vlieder, an amber ale which is the house beer of Arend's Nest.

As added value, the basement is now available for use by homebrewers, in addition to serving as a function room for beer tastings and the like.

A pub that any serious beer drinker must visit when in Amsterdam. You'll discover that there's a lot more to Dutch beer than boring pils.
Rating: ***** Public transport:


Café Karpershoek
Martelaarsgracht 2,
1012 TP Amsterdam.

Tel. 020 - 624 78 86
Café Karpershoek exterior
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 07:00 - 01:00,
Fri-Sat 07:00 - 03:00,
Sun 09:00 - 01:00
Number of draught beers: 2
Number of bottled beers: 10
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks 2-6. Beer 2.25 for Westmalle Tripel.
Café Karpershoek interiorHere two two recurring themes of this guide collide: claimants to be Amsterdam's oldest pub and my own inertia. Karpershoek sits on the corner of Marterlaarsgracht, right opposite Centraal Station. I've often ridden past on a tram and looked at its, rather modest, sign claiming to be "one of the oldest" pubs in Amsterdam. For twenty years or abouts. And never gone in. I had been missing out on a boozer that merits inclusion for several reasons.

Dating from 1606, its oldest pub claim seems quite sound. Go inside and it's easy to believe. It oozes character from every floorboard. All the esssential elements of a classic bown café are there: woodwork whose original shade is impossible to determine, a seemingly eandom collection of old artefacts and prints scattered around and a chirpy Amsterdammer behind the bar. Talking of Amsterdammers, they have placed between the door and bar counter. Not the human kind, of course. I mean one of the metal bollards (marked with the city's trademark 3 X's) that stop motorists parking even more irresponsibly than they usually do.

For its location, it seems remarkably well-frequented by the human sort of Amsterdammer. Quite an achievement down at tourist central.

The ten or so bottled beers make up for the crappy draught selection. Especially the price of the bottled beers. The price list - very honestly on large display outside - says 2.25 for "foreign beer". I thought that would be the price of the cheapest. My gob was totally smacked when that's all I was charged for a Westmalle Tripel. That's the cheapest you'll find it in town. Anything under 3 is a good deal. Oddly, a bolleke of Koninck costs more - 3.

There you have it, a pub with lots going for it: convenient location, great atmosphere, cheap beer. What more could you want?
Rating: *** Public transport: Anything that goes to Centraal Station.


De Beiaard
Spui 30,
1012 XA Amsterdam.

Tel. 020-622 5110
Opening hours: Sun - Thu 11:00-02:00
Fri - Sat 11:00-02:00
Number of draught beers: 16
Number of bottled beers: +-40
Regular draught beers:

Food: Snacks, small meals.
This bar has a very prominent location where Spui meets Singel and the trams make a big left-hand turn on their way up to the Leidseplein. The long frontage and enclosed terrace on the roadside give a somewhat false impression as to its size, as this is a typical long, thin Amsterdam house, and what you're seeing here is its side.

Once inside, it's surprisingly narrow, with a small seating area on the Spui side and up a few steps the bar itself at the canal end of the building. It's all decorated in the sort of trashy American neon signs and assorted advertising tack that people seem to think looks modern and trendy. It's like being caught in some weird TV show set that's trying to combine Al's diner and the bar in Cheers. Try sitting in the terrace - there's no decoration in there and you have a pleasant view of the 17th century church opposite.

The beer selection isn't bad, though the high ratio of draught to bottled beers is a little odd. Whether the turnover is high enough to keep all of these in good condition is the question. The draught beers are in a reasonable variety of styles and change constantly.Witte Ros is brewed at the company's other Amsterdam outlet, the Bekeerde Suster brewpub, which usually provides at least one other draught beer.
Rating: *** Public transport: Tram 1, 2, 5, 6 to Spui


De Schutter
Voetboogstraat 13-15
1012 XK Amsterdam.

Tel. 020-622 4608
De Schutter
Opening hours: Sun - Thu 11:00-01:00
Fri - Sat 11:00-03:00
Number of draught beers: 6
Number of bottled beers: +-25
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks, meals.
De Schutter interiorQuite an odd place, this. On a funny little alleyway close to the Kalverstraat which houses a fair few pubs, it's on the first floor of the building. Inside it's a bit anarchicly arranged in a very dark brown style. You can't paint wood this colour, only 2 million cigarettes can obtain this precise shade. Having some bits of the university around it, you won't be surprised to hear that those malingering student types hang out here (only joking, I know you work hard really).

