The Quest for the Holy Grain - Best Beer Bars



Amsterdam Delft Heerlen


Brasserie Bracke
Saroleastraat 52
6411 LV Heerlen, Netherlands
045 5743686

Brasserie Bracke is a tavern in the shopping district of Heerlen, Netherlands. They have many small tables in front of a modest bar area as well as lots of patio seating.
Standing at the bar at meal time would be impractical as the diner's seats intrude into the space.
Bracke serves 4 local taps as well as 6 bottles.
Busy at lunch, it was hard to get the waiter's attention, but once that was accomplished, service was quick.
The menu was large and varied and appropriately priced.



Nieuwe Vijzelstraat 1 1017 HT Amsterdam, Netherlands
+ 31 20 221 2343

Taproom is a beer bar just a block away from the busy tourist attraction: Heineken Experience - Interactive beer museum and tour.

Taproom is a tiny place, able to pack in maybe 30 customers.

However, they have 24 taps of locally brewed beer, including a house beer made for them.
The menu is mainly pub grub but very good and relatively cheap.

Being a small venue, the service was wonderful as the barkeep and waiter were always in sight.




Herengracht 90, 1015 BS Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 20 421 2057

Arendsnest is a beer bar in one of the nicer residential neighborhoods near downtown Amsterdam.
The sign near the door proclaims 52 Dutch beers on tap.
Arendsnest also has an extensive bottle list.
The establishment is very popular and quite crowded - that's because the place is so small.
The long bar is to the left, with bar stools and only a small aisle behind.
There are several small tables beyond.
Arendsnest offers an array of snacks, but who has time to eat when there are 52 beers to Quest ?



Gollem Proeflokaal
Overtoom 160-162,
1054 HP Amsterdam, Netherlands Phone: +31 20 612 9444

Gollem Proeflokaal is a beer bar in an old neighborhood on the edge of Amsterdam's Museum District.
Part of a chain of three, this one is kinda beat out and not very large.
On a Saturday night about 70 college-age kids were squeezed inside with about 40 more outside.
In a city where every bar is a beer bar, Gollem is a treasure. They have 22 taps, most in a heavy rotation with several unique beers.
The bottle list is over 200 beers strong, and is sorted by style, such as Trappist, or Abbey. Food is served, but on this evening it was much too crowded to eat.


De Beiaard
Spui 30
1012 AX Amsterdam
telephone: 020-622-5110

De Beiaard is typical of the larger cafes we found in Amsterdam.
There's good food and a good selection of beers: 10 taps and 42 bottles of mostly Belgian but some Dutch beers as well.
This is one of the few places we ran across that also serves Bud (full disclosure).
The bar is dark but there's an enclosed patio with tables that's a great place to watch a very busy slice of life in Amsterdam.
Have lunch and a couple of tripels here.

2017 - It looks to me as if De Beiaard has closed and is now a beer bar called De Brabanste Aap.
(The Brabant Monkey)
But it also appears to be a good beer bar!



Cafe Belgique
Gravenstraat 2
1012 NM Amsterdam
telephone: 020-625-1974

Look for the " La Chouffe" sign above the very narrow Gravenstraat and below it you'll find Cafe Belgique, which bills itself as one of Amsterdam's smallest beer havens and they're probably right. Its maybe twenty feet square and very dark but for a soft yellow glow. We found seven taps and what looked like about 50 or so bottles of largely Belgian beers (some Dutch, too). The two tables and eight barstools seemed to be occupied by locals. If you're visiting Amsterdam's Dam Square (and why wouldn't you?) you're only a few minutes' walk away - stop by for a good beer in a cozy place.



An American's Thoughts on Beer in Delft, The Netherlands

•  Delft is a city of about 100,000 residents. Founded in the 13th century, it remains a charming place of historic canals, squares, churches and of course that blue and white pottery. It's a living postcard.

•  If you randomly walk into a cafe or restaurant in Delft the usual beer suspects will be Heineken, Grolsch, Jupiler, Palm, and the like. Even so, almost every place we visited had at least one beer that was new to us.

