Hello beer lovers in Amsterdam. We are beer lovers who lived in the beautiful city of Amsterdam for over 2 years and this is a list of the best beer in Amsterdam. If you're visiting Amsterdam for a stag-do or just a normal visit, this is a list of the best breweries in Amsterdam. Before you say Heineken, this is about Dutch beer besides Heineken and where to drink craft beer in Amsterdam with our favorite craft beer bars from Amsterdam breweries with a free map! Proost.
Once you arrive in the Netherlands, you might be ready for a Dutch beer. Wondering where to drink in Amsterdam, we got you. This is is a list of great breweries in Amsterdam (and a little around) covering the main beers that you'll drink in Amsterdam. If that doesn't get you excited for partying in Amsterdam, I'm not sure what will.
Don't worry, Jacob and I are diligent beer researchers and we've tried everything here from the bars (even the crappy ones that we left before we ordered a beer) to the beers. Luckily, you get to skip the bad parts because we want you to drink the best beer in Amsterdam, not just Heineken beer in Amsterdam. This post has been over two years in progress.
If you're interested in trying Dutch liquor & spirits, we also did some difficult research for you to find the best Dutch spirits. ;)
Just a note on our preferences to be clear that we really do cover the spectrum of beers here. Karen typically prefers pale ales, witte (white) beers, and more fruity beers. Jacob prefers triples, IPAs, and bitters. However, we both always try each other's beer just to see how it is. (Sorry to those who love stouts.)
Amsterdam beer prices are roughly about 3-5(ish) euros a beer at a bar depending on where you are. Cheaper beer in Amsterdam will cost about 1.5-3 euros for a smaller glass of draft beer so it really depends what you are ordering and where.
Language Tip: Proost (pronounced something like Pr-short oh sound-st) is Cheers in Dutch
Mainstay Dutch beers
You have Heineken, Grolsch, and Amstel, but these are the cheap beers. I really do think Heineken tastes better in the Netherlands, however I don't get excited over Heineken. They're fine, but if you're after good beer, we recommend splurging a bit for some common Dutch craft beers. (You'll also find lots of Belgian beer like Leffe & La Chouffe.)
Just an interesting note: if you go to a bar in the Netherlands and you ask for a beer (een biertje), you will rarely be asked for clarification. It's usually the cheapest beer on tap, which is typically fine. (This is weird to many native English speakers as you should be specifying which beer that you want to order.)
This tasty Dutch beer is actually not from Amsterdam, but the Frisian island of Texel about three hours north of Amsterdam, however you'll find it in many Dutch bars. (Read more about Texel!) Jacob is a big fan of the Skuumkoppe.
This Haarlem beer is very tasty and ubiquitous. That said, you should visit the Jopenkerk in Haarlem to pray (or just drink some craft beer).
This craft beer from Haarlem meaning little owl is flying high. It's a bit trickier to find in Amsterdam, but when you see it, definitely consider getting it.
Best Craft Beer Breweries in Amsterdam
The majority of beer brewed in Amsterdam is inspired by Belgian beers, namely Witte (White) beers, Singles, Dubbels, etc, Blondes, and Weissbiers. The craft beer scene in the Netherlands and Amsterdam is rapidly growing and with it, breweries are becoming more experimental, however most will have their takes on the typical Belgian beers. Luckily, experimentation is really starting to become more common, so you can try some really interesting beers in Amsterdam if you read this list of the best craft beer breweries in Amsterdam.
Best Breweries in Amsterdam with the beers easiest to find in bars/cafes.
There are plenty of other breweries in Amsterdam, however many beers are a bit harder to get your hands on. Some breweries have locations while others don't. (There's a map at the bottom where I plot out the ones mentioned here.)
Brouwerij 'T IJ
Located in an old windmill, Brouwerij T’IJ is hands down my favorite brewery in Amsterdam, and I am not alone in this opinion. Beers from Brouwerij 'T IJ are carried in almost every bar and store. If you venture out to the brewery itself (which closes at 8 pm), one can have quite a few beers for very reasonable prices making it one of the best places to drink in Amsterdam and one of the cheapest bars for craft beer in Amsterdam. I consider Brouwerij 'T IJ an essential Amsterdam beer, so definitely try this local favorite if you're curious about Dutch beer!
