I love a good beer, so luckily my home country the Netherland is the home of many unique local beers. Did you know there are nearly 700 beer breweries in the Netherlands? It is especially nice how every region and big city has its own beer favorites. So when traveling through the Netherlands, make sure to visit at least one of the many local breweries. I’ll tell you all about the best beers from Holland in this blog. Starting with the famous big Dutch beer brands, then listing the thirty best local breweries for specialty beers in the Netherlands. Including the best places to join a beer tasting of course.
Heineken and other large Dutch beer brewers
The most famous beer from the Netherlands? That is without a doubt Heineken. You will find this beer everywhere, nationally and internationally. But only in Amsterdam you have the Heineken Experience (Stadhouderskade 78) to really know everything about this beer brand.
Other famous brands? Amstel from Amsterdam, Bavaria from Noord-Brabant, the characteristic swing-top bottles from Grolsch from the East, Brand from Wijlre in Limburg, Hertog Jan from Arcen in North Limburg and Gulpener from Gulpen in Limburg. Tip: Brand has a fantastic line of specialty beer.
30 best specialty beers from Holland
Brouwerij ‘t Ij
Special location: Taproom The Windmill (Funenkade 7 in Amsterdam)
The best known and tastiest beer in Amsterdam. Try the Natte’s and Zatte’s in the tasting room at the Molen in Amsterdam East.
Special location: Westergas (Pazzanistraat 25-27 in Amsterdam) or De Pijp (Cornelis Troostplein 21 in Amsterdam) or Oud-West (Bilderdijkstraat 205 hs in Amsterdam)
A newcomer in Amsterdam who has expanded rapidly due to her popularity. Fun fact: Brouwerij Troost reserves a lot of space in its kettles for small other brewers to develop their beers.
Special location: Taproom (Gedempt Hamerkanaal 85 in Amsterdam)
The beers of Oedipus are known for their unique names (such as Mannenliefde) and special ingredients. The beers are therefore a wonderful change from the more standard tastes. Personally I think these beers are really great.
Special location: Taproom (Oudezijds Armsteeg 26 in Amsterdam or Nieuwe Hemweg 2 in Amsterdam or Esperantoplein 20 in Den Haag or Boterdiep 75 in Groningen)
This beer is not just one of the best beers in Holland, but also a socially responsible one. De Prael brews its beer with the help of people who are at a distance from the labor market.
Gebrouwen door vrouwen
Special location: De Bar (Jan Pieter Heijestraat 119 in Amsterdam)
The name already reveals one of the characteristics of this brewery, but we are of course concerned with the taste. And luckily these women know what they are doing! Most beers from this brewery are lighter blond or white beers with an emphasis on a delicious taste.
De Naeckte Brouwers
Special location: AnnA Proeflokaal (Amsterdamseweg 22 in Amstelveen)
Like many brewers, this brewery started as a hobby, but the beers were so good that they quickly won prizes. Recently they have their own tasting room in an old church in Amstelveen.
Two Chefs Brewing
Special location: Bar Alt (Stadionplein 103 in Amsterdam)
They call their products themselves ‘funky’ beer. Where most brewers start with a bar or a tasting room, the men of Two Chefs immediately started linking their beers to good food in the Bar Alt restaurant.
Special location: Taproom (Zaagmolenkade 46 in Rotterdam)
Only in 2015 were the first beers from Brouwerij Noordt tapped, but the brand is already indispensable from Rotterdam. Noordt is located in an old fire station and a tasting room (open mostly during the day).
Speciale location: Kaapse Proeflokaal (Veerlaan 19-D in Rotterdam) or Kaapse Maria (Mauritsweg 52 in Rotterdam)
The Kaapse Brouwers may have the best location, situated on the Maas with a view of Hotel New York and the Kop van Zuid. You can now also enjoy their delicious beers at Kaapse Maria, a trendy bar in the center of Rotterdam.
Special location: Taproom (Aelbrechtskolk 12 in Rotterdam)
Breweries and churches, a proven combination. The De Pelgrim brewery is also aware of this, which has established itself in the Pelgrim Father’s Church and owes its name to it. A beautiful place in historic Delftshaven!
Special location: Werkspoor Café De Leckere (Tractieweg 43 in Utrecht)
This brand was founded in 1997 by a couple of friends with a common interest in organic farming and food. A year later their beers could already be found at 140 points of sale. De Leckere has beers that do justice to its name. In 2017, they were able to open a fantastic tasting room in the Werkspoor Cathedral on the port of Utrecht.
This is a fairly new brewer – started in 2010 – but the beers were immediately of high quality and we love that. If you come across a bottle of Vandestreek, get started! Now we hope they will open their own tasting room in the city of Utrecht.
