Being sandwiched between Belgium and Germany, it would be sort of weird (not to mention a total waste) if the Dutch didn’t get passionate about every decent monk’s favorite beverage. But with this much to choose from, where to begin your own beer quest? Well, we’re here to take you on a gloriously sudsy tour of the 13 best beer bars for every situation...
When you want 500 choices
Delirium Cafe Amsterdam (address and info)
Amsterdam has nabbed the second outpost of the planet’s greatest beer bar, Delirium -- of Brussels and the Guinness Book of World Records fame (for the largest selection of beer in the world) -- finally making the Amsterdam Passenger Terminal a place worth going. The bar recently launched with 500 beers (for reals), w/ 20 of them on tap at any given moment. And, if its big brother Brussels bar is any indication, that list is only going to grow.
When you wanna go full Dutch
Proeflokaal Arendsnest (address and info)
From beer to whiskey to jenever, the menu is all Dutch all the time in Proeflokaal Arendsnest (“Eagle Nest Tasting Room”), but they still manage to get 30 taps and more than 100 bottle varieties in there. Wanna show a little local love? Sip (it’s not really a chug kinda place) the widest select of Amsterdam-made barley-based beverages found in town.
When you miss Berlin
Café Brecht (address and info)
If your beer tastes run a little more Easterly (as in Germany), Café Brecht’s got you covered w/ bottles like Berliner, Schlenkerla, and Augustiner. Step inside the stripped-down living room for your taste of Berlin away from Berlin.
When you want some meat with that beer
Bar Brouw (address and info)
Flying Dog, Anchor, and a ton of other tasty bottles can be enjoyed on their own... but at Bar Brouw’s two locations, they’re really meant to decadently wash down the meaty menu of pulled pork, juicy ribs, big burgers, smoky sausages, crispy wings (served with a genuinely spicy sauce, kinda rare for Amsterdam’s non-halal food scene), and more. There’s whiskey, too!
When you want to drink your way across the Western world
BeerTemple (address and info)
The only religion served up in the lively black box known as the BeerTemple is, well, beer. It’s supposed to be “American” (60+ bottles), but the 30 beers on tap offer a constantly changing international education in sudsy awesomeness. Many of the (other) best brews actually come from countries like Scotland (BrewDog) and Denmark (Mikkeller).
When you want to tap your own
Bierfabriek (address and info)
We’ll be honest: the beer made at the massive Bierfabriek (“Beer Factory”) and its sister-site isn’t the best local hops pop (the food is better), but it is the only place you can draw it yourself from a draft located right from the middle of your own damn table. (You'll need to reserve this in advance, though.) And the giant central kettles are so shiny...
When you want to discover what gezellig means...
Café Gollem (address and info)
It means “cozy”, but in a social kind of way! Usually with alcohol involved. And Amsterdam’s original Belgian beer bar (since 1974) Café Gollem is where you are guaranteed to find it. Get there early to nab a spot at the bar, and then clear your schedule -- the rest of your night is going to be dedicated to the 200+ beer menu (14 on tap) and random conversations with people you never thought you’d end up talking to.
When you want to see locals and tourists mix
Bierproeflokaal In De Wildeman (address and info)
Although its Nieuwezijds Kolk location means many a tourist will land here, In de Wildeman is equally popular with locals in the know. Why? Because it's a great looking spot, set in a former distillery no less, with a great selection of beers (17 taps, an over 200 bottles, plus ciders), and they don't play any music, meaning you can actually talk about how great it all is, too.
When you want to take in some street art with your beer
Cafe Belgique (address and info)
Café Belgique courts street artists (most notably The London Police, who did their logo) with prime wall space inside and out. Contemplate the results over your (new) favorite Belgian beer. When in doubt, take a Kwak just for the bulbous glass in its wooden stand. Warning: this place (from our Great Eight) is also pretty, er, cozy, though they do manage to squeeze bands in there regularly.
