The 5 best brewers
1) Brouwerij 't IJ
The pulse of beer-crazy Amsterdammers quickens at the thought of this old mill. Brouwerij ’t IJ long predates the current beer craze, when some brewers started to semi-illegally brew their own beers in the eighties. The brewery and tasting room are located in a former bathhouse and there’s a large patio outside.
2) De Prael
De Prael isn’t just a brewery with a nice bar, it’s also a social enterprise that employs people suffering from mental illness. Arno Kooy and Fer Kok were hobby brewers working in mental health care when they founded De Prael. Instead of applying for grants, they invest everything they earn.
Four friends started brewing beer in their attics and are now taking Amsterdam’s bars by storm. They’re known for their exciting flavours. Try their Mannenliefde, a ‘saison’ with lemongrass and spicy peppercorns, or Mama, pale ale with Motueka hops.
4) Brouwerij Kleiburg
Kleiburg used to be a notorious Bijlmer apartment building and was almost demolished. Fortunately it was saved and the apartments were renovated, among others by a Christian community. They founded a convent and started to brew their own brand of beer as well. Try the Bijlmer’s only beer in De Proefzaak (closed on Sundays).
5) Butcher's Tears
Butcher’s Tears has been brewing its fine beers since 2012, opening this canteen-like proeflokaal one year later. This place is one of a kind: the setting is very pleasant. On some nights they organise concerts and lectures. But the most important thing are their amazing beers. Such as Lipreader, a fruity and smoky winter ale, or Green Cap, an original Amsterdam pale ale brewed with hops from Eastern Europe.
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