You can tell it's trendy by the way the walls are slowly disappearing under all the theatre and concert posters. You want to know who was playing the Melk Weg 3 years ago? Well just peel off the right number of layers and you'll have all details at your fingertips. To get back to a dull physical description, it has a collection of furniture which would embarrass a junk shop and whose main achievement is to have no two matching pieces. Large leaded glass windows provide the only touch of colour which isn't dark brown.

The bottled beer selection is good and includes Witkap Stimulo and Gouden Carolus. This used to be a rare outlet for a full range of Leeuw beers, but the brewery has been dropped in favour of (ooh, how unusual) Heineken.
Rating: **** Public transport: Tram 1, 2, 5, 6 to Spui


De Koe
Marnixstraat 381,
1016 XR Amsterdam.

Tel. 020-625 4482
De Koe
Opening hours: Sun - Thu 14:00-01:00
Fri - Sat 14:00-03:00
Number of draught beers: 3
Number of bottled beers: +-15
Regular draught beers:

Food: Snacks, meals.
This tiny, two-floor pub/restaurant is the closest decent pub to the Leidse Plein, which despite being virtually wall-to-wall bars, has nowhere of interest and not much that is even bearable for anyone with a modicum of taste. Downstairs is the restaurant and upstairs the bar, which despite its small dimensions manages to find room for a pool table (the table has now been removed).

For those of you who don't understand Dutch, the name means 'The Cow'. The sign outside, showing a very jolly cow wearing a red scarf, should give you an idea of the decoration to be found inside. One wall has a mural of a cow made up of old bits of tiles, while glued upside down to the ceiling over the pool table is a toy car racing set. Looking more closely at the interior, you'll see that behind the bar is a collage made from photographs of raw meat and naked women. Very strange. Even odder is the collection of Barbie dolls hung from the ceiling on chains. What could it all mean?

From the description above, it's not hard to guess that this is an establishment orientated towards the young and trendy. However, unlike the horrific places on the Leidse Plein, here it's done with skill and wit, which make all the difference. If you want to enjoy the artistic environment over a quiet beer or have a game of pool, an early visit is recommended. Later in the evening, especially at the weekends, it can get unbearably packed and in the bar section there are very few seats.

While the beer selection may not be the largest, there are some reasonably interesting items to be found amongst the bottled beers. Amongst these is Girardin gueuze 1882, a rare example of an unfiltered gueuze. The draught beers are a little less inspired. Bavaria manages to make even Heineken taste good and must surely be the worst pils produced in Holland. Palm, with its sweet, sickly taste, is a poor alternative to De Koninck. Steendonck is the best bet - a good enough witbier and not that common.
Rating: *** Public transport: Tram 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10 to Leidse Plein


Café van Daele
Paleisstraat 101,
1012 ZL Amsterdam.

Tel. 020-620 1415
Café van Daele
Opening hours: Sun - Thu 10:00-01:00
Fri - Sat 10:00-03:00
Number of draught beers: 4
Number of bottled beers: +-6
Regular draught beers:

Food: Snacks. Westmalle Tripel 3.
Café van Daele interiorWhat shape the floorplan of van Daele is, I wouldn't want to guess. The site it occupies on the corner of the Nieuwzijds Voorburgwal and Paleisstraat has a very odd shape. But that isn't all there is on offer. Oh, no.

Someone - I assume it was a brewery, but I would love to be corrected - fitted several Amsterdam pubs with incredible, ornate leaded lights. In van Daele, some, though sadly not all, are still intact. But, let's wait before we get too excited - there's even more. Not as obvious, but just as delightful, is the two-tone wood detailing of the bar counter and bar back, which reflect some of the patterns in the glass. The same designs are repeated in the balcony and panelling. Nice.

Almost forgot to say - a gallery radically expands the seating space in what is, after all, a typical Amsterdam-size pub. No great beer selection, but they do have Ij beer in bottles. The stars are for the interior and the reasonable prices - a vaasje is 1.80.
Rating: *** Public transport: Tram 1, 2, 5, 6, 13, 14 to Dam Square


Café De Zwart
Spuistraat 334,
1012 VX Amsterdam.

Tel. 020-624 6511
Café de Zwart
Opening hours: Sun - Thu 10:00-01:00
Fri - Sat 10:00-03:00
Number of draught beers: 4
Number of bottled beers: +-6
Regular draught beers:

Food: Snacks.
I've always liked Café De Zwart. No idea why. I suppose its down-to-earth 1930's style - strangely rare in Amsterdam bars - strikes a chord somewhere deep in my psyche. Either that, or the handy location. Or the fact it's one of Leeuw's scarce city-centre outlets.

