Holland is not known for its great beer, especially if you consider their more illustrious neighbours Belgium and Germany are usually the ones fighting for that accolade.
But if you are familiar with beer, you will have heard of Dutch beers like Heineken and Amstel. The two are amongst the most popular beers in the world. And like all things beer in the 70’s and 80’s, everyone just wanted lager beers. The likes of Heineken ended up eating up all the local breweries and the ones that didn’t survive takeovers closed down, unable to compete with economies of scale.
Luckily for us, there has been a counter-revolution that started towards the late 90s’ bringing back local craft beers around the world. Though I have to say in America this has been taken to a whole new level, when you have triple IPA beers, that are so dry, it’s like drinking beer with a dry cardboard after taste… Sorry I digress!
Going back to this piece, currently there are more than 400 breweries in Holland. A lot of them are very small and you probably haven’t heard of 99% of them, unless you’re a die hard craft beer connoisseur!
This is why I love Arendsnest Proeflokaal. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, on Herengracht 90, overlooking the canal slightly off the intersection. It’s not a place you will notice, unless you are looking for it.
They serve over 50 Dutch beers from the tap along with over 100 beers on bottle. Making it one of the few places in Amsterdam, where you can drink through a good chunk of craft brews the country has to offer. The bar has a very vintage feel with wood-paneled walls and furniture, accented by copper pipes and cool looking beer taps.
There are two main menus on blackboards around the bar. With one dedicated to beers on draft and the other one to Jenever, the cousin of gin. Despite the difference in drinks, you know the one common factor…everything is Dutch!
I have been to this bar over 4 times and the staff are always helpful and super passionate about beer! You can start with their own eponymous house beer and slowly work you way through the Dutch microbrewery landscape.
They also have a small but good selection of cheese and meat, to pair with your drinks. And if you are in a group, you can always book private tasting sessions, which I would highly recommend!
- Visit it during the afternoon on the weekday, it tends to be quiet and the bartender is more than happy to educate you on the local micro brewery scene.
- I would recommend getting a meat and cheese platter, it goes really well with the dry beers especially.
Website: Arendsnest Proeflokaal
Address: Herengracht 90, 1015, Amsterdam
Telephone: +31 (0) 20 421 2057
Timing: Sunday – Thursday |12: 00 – 24: 00 & Friday – Saturday | 12:00 – 2: 00