Brouwerij de Prael has expanded and now has a second branch in the Amsterdam Houthavens.
We haven’t visited the second location yet, so will focus on the original one in this article. But check them out at Nieuwe Hemweg 2.
The original location is right in the center of Amsterdam. Walk down the Oudezijds Voorburgwal to the start of the canal and just around the corner in a little alleyway you can find the brewery and tasting room.
Brouwerij de Prael is special for a number of reasons.
First of all, it’s located in the spot where ships filled with beer from Germany dropped their cargo in the early 14th century. Later the first breweries were established in the same area. Basically you get all necessary history thrown at you
They brew their beer in a centuries old traditional way. So don’t let the modern machinery fool you, their artisan methods date back to before the industrial revolution. Most of the ingredients are organic or even home grown.
Besides the fact that the interior is furnished the way your grandparents would have decorated their living room (think plush sofas and chesterfields) which already gives you a small peek into early fifties Dutch culture, they have named all their beers after famous Dutch folk-singers. If you haven’t a clue whose songs you’ve been hearing in plenty of the old brown bars in the Jordaan, just take a look at the beers on display in their tasting room. A lot of them have passed away already or stopped performing years ago, but you can also order a Niek & Simon, named after two current singers who grew up in the Dutch fishing town Volendam. It doesn’t get more Dutch then this.
When you enter the tasting room you will see posters and various references to the Dutch artists as well. They play Dutch music (smartlappen) and there’s a piano and an accordion if you want to perform something of your own. If you just want to be entertained, visit the bar when their band DAMP is performing or come on Sunday’s when there’s an afternoon jazz session (usually from 14 – 17). It’s very spacious so you don’t have to worry about visiting with a big group of friends.
As for the beers itself: you will find an IPA (Niek & Simon) and a blond beer (Willeke) in their selection, but most of their beers aren’t a specific type so you will have to base your choice on the description of flavors. If you’re looking for a normal ‘pilsje’ start with the Johnny and work your way up from there.
The Prael also serves food. The snacks and appetizers mainly consist of typical Dutch food like bitterballen or ossenworst (pay attention: this is a raw sausage, similar to steak tartar). If you stay for a meal the menu is simple, you can order a steak, or fish, or skewered chicken with satay sauce and if you’re vegetarian, a salad or the couscous without the merguez sausages. The menu includes a beer tip with each meal.
Tours of the brewery are possible every day except Monday. Be sure to book in advance
You can also visit the shop on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal (exit the brewery and turn right twice). Besides their own beer and several wonderful gift sets (and gift cards) they also sell a nice selection of beer literature and food supplements. If you’re interested in starting a home brewery for yourself, you can purchase hop and special grains in small amounts. Any questions? Feel free to ask the staff.
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 12:00 – 24:00; Sunday 12:00 – 23:00