If you look very closely, above the doorway you can just make out the leaded glass light above it. You don't get the vibrant red star from this side, obviously. Inside, it's the one stand-out decorative feature.(Since I've been spending more time at home with my family I've gained the opportunity of watching ore daytime television than is healthy. So you know where I've picked up terms like "decorative feature".) I've always been a sucker for red stars. What more beautiful sight was there, when searching for a pub, than a red Shippos star twinkling in the distance?

Though Zwart is no larger than your average Amsterdam pub, the corner spot and large windows along two sides make it appear so. Judging by the state of my clothes after one beer, they must redecorate regularly to keep the walls such a light shade.

After years of occasionally making use of Zwart's facilities, I discovered that it has a reputation as a meeting point for intellectuals. I can't say that I had ever noticed. The barman has a good moustache, though.
Rating:*** Public transport: Tram 1, 2, 5, 6 to Spui


Hoppe
Spui 18-20,
1012 XA Amsterdam.

Tel. 020-420 4420
Café Hoppe
Opening hours: Sun - Thu 10:00-01:00
Fri - Sat 10:00-03:00
Number of draught beers: 3
Number of bottled beers: +-10
Regular draught beers:

Food: Snacks.
Hoppe is really two pubs next door to each other. Irritatingly, much of the time the far older and more pleasant right-hand pub is closed. As was the case on my note-taking visit. Remember most of what follows describes the left-hand pub (which I've almost, but not quite, missed off my picture).

You can't tell from the address, but Hoppe is right next door to Zwart. The figures under the parasol, you will note, also appear on the photograph of Zwart. I thought I would throw in a bit of easy-crawling for the less mobile amongst you. De Beiaard is close enough to reach even should you be literally crawling along the pavement.

The newer part of Hoppe could scarcely be accused of modernity. Many happy hours could be spent guessing the original colour of the paintwork. The walls are adorned with photos of the pub (of various ages) and of former barmen (of various ages). The covered terrace is handy, given Amsterdam's weather.
Rating: *** Public transport: Tram 1, 2, 5, 6 to Spui


't Doktortje
Rozenboomsteeg 4,
1012 PR Amsterdam.

Tel: 626 4427
http://www.cafe-de-dokter.nl/
Opening hours: Tue - Sat 16:00 - 01:00,
Sun - Mon closed
Number of draught beers: 2
Number of bottled beers: 8
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks, meals 12.50. Pils 2, Duvel 3.25l.
When I was told Cafe Belgique wasn't the smallest pub in Amsterdam, I thought I was having my leg pulled. I wasn't. Doktortje is definitely smaller. I reckon you could get four of them into my front room

My brown-scale-ometer went right off the end of the dial I soon as I entered. Black would be a better description. I wonder if they've ever thought of redecorating? The assembled junk on the walls has been there so long that it mostlymerges into the background. The only picture where I could discern anything portayed a dray. Couldn't see which brewery, mind.

The name - "Little Doctor" - refers to its time in the 18th century as a sampling room for medicinal herbal drinks. No doubt the alcoholic content of these was responsible for most of the preceived benefits.

Somehow, they manage to serve a full mealin this tiny place. Only one choice, but expecting more really would be taking the piss.
Rating: *** Public transport: Tram 1, 2, 5 to Spui.


De Pilsener Club
Begijnensteeg 4,
1012PN Amsterdam.

Tel: 020-623 1777
Opening hours: Mon 16:00 - 01:00,
Tue - Thur 12:00 tot 01:00,
Fri - Sat 12:00 tot 02:00,
Sun 13:00 tot 01:00
Number of draught beers: 9
Number of bottled beers: 14
Regular draught beers:

Food: Snacks 2-3.50. Beer vaasje pils 2, Duvel 3.30.
Known colloquially as De Engelse Reet ("The English Arse"), Pilsener Club is on an alleyway between Kalverstraat and the Bgijnhof. In many ways, it's a typical Amsterdam brown cafe. But with one big difference: it has no bar counter. A cubbyhole at the rear functions as a servery.

By Amsterdam standards, it's pretty spacious inside, with a full eight tables. You know the score by now in these places: nictine-brown walls and prints so faded it's hard to make out which were once in colour.

