The Quest for the Holy Grain - Best Brew Pubs









Aalmarkt 1
2311 EC Leiden,
+31 71 532 7646

Stadsbrouwhuis (City Brewery) is a restaurant that makes it's own beer in Leiden, which is located between Amsterdam and The Hague.
Situated on a canal across from the busy market area, it's a cozy cafe that seats perhaps 40.
The bar area, kitchen, and brewery are in the next store front, but once inside, one can't tell, as it seems all one space. The lunch menu is modest, but they have plenty of beer, 26 taps including 2 of their own.





De Proefzaak
Hullenbergweg 6,
1101 BL Amsterdam-Zuidoost, Netherlands
+31 6 13941438

De Proefzaak, home to the Kleiburg brewery, is a brewpub in the suburbs of Amsterdam.
Kleiburg brews the only beer made in Bijlmer, the particular neighborhood of Amsterdam where De Proefzaak (which means, "The Trial) is situated.
Pretty far removed, one must take the subway to get there; but it's one quick block from the station.
An old quonset hut, one enters directly into a cozy dining area that seats perhaps 50, with a compact little bar.
The brewing operation takes up most of the building and is visible through a temporary-looking glass wall.
De Proefzaak has 7 beers on tap of varying strengths, and the small kitchen is right there, too.
Guests of De Proefzaak have described the staff as "passionate about beer."
Others labeled it a "funky building with a great atmosphere."
The goat stew also comes highly recommended.





Poesiat & Kater
Polderweg 648
1093 Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 20 333 1050

Poesiat & Kater is a modern American-style brewpub in a newly renovated building at the end of a new residential street in Amsterdam, NE.
The venue is spacious, with lots of windows and lots of light, as well as plenty of seating outside.
PoKa, as the locals call it, has about 8 of their own beers on tap.
These may include a pale ale, a fest beer, a Brett beer, a tripel, a porter, and others.
PoKa brews not only Poesiat & Kater beers on site, but also the more traditional Van Vollenhoven beers.
The beer is dispensed directly from stainless steel tanks suspended over the bar.
So, where does the name come from, you ask?
Master carpenter Bart Poesiat and master bricklayer Klaas Kater were two important workmen in the building of the original Van Vollenhoven Brewery during the 19th century. They were instrumental in improving the conditions for Danish laborers through trade unions.
The current brewery is named for them.
Aside from craft brewed beer, PoKa also has an extensive food menu.




De Bekeerde Suster
Kloveniersburgwal 6
1012 CT Amsterdam
T: 020 423 0112

De Bekeerde Suster is a brew pub just south of the red light district in central Amsterdam.
The name, meaning The Converted Sister, pays homage to a convent of nuns in medieval Amsterdam.
These nuns accepted into their order girls who were willing to give up their sinful lifestyle for a life of prayer.
The food menu consists of snacks so this is not a dining destination.
But De Bekeerde Sister does have 6 of their own beers on tap, as well as 6 guest brews.
About 40 bottled beers are also offered.
The small brewing operation is in the back and there is plenty of seating in two large rooms, several alcoves, an upstairs, and even a small area on the front sidewalk.
A fine place to drink some local beers.



Brouwerij Troost Westergas
Pazzanistraat 25-27
1014 DB Amsterdam
Call: +31  20 737 10 28

Troost is a brewpub located a short walk from a busy shopping area of Amsterdam. It is located in a large warehouse-like building that was once the Gas Werks. The bar is along the entire right hand wall, and the brewery is visible behind glass at the rear.
There are about 15 seats at the bar and about 15 large common tables filling the rest of the room.
A small balcony is packed with about 10 more tables.
A large front patio was quite crowded during our visit.
Troost has 10 of their own beers on tap, and 6 of those in bottles to go.
The food on the pub grub menu was quite tasty, though we found the service a bit strange, in that throughout the evening we were waited on by nearly each of the staff, but no one would bring us a bill, even after we asked.
We paid at the bar after pointing out our seat.




Bier Fabriek
Rokin 75  
1012 KL Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 20 528 9910

Bier Fabrik is a brewpub on the edge of the tourist district of Amsterdam. The entrance portion is one store front wide, with the brewery in the next storefront.
Behind the brewery portion is the kitchen.
Behind the kitchen, the restaurant opens up to be four storefronts wide and is a block deep, so, although it seems like it might be a small place, it is quite large.
Bier Fabriek is uniquely self serve - the booths are each fitted with a set of taps and a supply of mugs !!
Other tables are conventionaly served by waitstaff.
Bier Fabriek has 3 of their own beers on tap and an extensive food menu.



Brouwerij De Prael
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 30  
1012 GD Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 20 408 4470

Brouwerij De Prael is a brewpub in the famous Red Light District of Amsterdam.
Located in separate but adjacent buildings, the entrance to the retail store and tasting room is around the corner from that of the restaurant.
In trade for a card, this Questor received a personalized full tour of the entire brewing operation which is spread out in the back of both buildings.
De Prael could sell more beer if they could make it, being limited by fermentation space.
The restaurant could easily be in America. The bar area in the front is spacious and well lit.
One can buy a beer, and find a seat or just stand around. can go in the back, sit down and let a waitress take the order.
De Prael serves food but the menu is limited. There is a tasty array of beer, but more in the American style instead of Belgian.



Brouwerij 't IJ
Funenkade 7
1018 AL Amsterdam
T: 020-622-8325

"It's the place where they make beer in the windmill" we were told by several locals. And sure enough, when we turned the last corner there it was: an honest to goodness, real live, up-close windmill. How cool was that? Well, all that wore off when we had our first beer and the barkeep explained that, no, the brewery is separate from the windmill, and the windmill is a private residence, and the owner is getting tired of people asking for a brewery tour. Still, the brewery - immediately adjacent to the windmill - offered six taps with their pils, dubbel, wit, tripel, spicy amber and barleywine. After a sampler we settled on the Ijwit wit (7%) and the Columbus spicy amber (9%) for the duration of our Quest research. Prices were the most reasonable of any that we paid over our two-week journey: 1.9 to 2.8 Euros for an 8-ounce pour. There are about a dozen communal tables and a bar inside, and tables and chairs outside (the Dutch seem to have a higher tolerance for cold). We were among the first to arrive after the 4PM opening and the place was jammed by the time we left at about, well, when it was dark. There was a never-ending trading of rounds with our new BFFs Joop and Hans. Put Brouwerij 't IJ on your Amsterdam must-do list.