Best Craft Beer in Amsterdam Guide

There are many amazing reasons to visit Amsterdam, but the city doesn’t immediately come to mind when considering great craft beer destinations – maybe because the brewing scene is dominated by brewing giants like Amstel and Heineken.

True, Amsterdam may not be as diverse as Prague or Berlin when talking about craft beer bars and microbreweries, but there are certainly some gems to be found.

Blue hour in Amsterdam? Time for a beer!

You’ll find the usual hip microbreweries and craft beer bars, all exposed steel, pallets and hipster moustaches, but there are also some traditional Dutch pubs, known as ‘bruin cafés’, offering an array of tasty craft beers (rather than the ubiquitous, commercial lager found all over the city).

On top of that, craft beer lovers visiting Amsterdam will also enjoy lots of beer-themed experiences on offer – here are a few! Otherwise, keep reading for our selection of the 15 best craft beer bars and microbreweries in Amsterdam!

Amsterdam skyline at night

Best Microbreweries & Craft Beer Bars in Amsterdam

1) Brouwerij Troost

Cornelis Troostplein 21 / Pazzanistraat 27

Having opened up their second location in 2015, Brouwerij Troost is a bit of a star of the Amsterdam craft beer scene. Starting out in a former monastery in De Pijp, the new (larger) locale in Westerpark is a cool, contemporary space that serves a wide range of their own beers.

These are brewed onsite, and the pipelines run straight from the pipes right through to the bar. Three regulars you should try out are their takes on Weizen, IPA, and blonde beer. With tours of the brewery on offer – as well as regular events and live music – it’s a comprehensive place for craft beer in the city.

2) Oedipus

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The youthful energy and late-night vibe of Oedipus makes paying a visit here totally worth it. And it’s a lot of fun, too. Located in Amsterdam Noord, this hip brewpub features colourful artwork and quirky design. It was started up by four friends who share a passion for craft beer.

The taproom here consists of 14 rotating taps. You can sample their beers as well as a few guest pours for good measure. One particularly cool thing is the bottle list here, which features a whole lot of rare and vintage Oedipus brews.

3) Brouwerij ‘t IJ

Funenkade 7

This small brewery has been serving some of the best craft beer in Amsterdam ever since it launched in 1985. There are two locations to sample the good stuff; one is in the eye-catching and somewhat iconic shell of a former windmill and bathhouse combination in Funenkade, the other is in Vondelpark.

One good way to get started at Brouwerij ’t IJ (whichever location you choose), is to opt for a sampler. This gives you a good idea of what your tastebuds are feeling, and which beers you feel like sampling a little deeper. As a bonus, all their beers are organic.

Houses in Amsterdam

4) Brouwerij De Prael

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A trendy offering in the very centre of Amsterdam, Brouwerij De Prael is a cool spot to grab a cold beer or two. There’s history here, too. German ships carrying beer used to rock up to this spot back in the early 14th century; these guys honour that by brewing their beer in that centuries-old tradition.

Today, they boast a good selection of intriguing (and affordable) beers. An excellent way to get to grips with it is by taking a tour of the brewery before sampling your favourites in the adjoining taproom and its pared-back decor. Enjoy with a snack platter.

5) Bierfabrik

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Bierfabrik is a blend of restaurant, café, and brewery all rolled into one. With a name meaning “Beer Factory”, it’s situated on the Rokin in the Centrum district. If you like things unique, the lively atmosphere, free peanuts (grab a bag hanging from the wall – throw the shells on the floor), and cool interiors, make this a top spot for craft beer in Amsterdam.

They serve their beer from their very own microbrewery; each brew has characteristic and interesting flavours. There are four homebrewed beers on offer – the Bianco (Belgian style blonde, 5.2%), Puur (pilsner, 5.2%), Nero (dark porter, 5.8%) and Rosso (red ale, 5.6%).

6) Walhalla

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Walhalla is another unique (and hipster-friendly) destination. Looking a little bit like a scaled-down beer hall, this place opened its doors in 2016 after a very successful crowdfunding campaign. The clue’s in the name, but the vibe of Walhalla has been inspired by mythology, fantasy movies, and games.

Accordingly, the beers are named after ancient gods. There’s the Osiris Farmhouse Ale, for example,  and the Shakti Double IPA. If that seems like a gimmick to you, don’t let that put you off. It honestly has some of the best craft beer in Amsterdam. It’s reasonably priced, there’s a friendly atmosphere, and it’s basically awesome. If you only pick one place, go here.

The beautiful canals in Amsterdam in the Autumn

7) Bruut Bier

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Set in Amsterdam Oost, Bruut Bier (opening in 2018) is a small craft brewery that isn’t about large scale production. Instead, it’s all about having the passion and enthusiasm to create extremely tasty, clean, and balanced beer.