The beer choice is very decent for a non-specialist beer outlet, though don't expect any big surprises.

It also offers a wide range of Ooievaar jenevers.
Rating: *** Public transport: Tram 1, 2, 5 to Spui.



Amsterdam Pub Guide
Buying Bottled Beer


Even in the best beer bars the list has to be somewhat limited whereas a shop has the possibility of keeping a wider stock. The city centre is not great for food shopping in general and even finding a supermarket can be difficult if you dont know where to look. Fortunately, there are some places where you can buy beer in the centre of town, including a truly outstanding specialist beer shop.


De Bierkoning
Paleisstraat 125,
1012 ZL Amsterdam.

Tel. 020-625 6336
De Bierkoning
Opening hours: Mon 13:00-19:00,
Tue, Wed, Fri 11:00-19:00,
Thu 11:00-21:00,
Sat 11:00-18:00,
Sun 13:00-17:00
Number of draught beers: 0
Number of bottled beers: +-750
Regular draught beers:
Food:
A specialist beer shop, run with a great deal of knowledge, enthusiasm and even love for the subject. The owner, Jos, has an encyclopaedic knowledge of beer styles and brands. He is also prepared to give his genuine opinion of any particular beer - even if it's not a particularly positive one. I advise you to make full use of his unusual combination of honesty and expertise.

De Bierkoning interiorIt stocks a pretty well complete range of Dutch beers (those worth drinking, that is) plus most of the Belgian ones. Including some pretty rare stuff, such as Cantillon lambik beers and, when available, the Westvleteren trappists.

The selection of British beers is excellent, easily surpassing what all but the most specialist of shops in Britain could provide. There is a reasonable range of German beers, with an emphasis on those from Bavaria, though they often have beer from one of the Düsseldorf brewpubs, either Schumacher or Zum Uerige. Every continent is represented and they even have the outstanding Coopers beers from Australia (the stout is one of my all time favourites - it has an almost harsh earthiness that is as captivating as it is provocative. I think it's time for bed. I'm starting to sound like a wine writer.)

Recently, they've acquired good contacts with Frankenland and usually have at least a dozen beers from Bamberg and its surroundings. These cannot be recommended too highly. Then again, there are limited supplies of this stuff . ... Yes, stay away from that Bamberg beer. Awful stuff, especially that St. Georgen Kellerbier. Yeah, I'd steer right clear of anything from Bamberg, mate.

It's possible to order small 10 litre barrels of German draught beer and polypins of British cask-conditioned ale. Add to this the most dazzling array of beer glasses I've ever come across and you have one of the best beer shops you're ever likely to find.
Rating: ***** Public transport:


De Gekraakte Ketel
Raamsteeg 3,
1012VZ Amsterdam.

Tel: 020-6240745
Email: jeff@crackedkettle.com
http://www.crackedkettle.com

Opening hours: Mon-Thurs 14:00 -22:00,
Fri-Sun 12:00 -22:00
Number of draught beers: n/a
Number of bottled beers: 300
Regular draught beers:
Food: None.
Amsterdam's newest specialist beer shop, directly opposite from Gollem. They will deliver beer to your door, pretty well anywhere in the world.. By bicycle within central Amsterdam, obviously by other means internationally.

The emphasis is on beers from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

They plan building a small brewery at the rear of the premises to brew, amongst other things, a house beer for Gollem.
Rating: Public transport:

In Amsterdam South, Ton Overmars also has a pretty decent selection of bottled beers. See my Amsterdam South guide for more details.



The Amsterdam Pub Guide Continues:
Amsterdam Pub Guide Part One Dam Square - Leidseplein
Amsterdam Pub Guide Part Two Zeedijk/Nieuwmarkt
Amsterdam Pub Guide Part Three De Jordaan
Amsterdam Pub Guide Part Four De Pijp
Amsterdam Pub Guide Part Five Amsterdam East
Amsterdam Pub Guide Part Six Amsterdam South
Amsterdam Pub Guide Part Seven Amsterdam West
Amsterdam Pub Guide Part Eight Utrechtsestraat


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More Dutch Beer Pages
Dutch pub guides Dutch Brewery Pages
Amsterdam Pub Guide Dutch Breweries (part 1) A - H
Rotterdam Pub Guide Dutch breweries (part 2) I - Z
Haarlem Pub Guide Dutch beer tastings
The Hague (Den Haag) Pub Guide
Utrecht Pub Guide
Pub Guides to Other Dutch Towns
More Beer Pages
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