Date visted: January 2017 2017, the start of a new year and the chance to try some new beers. Our first trip of the year for a pal's birthday (happy belated birthday Jakey!) took us to somewhere with much promise...
Amsterdam! We arrived in Amsterdam early on a Friday morning for our two night stay at the StayOkay hostel (it was okay). I had been to Amsterdam a few times before but never really had a chance to check out the local beer scene besides the odd Heineken. In our short trip we managed to make it to some great places, first up is...
In 2011, way before the conception of this blog, we visited Amsterdam as fresh faced twenty-somethings (I was actually sporting a hideous neckbeard). One of the places we knew that we would be returning to on our trip later was Beer Temple, located not far from Dam Square. In 2011 we popped in for a taste of the legendary Sink the Bismarck. Five years later and five years wiser, our tastes for beer were more refined and Beer Temple was conveniently there to satisfy them. We actually made two trips to Beer Temple, enjoying their large range of American beers in a relaxed vibe, as we sat at the window watching the city of Amsterdam roll past. We had a range of Pale Ales and American Pale Ales (surprisingly). One of the more interesting beers I had was a Pina Colada Sour, although I really wanted to like it, I just couldn't handle it.
Brouwerij de Prael
In all my trips to Amsterdam I honestly did not know that somewhere like de Prael existed in the city. This lively brewpub is a hidden gem tucked away on a quiet side street between Central Station and the Red Light District. Although it's a pretty massive place it's easy to miss it. The bar opens out to a large area with upstairs and downstairs seating, with brewing equipment on full display. This is a popular haunt for the locals, attracting a good crowd with live music on to keep them entertained. I was impressed with all of De Prael's beer offerings and we sampled a fair few of them. Their Pale Ale and IPA (as featured on Drunk in January) stood out as favourites. This is definitely a gem of Amsterdam and I would go back again.
Another notable bar that we visited was Temple Bar just off the Red Light District. Normally an Irish bar in a tourist hotspot would have my alarm bells ringing but Temple Bar was a pleasant surprise. The bar had a good selection on and friendly, knowledgeable staff which made all the difference. This was just a quick pit stop on our tour of the city but I had an enjoyable Natte by Brouwerij 't IJ and a nice dark Bockbier by Hertog Jan. No Guinness here.
Café Belgique is a cosy place not far from Central Square and just off the main high street (Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal). You will have to be lucky getting a seat in this little bar. The highlight of this place was finally getting to try Brand beer, my namesake that had eluded me for quite a while (much like the author the beer is fairly average).
Amsterdam has a lot to offer for the beer enthusiast and we only managed to venture to a small selection of places during our shenanigans in the city. The above all come highly recommended as places close the centre of Amsterdam. We are aware that the city has a lot more to offer though and we will definitely look to explore a few more of Amsterdam's unique bars on our next trip. If anyone has any recommendations of places we should visit leave a comment below.