Dutch Beer, Intro

This is the first of the posts that were meant for yesterday. 

Mrs Thursday and I found ourselves in Amsterdam for a week not because either of us had a lifelong desire to visit the place, but rather out of convenience.  The Missus had spent the two months previous living in rural western Kenya, and all flights from Nairobi’s international airport to the east coast of the US must pass through Europe.  The most common stops were London and Amsterdam. 

Now, long flights are taxing, but two long flights, with only a brief respite of a layover in a busy airport is simply miserable.  So the decision was made.  Mrs Thursday would book her flight from Europe to America to come a week after her flight from Nairobi to Europe, and meanwhile, I would meet her wherever she was. 

Amsterdam was the chosen layover/vacation point simply because it was cheaper than Germany, and because I had already been to London. 

Using a (crappy) book and the internet to find things to do, I learned there’s really only one thing notable about Amsterdam: legalized drugs.  Now, neither Mrs Thursday nor I are much for toking.  We both sort’ve assumed that, with marijuana being legal and mostly accepted, we’d probably smoke a bit, but there’s no way we could occupy a week with smoking up and heading for the Van Gogh Museum over and over again. 

So, I turned to beloved beer.  The only Dutch beer I was familiar with, before the trip, was Heineken.  Contrary to what both self-help writer Paul, and Mrs Thursday’s mother have to say about the subject, Heineken is equally (or at least comparably) disgusting in and out of Holland.  Furthermore, for anyone actually interested in beer, the “Heineken Experience” is a waste of time and money. 

So, I looked for some listed beer retailers and good bars, figuring I could find some good Belgian beers, if all the Dutch drank was Heineken.  I found, in fact, 2 retailers, 3 bars, and one little brewpub.  Sometime soon, I’ll produce a few notes on the two retailers (The Cracked Kettle and The Beer King), each one of the bars (The Gollem, The Wildeman, and The Arendsnest), and on Amsterdam’s marvelous little brewpub (The IJ Brewery), as well as what spoils the Mrs and I were able to bring back home to enjoy this winter. 



Filed under Beer, Travel

6 responses to “Dutch Beer, Intro

  1. When I was in college, I knew a guy from Holland. He was such an uptight prick. He told me his dad worked for the Grolsch brewery, and I had an irrational distaste for the beer based only on the fact that Edo’s father (who could have been a really nice guy) worked there.

    That said, it’s also just not that tasty to me.

    Edumacate me, guru.

  2. TC

    Grolsch and Heineken are beers of the same mold. Mass produced “light” beers with watery flavors. Heineken appeals more to the Bud crowd, I think, while Grolsch is supposedly more of a faux-connoisseur beer. I don’t care for either of them.

  3. Paul

    Fine, you can hate on the heineken experience all you want. i still think its marginally better in holland and although i don’t regularly enjoy or drink heineken in America, i would do so in amsterdam. that being said i hope you had a fantastic trip and i look forward to hearing about it. HUP HOLLAND.

  4. TC

    Dude, it’s a self-guided tour of a non-functioning “brewery”. The most entertaining part, easily, is the “becoming a bottle” video. My first (and only) Heinies of the trip were at the Heineken Experience, in which I recieved tokens for 3 “free” beers. Given that they were no better than I remembered them in America, and knowing that I could get other, better beer just a few blocks away, I didn’t finish my second beer, and gave the token for my third away.

  5. Marcus

    Twenty seven years ago, you were able to walk through a working Heineken brewery, and were served freshly made beer on tap at the end of the tour. The Heineken beer served did not have the same recipe of the beer that was shipped or bottled. Heineken does not compare to the level of quality as the product served in the local brew pubs, but it tastes better than the mass produced American products.

  6. I’m not annoyed by the fact that you don’t like Heineken, what really blows my mind is this line:

    “Using a (crappy) book and the internet to find things to do, I learned there’s really only one thing notable about Amsterdam: legalized drugs.”

    It’s a ridiculous thing to say. I thought all the tourists here saw our drugs system as more of a nice extra for a city they already liked. But saying that only legalised drugs are the only thing notable about Amsterdam is ignorant and almost insulting.

    Didn’t you wander around the canals. Explore the Jordaan. Go to the markets for some Dutch cheese. Hang around the Vondelpark all day. Visit the museau. And then end your day in one of the many cool bars and clubs that are here? (Paradiso, Club 11, etc)

    But you’re right. There are a couple of very cool beer bars.

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