A funky brewery with headquarters across the IJ in Amsterdam-Noord. Oedipus beer is very easy to find in most bars and stores. Their bar has a lot of great options and it's definitely worth heading up to their brewery (easiest by bike) if you're into experimental Dutch craft beer. One of our favorite breweries in Amsterdam. Oedipus also holds the most beer related events.
This newer Dutch brewery is gaining in popularity and it has several locations across the city. The most crowded Troost location is the Westergasfabriek location and I tend to prefer the De Pijp location as a result. I really enjoyed their beer cocktail as well as the Honingblonde (Honey Blonde). Jacob enjoys their IPA.
Another big brewery in Amsterdam. They are located in the city center next to the Church of Our Lady in the Attic Museum. Their Amsterdam craft beer can also be found in almost any bar and grocery store. You really can't go wrong although I prefer their Bitterblonde and Jacob prefers their I.P.A. (See a trend here yet?) Their pub in Amsterdam is usually quite crowded although they also have a store where you can buy their beer to go.
There are a lot more craft beers in Amsterdam although most don't have large bars and a large distribution chain like the breweries mentioned above. At the bottom, I'm giving a list of the best craft beer pubs in Amsterdam where you can easily find the craft beers listed below.
This microbrewery has fantastic beer if you can find it at a bar. I really love their Green Cap beer. It's a bit trickier to find, but possible with some research.
Brouwerij de 7 Deugden
This is a well known Amsterdam brewery makes some solid Dutch beers. I find them a bit more traditional Dutch beer compared some other Amsterdam breweries, but it's good beer.
Gebrouwen Door Vrouwen
The beer is brewed by two sisters from Amsterdam and they make my favorite beer in Amsterdam, the Gin Weizen. Their distribution is widening a bit, so their beer should be easier to find soon. My favorites...
Two Chefs Brewing
I really love the beer from this Amsterdam microbrewery, which can be a bit trickier to find. Their beers are very experimental and most easily found at good craft beer bars in Amsterdam like Flamingo (in de Pijp).
My favorite beer is the Green Bullet as well as the Funky Falcon.
The beer from this microbrewery up in Noord Amsterdam is harder to find, but their beers are deliciously experimental and paired perfectly with their namesake movies. $5 SHAKE inspired by Pulp Fiction is my favorite beer from Cinema Brewers although I've liked their other beers too.
This local Amsterdam brewery makes some lovely experimental beers. They're newer, but if you see one, consider trying one. Their bottles are super cute.
(I'm probably forgetting a few, so please let me know if I did.)
Related side note: There's a craft brewery called Walhalla Brewing that I left off just because I haven't tried their beer.
Best Beer Bars in Amsterdam for Craft Beer
Luckily, finding a good craft beer bar is easy in Amsterdam although you do need to work a bit to find the best ones in Centre that aren't only serving the mainstay beers. I've cut off this list bars that carry majority international craft beers as I always want to try the local beer when I'n a new place, not beer from the US or the UK. I've also included a map of the craft beer bars in Amsterdam.
This is important if you're visiting Amsterdam for a stag-do. If you don't know about the beer bikes in Amsterdam, they are these 20 person bikes where they serve beer to you while you're "biking" around the city. They're really popular for stag-dos in Amsterdam. In theory, cool. In practice, NO.
Those things are the biggest nuisance and you will become hated by Amsterdam residents if you hire a beer bike in Amsterdam. We hate them because you clog up the bike lanes with your large "bike" making it impossible for bikes to go around you without getting clipped by cars and, more importantly, screaming WOO as you go down the street is just really annoying to everyone who lives anywhere near you. They're trying to ban the beer bikes entirely, so just go to a bar. Also, if you're visiting Amsterdam for a bachelor party or a bachelorette party, please don't get so drunk that someone pukes on the sidewalk and screaming/chanting as a group is unnecessary. (I hope you still have fun.)
De Avondmarkt. This is weird to write, but this is the greatest place in the world. This inconspicuous market outside of Centre has the best craft beer selection that you'll find in Amsterdam for local craft beer. You can't drink it in the store (sorry), but if you're into craft beer and on a budget, I recommend browsing what seems like the endless shelf here.
This brown bar is one of the most famous beer bars in Amsterdam and it has a fantastic selection of Dutch beers. The choices will be harder, but the bartenders are happy to help. It's also right on the canals, so you can enjoy the good weather when it's not raining (good luck with that). The selection is often rotating and it's great for finding rarer beers.
