Everybody knows that Amsterdam is home to a lot of good craft beer, but the problem is – not everybody knows where to find it.
On the recommendation of numerous guidebooks, many visitors to Amsterdam visit the Heineken Experience for their ‘taste’ of the city’s beer. But whilst Heineken is certainly the most famous Dutch beer, the Heineken Experience is perhaps not your best choice if you really want to sample the best beer in the city.
So our advice to you: skip the Heineken Experience, save yourself €20, and check out some of these other local breweries and bars for some of the best craft beer in town.
Best Craft Breweries
As well as the mega-breweries of Heineken, Amstel & Grolsch, Amsterdam also boasts a number of smaller, independent breweriesthat put the Netherlands on the map as one of the world’s top countries for craft beers. Read on for our top picks of local breweries, all complete with a great atmosphere that can’t be beat.
The Brouwerij ‘t IJ (Brewery IJ) is a clear favourite amongst regulars and new comers alike.
First of all, this brewery, taproom and beer garden are located beneath a windmill. I know – can it get any more Dutch? Whether you like beer or not, this is a really great place to sit and sip your drink.
Though missing out on Brouwerij ‘t IJ beer is not something we recommend at all!
Over the past few years, IJ beers have been growing in popularity across the city – and when you taste them you’ll know why. And with 7 standard beers plus other seasonal and special beers available to try, there’s enough variety to keep you entertained all day and into the evening.
Grab a board with cheese and sausage on the side and you’ll have yourself a classic Dutch experience.
Brouwerij Troost is another favourite, found in two different locations across the city: one in de Pijp and one in the Westerpark. At Troost they have an even bigger selection of beers to sample, all made in-house across the two different breweries, as well as a killer food menu.
The Westerpark brewery has a big outdoor terrace and a stylish interior where you can even see the brewing machinery from your seat. Want a closer look? You’re also welcome to join a guided tour of the brewery at 4pm every Saturday.
And it gets better! Every Wednesday you can come to hear live jazz music from 8pm, also at Brouwerij Troost Westergas.
We can also recommend Oedipus – the brewery that puts a little mischief into brewing. Oedipus creates a diverse selection of quality craft beers, though slightly more unorthodox than those found at IJ and Troost. They’ve got some unique flavours and interesting names… ‘Salty Dick’, ‘Thai Thai’ and ‘Panty’ – not your average beer names!
Their taproom in the North of Amsterdam is as quirky and likeable as their beers too, with a comfortable atmosphere where you can relax with your drink. Though take note – it’s only open through Thursday-Sunday.
Every Sunday you can head over for their weekly event, Liquid Jams, where you can enjoy a delicious burger, drink some beers, and listen to a local DJ til 11pm. Check out their other events too!
Bars for Craft Beer
Although it’s nice to be at a brewery, it is not strictly required to enjoy local craft beers. In fact, heading to a bar which specialises in craft beers rather than the brewery itself can be an advantage as there are so many more different beers to try.
Located right in the centre of the city in the beautiful Jordaan area, here you can try over 100 beers – all Dutch! This cosy, wood-panelled cafe is a favourite spot for locals as there is always something new to try, and popular amongst visitors for a taste of Holland.
The bartenders really know their stuff – so if you want a recommendation for which beer to try next, all you have to do is ask!
If the weather permits, sit out on their waterside terrace and watch the boats go by on the Herengracht (one of the main canals of Amsterdam).
Craft and Draft is another favourite for both locals and visitors. Here you can also try over 100 different beers – though this time they come from all over the world, not just the Netherlands.
Come and try out a selection of international beers and see which country you think produces the best craft beer.
Sit in their cosy bar or out on the terrace, or take a ‘growler’ away with you (1 litre bottle of tapped beer) to drink in the park – or wherever you like!