•  Most of the beers served in the more beer-centric cafes and restaurants are from Belgium; Dutch beers are less common but worth trying when you find them. Search for the European equivalent of "craft beer" from smaller breweries and you won't be disappointed (unless you're a hophead).

•  Our canal tour guide was quite proud that brewing was Delft's first industry, but sadly there are no breweries there today. However, three of the places we visited had their own unique "Delft beer" ( all contract brews).

•  From the tap, everything is a small pour in the 6-8 ounce range. Forget about seeing any pint glasses, and that's OK because...

•  There are few beers below 6%. Count on walking back to your hotel, and that's OK too because...

•  Delft is compact and very walkable (and bikeable). All the places we visited are within no more than a ten-minute walk of each other. As one local said, "It is sort of paradise living in a city where a decent boozer is rarely more than 200 meters away."

•  There really is a different glass for every beer, and more often than not a different glass for every style from every brewery. Sometimes there are even different coasters for different styles.

•  Delft had some of the most knowledgeable and personable bar and wait staff we've ever run across - very nice folks.




Belvedere Belgian Beer Cafe
Beestenmarkt 8 (at Burgwal)
2611 GB Delft
telephone: 015-2123297

The Belvedere, on the picturesque Beestenmarkt (cattle market), has six tap beers and 35 in the bottle, largely Belgians that included many of our favorites (Karmeliet Tripel, Barbar and Leffe Radieuse for example). It has both a bar and a restaurant where we enjoyed several meals. Go here for a good selection of decent beers and a nice lunch or dinner.


Locus Publicus
Brabantse Turfmarkt 67
26 CM Delft
telephone: 015-2134632

Locus Publicus is basically a beer bar with a limited food menu.
There are eight taps and 180 bottled beers; the vast majority are Belgians but there's also a decent selection of about a dozen Dutch beers.
Go here to drink and mingle with the locals, such as those in the photo.



Trappistenlokaal 't Klooster

Vlamingstratt 2
2611 KW Delft
telephone: 015-2121013

A beer bar - no food here. But with eight taps and 120 bottles - mostly Belgians - you won't be bored. The several hanging blackboards categorize their beers (trappists and the like) and display alcohol percentages, prices and even labels - a nice visual beer menu. And if you're looking to unload your souvenir money there's the very non-Belgian (and non-Dutch for that matter) Brew Dog's Tactile Nuclear Penguin (70 Euros) and Sink the Bismarck (80 Euros) on the high end. Klooster is highly recommended for a Delft beer experience.

In early 2017, Trappistenlokaal 't Klooster was sold and will re-open as cafe Het Klooster. But this is good news for beer fans!
There will be no food, but the tap count will go from 8 to 20!
Beers will constantly rotate.
The new place will hopefully open in March, 2017.



Doerak Beer Cafe
Vrouwjuttenland 17 (at Devouw)
2611 LB Delft
telephone: 31645694928

A local cafe along a small canal, with ten taps and a large number of bottled beers; no food that we could see. Go here for some quiet and to watch life in Delft go by.



Cafe Kobus Kuch
Beestenmarkt 1 (at Burgwal)
2611 GA Delft
telephone: 015-212-4280
www. kobuskuch .nl

A cozy local cafe also on the Beestenmarkt with a small but tasty menu and a beer list to match. Their claim to beer fame is being the current home of the original Delft beer Delftsche Knollaert, brewed "according to the ancient recipe". It's a tasty beer that goes well with the apple pie. The pie alone is reason to go here.



Biercafe 't Proeflokaal
Gasthuislaan 36-38
2611 RB Delft
telephone: 015-2124922


Proeflokaal is, by Delft standards, a large place (two storefronts wide), which is all the better to house its fourteen taps and about 300 different bottles of beer. With a wide selection of Belgians and good representation by others, the highlight of this place is another Delft beer called Delvenaer, a big banana mouthfeel tripel that's reason enough to make the trip. Say hello to Ed for us. (PS - In spite of reports elsewhere, this is not a British beer bar.)