In 't Aepjen
This little brown bar tucked away in Centre is hard to find, but one of my favorite bars in Amsterdam due to the ambiance, great house beer, and the relaxed feeling. They don't serve that many craft beers, but you can find a solid selection of Dutch beer and their own house beer, which is my favorite. This bar is the origin of the bar name in Dutch, which means that you're in a rough state (not the best translation, but close enough). Sailors used to return from journeys with no money and pay for their tab with monkeys they brought back from Indonesia. It became a problem and the Amsterdam Zoo was founded for this reason. I've been very hesitant to write about this place, so please be super considerate when coming here as it's a place that remains an oasis in the hubbub of Centre. Don't ruin this place, please.
This informal bar serves up their own in-house beer. You'll also receive unlimited peanuts. It has some of the cheapest decent beer in Amsterdam Centre when you're not drinking the cheap Dutch beer you'll find everywhere. There's sometime live music. It's just a fun place to go drink beer in Amsterdam Centre if you're on a budget.
This beer bar with two locations has an extensive selection of local craft beer, one of the best that you'll find in Amsterdam. If you're interested in some of the harder to find beers, it might be worth stopping by Biertuin.
Gollum is the "craft beer" chain in Amsterdam and if you're unsure that you'll find some of these beers, make sure you pass by the Gollum near you. Their beers are always good and the bartenders always knowledgable. It also has a good selection of Belgian beer.
Located under the bridge next to central station, this bar is well tucked away. Named in honor of the Belgian brewery Delirium, it also boasts a large selection of beers with a emphasis on Belgian style beers. Not as extensive as Gollum, but also very nice.
This urban beach bar has sand, volleyball, and craft beer. They also have great dance parties and music. I consider it one of the best summer bars in Amsterdam.
This Dutch beer shop is known as one of the best beer shops in Amsterdam and it has a good selection not surprisingly. You cannot drink in the shop, but you can buy bottles to go. It's in Centre (so it's closer than de Avondwinkel).
This beautiful brown bar in Amsterdam, which ranks among the best places to take photos in Amsterdam, has lovely beer. It's stocks Brouwerij 'T IJ. Not many other craft beers, but it's a lovely environment.
This cute bar in the Jordaan has a great beer selection as well as some funky art with a famous Californian government on the walls. It's just a nice relaxed place to spend the night and the food is tasty. It's mostly quiet, but crowded on the weekends.
Cause Beer LOVES Food
This beer bar in Amsterdam has a mix of Dutch and International craft beer. However, it doesn't have any of the beers mentioned above on tap at the time of writing.
This student bar and independent movie theatre gets really crowded on Fridays and Saturdays, but they have decent food (that isn't too pricey) and a decent craft beer selection. They have good music and movie themed parties.
De Brabantse Aap
This beer bar with 3 house beers has good beer although the selection isn't great otherwise. Their beers are affordable given the central location. I recommend the sampler. The food is a bit pricey, but okay for a snack. Get the bitterballen. One of my favorite places to sit outside with a beer.
The Foodhallen is a major food hall in Amsterdam and luckily they have a lot of great craft beer from Amsterdam. More tips about the Foodhallen here. It's also a great place to get dinner in Amsterdam.
This cozy (gezellig) cafe in Amsterdam West overlooking canal is a bit sleepy, but it carries a great beer selection, including Gebrouwen Door Vrouwen. It's the perfect place to curl up with a book, especially in summer.
Skip Hanneke's Boom and come here. Come across the way to the real deal, the Klimmuur climbing gym, which happens to serve really good food and Brouwerij 'T IJ beer at a good price for Centre in Amsterdam. You'll also have a great view of the climbers. They typically close around 10pm, but it's affordable for a beer with a meal.
This funky bar in Amsterdam Noord has a great selection of craft beer, including their own namesake created specially for the bar.
This cozy cafe hidden in Vondelpark has a great beer selection and a great atmosphere.
This craft beer bar in De Pijp carries many of Two Chefs beers. It's not usually too crowded. Perfect for a relaxed evening out.
Some reader favorites that I left off...
Karen and Jacob. American expats and cat lovers from New York City and Kentucky who lived in Amsterdam.... Now in Paris with moving back to the Netherlands this month.
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