Alright – you know how much we love beer right? Sorry, scrap that, you know how much we love good beer, right? I mean I swear you guys it just keeps following me around like a lost puppy because it knows I’m going to give it some serious love and never let it go.
That’s exactly what happened in Amsterdam (oh, we were in Amsterdam a few weeks back, in case you didn’t know) There I was, minding my own business, having breakfast or some other form of essential sustenance when this flyer just appeared from thin air. A flyer about The MOREBEER TOUR, a trip past 4 distinctively beer-forward bars, with in total 157 taps of craft beer.
And, if you drink at least one beer in every bar in one day you get a free “Morebeer Tour” t-shirt at the end. I’m always on the market for free t-shirts which I earn by drinking copious amounts of beer so I just took it as a sign that the universe wants me to start drinking at midday.
So I did.
OK, so here’s what it’s all about: Morebeer is a company owned by Peter van der Arend, passionate beer lover and beerologist, whatever that is. I assume it’s something like a mixologist which means someone who makes awesome cocktails. Anyway. Peter started his beery business in 2000 when he opened the Dutch beer bar Proeflokaal Arendsnest, the first bar to serve exclusively Dutch craft beers, and as it happens, the first pub you need to visit to earn your t-shirt… on the tour of four very, totally, wholesomefully different establishments.
Here’s the route and the bars:
Proeflokaal Arendsnest – Herengracht 90
Proeflokaal Arendsnest is what I learned Amsterdamians call a “brown café” – a traditional watering hole, comparable to the great British pub. It’s small, it’s cosy, it feels like it’s steeped in history and it has 50 beers on draft and more than 100 beers on bottle. I totally get why people say their local brown café quickly becomes an extension of their living room, I instantly felt at home here. If I hadn’t been on a mission for some free upper-body-wear, I would have stayed longer than the two (maybe three, I forget) beers I had here.
BeerTemple – Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 250
Welcome home craft beer lovers, but beware, you may never want to leave. This place is insane. It’s like you stepped in from a quiet leafy street in Amsterdam and teleported into an American rock bar with some serious biker vibes. And the beer? They’ve got 35 beers on draft and roughly around 200 beers on bottles and cans. Now, I didn’t count them all but I did make a valiant effort in making a dent in their selection. Bar staff are sarcastic and lovable and somewhat crazy, which is totally my kinda thing.
’cause BEER loves FOOD – Lange Leidsedwarsstraat 4
I have a sneaky suspicion this bar was born as a would-be Brewdog haven, but on the way turned into something else. 90% of the paraphilia is Brewdog branded, as is a lot of their beers, but I am advised they are only ambassadors (i.e. approved dealers), not tied into the brewery. They’ve got 30 taps and loads of nibbles and big plates to go with it – and the whole idea of the place is to eat and drink and be merry, probably exactly in that order. I had some of their bar snacks and small plates and let me tell you, they’re awesome.
Craft & Draft – Overtoom 417
They say you should leave the best for last and in this case it’s definitely so! The beer tour ends in a bang here, where there’s 40 beers from all over the world on draft and more than 100 beers on bottle. Which sort of makes sense on account of them having a little bottle shop at the front of the bar in case you’re in a rush. Truth be told, I liked it here the best. I made a new friend (hi, Hank!) and the bartender was probably the friendliest, most knowledgeable one yet. He (hi, Luis!) also guessed my size down when I chose my t-shirt. What a gentleman!
The beer tour is a great way to get to know Amsterdam, in case you need an excuse to hop from one bar to another during the day. They’re all within walking distance from each other, but if you’ve had a few too many or are feeling particularly loafing, you can use the No. 1 tram which takes you to all of them.
P.S the t-shirt is pretty sweet, by the way. You should totally get one.
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