Thursday, October 13, 2011

Amsterdam, more than Red Lights and Northern Lights

After five hard working days in the South of France, I decided on a little R&R in Amsterdam. I went to three really good beer places and could have gone to more, time permitting.
The first stop I checked out was 't Arendsnest in a relatively central location. Unlike most "fancy" beer places in The Netherlands, which serve many Belgium beers, 't Arendsnest offers only Dutch beer. And we are way beyond Heineken here. The interior has copper tones and an old classic look to it. Thomas Wijns was our bartender of records, and he was really helpful in helping us pick out beers. I had a Dutch Pale ale, and an imperial stout of some kind. My friend has a beer called Bed and Breakfast that was made with coffee beans, and had a golden color to it.
A group of locals at the bar seemed to have this place down. They ordered their beers along with an amazing looking assortment of food. A block of aged Dutch cheese served on a cutting board, and meatballs! I wish I was part of their group.
On another day, we visited the sister bar to 'T Arendsnest, Beer Temple; Europe's first American Beer bar (so they say!). With a few tables outside, and various different kinds of seating inside, it was hard not to get comfortable at this place. I started at the bar with a DFH 90 Minute so I could introduce it to my friend. There were taps from Flying Dog, Great Divide, Southern Tier, Stone, Left Hand, and Anchor, and plenty of bottles from even more breweries. It was really cool to see all those taps in Europe. Rick van den Berg was the bartender on duty that day, and he was very good.
I also bought a sample of Brew Dog's Sink the Bismark, one of the strongest beers in the world! It was pretty interesting to say the least. I bought a t-shirt from Beer Temple and will wear it on an upcoming BBA episode.
I also met some cool people from Mississippi, check them out here.
I also found a really good bottle shop, De Bierkoning, which translates to the Beer King. There you could buy all kinds of European and American craft beer, such as Duck Rabbit, Port, Stone, Flying Dog, just to name a few. There was also a nice selection of glasses to buy.

When in Amsterdam, I highly recommend a visit to each one of these places.


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