As is known the world over, Holland is a beer country, with one of its biggest exports being Heineken beer from Amsterdam. The former Heineken brewery is a major tourist attraction, a visitor’s center called the Heineken Experience. It’s a fun place to visit, especially on a rainy day (frequent travellers may know that It sometimes rains in Amsterdam). But as well-known a brand as Heineken is, there are also smaller Amsterdam based breweries with really good beer! Here are a few worth visiting and drinking…
Housed in a former squatted building, this brewery produces 250,000 liters of A-grade organic beer on a yearly basis. Check them out by doing the tour or settle yourself on their terrace in the summer and have a few. Writer’s recommendation: the Zatte, the brewery’s all-time classic. Moderation while drinking one or two of these is advised (8% Alc.)
Founded as an initiative to reintegrate people with long-term psychiatric illnesses back into the labor market, this brewery knows its beer and its aficionados. On their website (sadly in Dutch only) you can find beer recipes, a how-to on brewing the stuff and more. Be sure to check out their gift shop, because they have a lot to sell you (a beer brewing kit being one of them)! Writer’s recommendation: the Johnny, a traditional blond beer. This easy to drink beer is a good thirst quencher after a day of sightseeing (5,7% Alc.)
Not far from the previous brewery, this brewery makes some nice beers, which they also serve in their restaurants: De Beiaard en De Klos. On Wednesdays or Thursdays you can watch the brewers work their magic. On other days, you can check out the brewery during a guided tour. Writer’s recommendation: the Manke Monnik (the limp monk). Even though this monk’s got a limp, it’s a beer with a good kick (7.2% Alc.).
P.S. the above beers are served in a lot of bars in town. A great bar, or as we say here in Amsterdam: a temple, which serves a lot of these beers is Café In de Wildeman. If it’s not on tap there, it does not exist!
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