Written by: Luis | Photos by: Sarah
I couldn’t imagine shimmying up my narrow, steep, spiraling staircase to my Airbnb after taking part of the craft beer tour with Urban Adventures. To put it simply you get plenty of awesomely crafted brews and history for your ‘buck' on this experience. The Amsterdam craft beer scene is nothing short of mature and this became evident as I hopped from beer hall, to bar, and to brewery.
To fully capture and understand how the craft beer scene started in Amsterdam, we began our tour at Beer Temple; named appropriately, as it is the birth place of the draught beer in Amsterdam. While at the temple, I reverently sipped the first beer from Owl and Eagle - an IPA with hardy and toasty aromas that pours with a somewhat thick head. I was reminded of banana and vanilla aromas with each sip. This was definitely the type of beer to sip slowly since it had about 8% alcohol.
Just a few streets away, we landed at "Biere Fabriek" or Beer Factory. From its appearance I knew I was in for a unique experience. We walked into what seemed to be a fully functioning brewery (mash tuns, copper piping, stainless steel fermenters, etc.); overall an awesome environment to have a few brews. Oh, and an endless number of peanuts to munch on. The wooden floors were shrouded with peanut shells, which gave the brewery a rustic feel. I had the Rosso Red Ale dry hopped with Czech Hops. This unpasteurized red ale was lightly carbonated yet crisp. It also had fruity aromas and flavors.
Fully enjoying the effects of our first two beers, we made our way over to Brouwerj De Prael. This establishment was started by someone who was interested in helping others improve themselves. Not only because it offered alcohol, but also because they employed folks that were battling with behavioral disorders.
After hearing the beer choices, I decided to go with a strong Russian Imperial Stout. Luckily, the weather in Amsterdam was quite pleasant at the time, but I could imagine that this toasty dark stout would be perfect to keep warm in the winter. This stout’s sweet and malty aroma was a welcoming characteristic that worked well with its high alcohol content, which coated the pallet but did not overwhelm the senses.
Alas, our tour had come to an end. As a beer lover and brewer, it is always a pleasure to get to try local beers. Tasting how the local culture has impacted the flavor of the beer is fascinating. I don't think I'll ever get enough of it!
We were guests on the Urban Adventures Craft Beer Tour, however, the opinions are my own. Urban Adventures offers several tours in Amsterdam and worldwide. To learn more about their tours visit their site at UrbanAdventures.com.