Amsterdam Bars

't Arendsnest
Herengracht 90
ArendsnestIn the peaceful Jordaan area, this pub keeps in stock one beer from every brewery in the Netherlands which is very impressive. I've read that the owner Peter Arend is very knowledgeable but I've never really felt the need to ask anything. This place deserves a visit because of its uniqueness.
Beer Temple
Nieuwezidjs Voorburgwal 250
Beer TempleI shouldn't like this place but I do. It is just newly opened by Peter Arend, who owns the Arendsnest (above). It is not traditional, being all plain and white inside, too modern for me. However their beer range is impressive, they stock a huge range of beers from American breweries. This is a refreshing change from the mainly Belgian brews most beer specialists stock. It is rather expensive though, however some of the beers are had to find outside the USA. When I went in mid afternoon it was quite busy, but not too busy though.
De Bekeerde Suster
Kloveniersburgwal 6-8
 - Brewpub - 
Bekeerde SusterThis is now a brewpub again, they brew three regular brews, a pils, a witte and Manke Monnik, supposedly a triple but it is really too thin. Like most brewpubs I find the beers okay but a bit bland and unadventurous. Their bottled range includes about 40 beers from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany etc.. It is quite big inside, but it never really gets that busy, the pavement tables outside are more a lot popular.
Gravenstraat 2
BelgiqueA pub that serves Belgian Beers but not a huge range. It is quite a small place, and it is a bit too dark inside on a night for me. It also has cartoons on the walls which I'm not really a fan of. It's okay but it's not really one of my favourites.
De Brabantse Aap
Spui 30
BeiaardA place in a good location to sit outside in the sun and with a good range of beers. It is very American themed inside with wood panels and emamelled signs, petrol pumps and the like. The problem is that they insist on waiter/ress service so there is always a wait between drinks. (NB - This bar used to be called De Beiaard and may have changed slightly from my last visit. It is however, still owned by the same chain).
't Doktertje
Rozenboomsteeg 4
't DoktertjeAmsterdam's (claimed) smallest bar, and has been open since 1798. I like this place, it is not really as small as I imagined, however it has loads of character, the cobwebs on the lampshades must be centuries old. They had Palm as a guest when I was there., otherwise it's just lager I think, although they also stock genever. The opening hours are limited: Tue-Sat 16:00-01:00, so don't go too early, or on a Sunday or Monday.
De Drie Fleschjes
Gravenstraat 18
'De Drie FleschjesThere's no beer here but it is an impressive old genever house. Genever is Dutch gin, it is not as heavily spiced as English gin, and it is mostly slightly weaker at 35%. There is oud and jong genever (different types, not ages) and a huge range of fruit genevers. I is on the same street as the Belgique (above)
De Druif
Rapenburg 83
 Heineken's "oldest pub" in Amsterdam (since 1631). The bar looks really old with wooden casks built into the wall. It is very small but there are seats outside. It is a bit out of the way though. When I went there there were a few local drunks seated at the bar saying things to me like "Manchester United", but it was a holiday so maybe I was just unlucky, still it shows it is used by the locals.
Raamsteeg 4
 This place stocks hundreds of Belgian Beers, several of which are available on draught. It is just a bit of a walk from the "Hoppe" and the "Beiaard" and the area is relatively safe at night, which is a bonus. It is quite a small place with two levels and the beer selection is written on blackboards all around the walls. This is my favourite beer specialist bar in Amsterdam, maybe because I've always called in quite late and it has always been quite lively.
Gollem en Bierkeuken
DaniŽl Stalpertstraat 74
 Gollem's sister pub in the "Pijp" area which opened recently, it's OK but a bit out of the way. When I went, in the afternoon, it was empty, maybe it gets busier at night, or maybe it hasn't been open long enough to get known. They have some tables outside if it's warm.
Oude Brugsteeg 7
HefferThis place is just on the edge of the red light district, opposite "The Grasshopper", which can be seen down a street on the left as you walk from straight up from the station. It has a spacious feel to it with a high roof and a balcony round the inside wall. There are also tables outside, fenced off a bit from the losers on the street. They serve Venloosch Alt which is an ale (ie. not lager), although I think they have lager as well.
Heineken Brouwerij
Stadhouderskade 78
Heineken BrouwerijThey don't brew beer here any longer but "The Heineken Experience" is nevertheless not a bad tour for the money. You get a free pint and a half in with the price, and a free gift.
Spui 18-20
HoppeThis bar has been here since 1670, with an authentic wood panelled interior and sand on the floor. They don't have a huge beer range but they stock Wickse Witte on draught. This is a favourite with the locals as well as tourists, with the small area outdoors being most popular in fine weather. This is one of my favourite "non-beer specialist" bars.
Brouwerij 't IJ
Funenkade 7
 - Brewpub - 
t'IjA brewery housed in an old bath house at the base of a windmill. You can tell this if you go to the gents toilets. It has limited opening hours so a visit must be planned, it is only open Wednesdays to Sundays from 3pm to 8pm. To get there take bus 22 from Centraal Station and get off when you see the windmill. Their six regular brews range in strength from 5% to 9%, most of them are towards the higher strength so be careful, they can catch up on you. They also make seasonal specials and one off brews. This is a very popular place as it serves possibly the cheapest beer in Amsterdam and it can be hard to get a seat if you are not in there early. After a recent renovation both the bar area, and the terrace have been enlarged, it's not a huge change but I still preferred it how it was before.
