Before Amsterdam beerlovers even knew the word microbrewery, they knew Brouwerij ‘t IJ. Craft beer was no unknown pleasure to the Dutch but its production was, during the 1980′s, deemed a largely Belgian affair. Unhappy with that situation former musician Kaspar Peterson turned a former public bathhouse into a brewery in 1985. An alternative, hidden gem at first, it has, over the past three decades developed into a popular meeting ground for beergeeks and socialites, both local and international. The tiled bathhouse walls of the tasting house are still in place, the only decoration an immense collection of beer bottles. Service is of a similar no-nonsense approach. There is a limited food menu, which mainly consists of cheese and sausages. It is, basically, all about the beer here. Even compared to non-craft beer standards prices are low and as a result IJ-beer flows almost incessantly during sunnier days. Prepare for queuing and little personal attention when it gets crowdy.
Although different beers have been added over the years, the most popular beers are still the Belgian styles which Kaspar introduced when he just started. His earliest inventions are characterized by the soft maltiness of the Belgian tradition. Grab a Zatte (tripel), Natte (double) or Columbus (a heavy amber) if that is what you look for in a beer. Longing for hops? Their flowery IPA would be the obvious choice but you might want to try the Plzen. Unlike the name suggests a light, hoppy ale. The tasting house is the only place in the world where you drink it.
Opening hours: daily, 14:00 – 20:00
How to get there by public transport:
- from Central Station: get on bus 22 to Indische Buurt and get off at the Oostenburgerstraat stop. Look for the windmill and find the brewery right next to it.
- from Dam square: get on tram 14 to Flevopark and get off at the Pontanusstraat stop. Cross the bridge left of the tram stop.
- from Leidseplein: get on tram 10 to Azartplein and get off at the Hoogte Kadijk stop. Turn right.