The Netherlands might be famous for a lot of local brewed products, but something tells me that the first thing tourists try probably isn’t beer. For a reason, Heineken tastes like bitter water and other beers haven’t made it abroad.
However, Brouwerij ‘t IJ they did a courageous attempt to get rid of this stigma. And with some elements of success, as the beverage card features 10 local brewed beers.
A quick tasting of the first four tells that this attempt was rather fortunate.
A Friday afternoon is probably the best time to visit this old brewery that is located right next to an old windmill. In the pub, that slightly reminds the visitor of a tasting room, it is crowded with a vivid mixture of die hard locals just having finished their work and Loney Planet tourists.
Having drunk a few of their local brewed specialities like Natte and Zatte, people start to interact with each other and in only one hour an open minded and well willing traveller could get to know half of its local pub population. Besides, there are no other options than talking to the stranger next to you at the bar, as tables don’t seem to exist in the first area of the tasting room.
A sweet blonde one, an amber coloured bitter brew or a trappist beer, each beer has its own quality. With a local snack called Osseworst, a sausage of raw meat, and a portion of Dutch cheese with mustard a pub crawl should probably start here. Not end, because the brewery is officially not a pub and therefore closes at 8.00 PM.
Regular guided tours of the brewery. A tour lasts about half an hour and are suitable for groups of up to a maximum of 30 people.
Brouwerij ‘t IJ
1018 AL, Amsterdam