They use traditional methods of brewing here, all mixed with trendy flavours that will suit you if you like your beers to dance on your tongue. Pink Pogo (5.5%) is a suitably hoppy pilsner, while Vogt (4.5%) is a refreshing and zingy citrus blonde. Visit at the right time, and you’ll get to see these award-winning craft beers being made in person.

8) Butcher’s Tears

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Butcher’s Tears infuses a touch of Brooklyn cool into the Amsterdam craft beer scene. That doesn’t just mean beers brewed and served up with a creative approach – it also means a cool aesthetic, as the industrial-chic interiors of its taproom (a former garage) showcase.

These guys draw inspiration from historical brewing processes and mix them with different beer cultures from around the world. There are eight taps, featuring everything from ales to imperial stouts – plus a decent bottle list to explore. The staff are friendly, and there are things like movie nights to look forward to. The beer is not your standard pils. Highly recommend.

9) De Bekeerde Suster

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Set in the city centre – close to Nieuwmarkt – this locale is a combination pub and brewery bound to keep any beer-lover entertained for an afternoon (or evening). For one thing, the selection is fairly good: the bar features eight beers on tap and at least 45 bottles from all over the world.

There’s a classic look to it – think shiny taps, copper kettles, chalkboards, and beer signs adorning the walls. And they’re rightly proud of their homebrews here. If you want to try something strong, Vintrus is a rich, dark 10.5% offering.

More easygoing options include the balanced Blonde Barber (6.2%), and the award-winning pilsner malt that is White Antonia (5.4%).

Beers in an Amsterdam street cafe

10) Proeflokaal Arendsnest

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If traditional pubs are more your scene than trendy, stripped back bars, then Proeflokaal Arendsnest will definitely pique your interest. Interiors here feel timeless, looking like the inside of a bruin cafe (the Dutch answer to pubs), and the staff are smartly dressed in waistcoats and white shirts.

You may just find the best craft beer in Amsterdam here – especially if you like things classic. They serve only Dutch beer, with more than 50 breweries represented and over a hundred bottled beers to choose from. There are an uncountable number of taps. So much so that you’ll probably want to come back to this friendly spot.

11) In ‘t Aepjen

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Notorious and downright zany, this old bruin cafe (again: Dutch pub) is located inside one of the oldest buildings in Amsterdam, dating back to 1475. If you like your beer with a side of quirky history, definitely make a beeline here.

The name literally means “In the Monkeys”. That’s because penniless sailors would settle their bar tabs with monkeys they had acquired on their travels. Wild.

Today, this compact, old-world pub with just a few tables has an excellent atmosphere and a selection of beer to match. Their very own Aepjen Beer, for example, is highly recommended. Come for the history, stay for the brews.

12) Gollem

Raamsteeg 4

Gollem has been going strong since the 1970s. You can find it tucked down a narrow side street between Singel and Spuistraat. Inside, you’ll be welcomed into a cosy, atmospheric world. It’s got that classic bruin cafe vibe – think low lights, menu scrawled on the wall, friendly staff.

This no-frills pub specialises in Belgian beer and has a respectable selection on tap (as well as bottled offerings). For somewhere to start, try the Gollem Precious IPA, or ask the knowledgeable bar staff to help you with your choices. It’s the sort of place you’ll never want to leave – not least because of their cheeseboards.

Beers and bikes in Amsterdam

13) Delirium

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Representing the Amsterdam branch of the Delirium brand, this place claims to offer the city’s widest selection of beers. To put a number to it, that tallies up to around 700 beers (bottle and tap). It might not be the most authentic or characterful, but for sheer choice alone, it’s one of the best craft beer bars in Amsterdam.

And it’s big. In fact, it’s got the largest beer terrace on the IJ River, so you’ll likely never be stuck with nowhere to sit. The size means that it’s usually quite lively, too – especially on a sunny day. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask the staff for help, or go for a three-beer sampler to narrow down the options.

14) Craft’n Draft

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A friendly neighbourhood hangout, Craft’n Draft – established in 2015 – is the sort of spot that will easily draw you in for a drink or two. And you probably won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, thanks to their whopping 41 taps representing beers from all over the world.

Luckily, staff know all about what they’re serving, so you can always ask for help navigating the vast beer menu. That knowledge also means the beers here are well kept and expertly poured (always important).

As you may expect, they have just about everything on offer here, and it gets busy. Understandable, since it’s easily one of the best places for craft beer in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam bar
Craft beer in a traditional Amsterdam pub

15) In de Wildeman

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Located in a former distillery, In de Wildeman is full of character and historic charm. There’s no music here and no trendy quirks. Just a classic aesthetic, a great atmosphere, and a whole lot of good beer to try out. That’s 18 taps and 250 bottles, to be precise.

The selection here focuses mainly on Dutch and Belgian beers, with a few other European pours on the go at any one time (for example, there’s usually a British ale on tap). It’s old-fashioned, the bar staff are super helpful and friendly, and the atmosphere is laid-back. If you’re after the sort of place you could sit in all day, this is it.

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