Cafe Brel

Bier drinken in Amsterdam West

The fact that this beercafe opened in 2012 suggests it landed next to Westerpark on the wave of Amsterdam’s enthusiasm for local craft beer. Not quite, it turns out. To the contrary, there isn’t a single Dutch beer on the list. As the name, after famed Belgian singer Jacques Brel, indicates, Belgium dictates the beer menu here. One of the co-founders, a stoic guy nicknamed Piet Popcorn, hails from Flandres and swears by the classics from his homeland. Think Affligem, Brugse Zot, Rochefort and all these other great brands from across the southern border. Rumour has it Piet used to spin records in a legendary Flemish club. You might still catch him DJ’ing in Brel these days if you’re lucky. Despite this international touch, it is a largely local affair, attracting mostly neighbourhood residents.