When you wanna feel good about drinking, not just because of it
Proeflokaal De Prael (address and info)
Red Light District
Not only are the retro-styled lounges in this place super-relaxing, and the homemade beers super-lekker (it means "tasty", learn it!), but all the time and cash you spend at Proeflokaal De Prael supports a business focused on local production, ethical practices, and giving people who struggle with mental health a second chance.
When you’re jonesing for some holy history
Proeflokaal de Bekeerde Suster (address and info)
The name de Bekeerde Suster (“The Converted Nun”) refers to the “saved” former prostitutes who used to mix up some hop-based godliness here way back in the medieval day. Now the vast space is two parts restaurant, one part bar, and all parts delicious.
When you want something new and local
Butcher's Tears (address and info)
For five hours on five days of each week (Wed-Sun, 4-9pm), you can throw back new Amsterdam-brewed beers at Butcher’s Tears. Check out “Far Out” (a super saison), “Misery King" (a triple-hopped amber ale), and half a dozen more. However, the cafeteria-style tasting room and connected terrace in the Oud-Zuid won’t limit you to just that: Dutch cider, imported wine, Swedish-style coffee, and even foreign beers are on the menu too.
1. Delirium Café AmsterdamPiet Heinkade 4-6-8, Amsterdam
2. Brouwerij 't IJFunenkade 7, Amsterdam
3. Proeflokaal ArendsnestHerengracht 90A, Amsterdam
4. Café BrechtWeteringschans 157, Amsterdam
5. Bar Brouw OostBeukenplein 17, Amsterdam
6. BeerTempleNieuwezijds Voorburgwal 250, Amsterdam
7. BierfabriekRokin 75, Amsterdam
8. Café GollemRaamsteeg 4, Amsterdam
9. Bierproeflokaal In de WildemanKolksteeg 3, Amsterdam
10. Café BelgiqueGravenstraat 2, Amsterdam
11. Proeflokaal de PraelOudezijds Armsteeg 26, Amsterdam
12. Proeflokaal de Bekeerde SusterKloveniersburgwal 6-8, Amsterdam
13. Butcher's TearsKarperweg 45, Amsterdam
This bar launched with 500 beers (for real) -- with 20 of them on tap at any given time. And, if their big brother bar in Brussels is any indication, that list is only going to grow.
You may have trouble pronouncing it, but this place is one of the most popular breweries/bars in the city. Why? It's located in an old windmill, and it also produces AMAZING brews.
This is as Dutch as a bar can get. Their motto is “if it ain’t Dutch, it ain’t much” so you can be sure that all the brews (30 on tap and 100+ in bottles) are fresh from the Netherlands.
This cozy bar feels like you're chilling in a common German living room, if most German living rooms served a myriad of beers as well as a quality wine list and fizzy drinks.
This Oosterpark eatery promises (and delivers) smoked meat and craft beers to a salivating crowd, and also features a pleasant area outside to enjoy your food and drink in good weather.
This was Amsterdam's first American-focused beer hall, carrying a myriad of brews from the States including Flying Dog, Dark Horse, and plenty of others compiling a list more than 90 brews deep.
This massive beer bar has comfortable mood lighting and tons of space to sit, which makes it perfect for groups. And the kicker? They make their own brew and it's otherworldly.
Amsterdam’s original Belgian beer bar since 1974, this cozy spot features more than 200 beers of all varieties, 14 of which are fresh from the tap.
Housed in a former distillery, this brew-haven doles out more than 200 (!) bottled beers and 20 on tap in a bright and cheery ambience that'll keep you coming back at least 200 times.
This central bar and cafe serves more than 50 Belgian bottled beers and eight on draft, while also managing to squeeze live bands into its small confines.
These guys always have something new on their rotating list of beers on tap and those beers are all made with all-natural ingredients and hops that are actually grown behind the bar.
This bar/resto/brewery serves a range of beers on tap and in bottles, but if you want the best, freshest barley pops, stick to their three home brews.