In 't Aepjen
Zeedijk 1
In t'AepjenAn interesting small old looking bar, although I'm told that it actually only opened in the late 80s. It is housed in one of the last two remaining wooden framed houses in Amsterdam though, and a lot of the wood is 16th century, including some of the ceiling beams inside*. They only have Heineken on draught plus a guest (Leffe brown when I was there), I'm not sure if they do bottles. This is another one of my favourite "non-beer specialist" bars. It can be spotted by the old red Heineken star sign hanging out at the front and is opposite the Ooievaar (below).
*Thanks to Rafal Klopotowski for this info.
In de Wildeman
Kolksteeg 3
In de WildemanThis place also stocks hundreds of beers, not only from Belgium but also from The Netherlands, Germany, the UK and more, and the staff are friendly and helpful. It is world famous so expect to hear a few American voices. It opens at midday, earlier than most beer specialists, however it is closed on Sundays. There is a chip shop opposite which is handy.
Martelaarsgracht 2
KarpershoekNear the station, another "oldest bar" (since 1829) with sand on the floor and, strangely, a bollard inside the door to the right, I've no idea why it is there. There are a few tables on the pavement outside for when it is sunny and they had "De Koninck" on tap when I was last there.
't Loosje
Nieuwmarkt 32-34
't LoosjeA favourite in guide books because it quite old and has tiles pictures on the walls. I think it is a bit too square inside though to have character. They stock quite a few Belgian beers, including La Chouffe on draught, and it is a good place to sit outside.
Old Sailor
O.Z. Achterburgwal 39A
Old SailorRight in the middle of the red light district. Not bad inside, just like an english pub with a nautical feel, like you might get at the seaside at home. A useful haven from the rest of the seedy place and you can watch the punters negotiate with the girls in the windows in safety. Because of its location though the customers tend to be mostly male (don't worry it's not a gay bar).
Nieuwebrugsteeg 13
 A genever tasting house, with hundreds of varieties available, which is housed in an old wooden framed building that looks like it might fall down at any minute. Worth a visit, they have a dark beer as well as a lager. It's on the edge of the red light district though so watch yourself.
De Ooievaar
Sint Olofspoort 1
 - Brewpub - 
De OoievaarThis is a great place, just over the road from In t'Aepjen. Twice I've been in there and have been offered cheese by the barman. It does seem poular with locals. They sell what they say is their own beer, a triple. It is remarkably similar to the Manke Monnik in the Bekeerde Suster though. It is remarkably drinkable though. They also do a range of genevers.
Prinsengracht 2
PapeneilandYet another of the "oldest bar" contestants (since 1642). It is quite a small place but with big panelled windows through which can be seen good views of the canals. There is also a small upstairs room with an even better view. They have a small selection of Belgian beer and beer from 't Ij brewery (mentioned above). Good service from friendly staff, which is unusual in Amsterdam. This is another one of my favourite "non–beer specialist" bars. (Photo by Brendan Boyle - 19th July 2005.)
De Pilsener Club
Begijnensteeg 4
De Pilsener ClubThis is a strange place, just around the corner from t'Doctorje. Inside there is no bar, the drinks are brought from a room at the back. It is really old looking inside, but most people seem to sit outside, weather permitting. They have a fairly good range of beer.
Brouwerij De Prael
Oudezijds Armsteeg 26
 - Brewpub - 
 This is a tasting room for the brewery which had not opened the last time I was in Amsterdam, so I've not been yet. I can recommend their beers however, which are named after Dutch celebrities. The actual brewery is at Oudezijds Voorburgwal 30, which has a bottle shop attached.
Leidseplein 6
ReyndersThis is the best place on the Leidseplein square. It is old looking inside and consists of two (or three) separate rooms each with its own bar. Even though it is old it still looks a like a fake themed Irish bar to me. Guinness, Kilkenny, Lager and Wickse Witte are on draught and it is a good place to sit outside in the sun and watch people nearly get run into by bikes (who apparently not only own the cycle paths but also the roads and the pavements as well).
De II Prinsen
Prinsenstraat 27
De II PrinsenA good traditional corner bar in the Jordaan district. It looks like it has been done out recently though. It is another rare outlet for Venloosch Alt. The strange tables in the middle of the floor that look a bit like lamp posts are the same as the ones in the Heffer. It must be a Venloosch thing, along with the light coloured wood.
Wynand Fockink
Pijlsteeg 31
Wynand FockinkAnother genever tasting house. Worth a visit, they have beer (lager) as well. It's in the red light district though so watch yourself.
De Zotte
Raamstraat 29
De ZotteAnother Belgian beer specialist near the Leidseplein, the decor just seemed a bit modern and not pub-like for my taste. They have a very good beer range though. I've been in twice, the first time it was quiet and the second time it was packed, albeit with what seemed like a coachload of students, so maybe there was a reason for this that I didn't know about.
All opinions expressed on this site are my own. Please notify me of any errors / omissions .

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