Update: Vandestreek has told me they are working on a taproom which might already open starting October 2019!
De Kromme Haring
Special location: Brewpub De Kromme Haring (Europalaan 2C in Utrecht)
The brewpub of De Kromme Haring is more like a living room, but then a living room with wild beers. The focus of De Kromme Haring is on the yeast. With the right yeast, a perfect beer comes naturally.
Special location: Taproom (Pratumplaats 2A in Utrecht – De Meern)
This small brewery is located in the middle of the country. Fun fact: this is one of the few breweries that still brews with a traditional copper installation.
Special location: Jopenkerk (Gedempte Voldersgracht 2 in Haarlem) or Jopen Proeflokaal (Emrikweg 21 in Haarlem)
I consider Jopen the best beer in the Netherlands. This brewery has already won so many prizes that there is actually no denying it anymore. If you can’t miss a single brewery on your beer tour through the Netherlands, then it’s Jopen.
Uiltje Craft Beer
Special location: Taproom (Bingerweg 23 in Haarlem or Uiltje Bar (Zijlstraat 18 in Haarlem)
Just like Jopen, Het Uiltje comes from Haarlem. And Jopen is perhaps the best beer, but Het Uiltje goes where Jopen does not dare to go. The flavors of Het Uiltje are all unique. Highly recommended for the specialty beer lover!
Special location: Taproom (Saturnusstraat 5 in Den Haag)
I once enjoyed Kompaan 39 so much that I invested directly through crowdfunding when this brewer wanted to purchase a larger brewing installation. You can find their beautiful taproom on the water in The Hague. On summer days they have many delicious, sour fruit beers on tap. Kompaan is one of my personal favorites.
Brouwerij De Molen
Special location: Brouwcafé de Molen (Overtocht 43 in Bodegraven)
This brewery is named after the mill where the first beers were brewed in 2004. Traditionally a high quality brewer. One of the larger beer brands now owns all of De Molen’s shares, so I am curious what will happen with the traditional character of these tasty rascals.
Special location: Taproom (Schilderweg 214 b in Oudeschild, Texel)
The specialty beer from the island of Texel. Texel beers have a unique taste because they use a completely different type of yeast than other brewers. And to be honest you must love it. But if it tastes, you don’t want anything else. Fortunately, you can buy Texel beers – especially the famous Skuumkoppe – throughout the country.
Special location: Brewpub (Keizersgracht 16a in Eindhoven)
Cozy tasting room in the center of Eindhoven. Van Moll only started in 2013, but quickly learned how to brew really good beer.
Special location: Café 100 Watt (Bleekweg 1 in Eindhoven)
Nice brewery in the center of Eindhoven in a unique location.
Special location: Taproom (Hoofdweg 140 in Veenhuizen)
All the way in the far north – in an old grain mill – is Maallust. Here too, copper kettles are still being brewed. Maallust makes really good beer and is definitely in my top favorites.
Special location: Tour with tasting (Singelstraat 5 in Goes)
In 1998 the hobby of these brewers grew into their work. That first started with other brewers, but due to their success they were able to start their own brewery in 2005. They do not have a tasting room, but you can take a tour through their brewery in Goes.
De Natte Gijt
Don’t be fooled by the name, because Natte Gijt caresses the tongue. In 2011 the brewers started with the all-embraced Hop met de Gijt and since then they have been making various delicious beers. Despite their success, this brewery from Weert has always remained fairly small.
Before master brewer Kees started his own brewery in Middelburg, he worked for 10 years for the Emelisse brewery. The true connoisseur chooses Kees.
These beers from Nijmegen bring flavors back to their core. ‘Oersoep’ is therefore a very striking name for the beers, which usually has a very deep taste.
Special location: Brewery Taproom (Friesestraatweg 201/2a in Groningen)
Another brewer from the far North! These young brewers only started in 2014, but got the taste quickly. They have already been able to open their tasting room in 2016.
De Bebaarde Brouwer
De Bebaarde Brouwer in Rotterdam is a self-proclaimed ‘side project’ from one of the Kaapse Brouwers. He can put all his hobby into it and that has resulted in a number of very tasty beers with a unique character.
SNAB from Purmerend also experiments a lot with flavors. The brewers themselves describe their beers as striking. The striking character is due to the fact that they use non-conventional raw materials and try to re-introduce old recipes.
Special location: Cafe Pardoen (Spaansekade 62 in Rotterdam)
Ramses beer has been around for a while. Already in 1990 the first Ramses beer was drunk. Not in the Netherlands, by the way, but in Oregon. Ramses Snoeij brought the American influences back to the Netherlands, which led to this fantastic beer.
Find all taprooms on the map: