Around Amsterdam in 80 Beers (2012)
By Tim Skelton
Among its many claims to fame and notoriety, Amsterdam has a remarkably vibrant café culture. Once the centre of beer trafficking for much of northern Europe, its recent history as the home of the frothy-topped blond lager is being shrugged off, as a new generation of beer importers and local craft brewers slowly nudge in alongside the supermarket beers.
Tiny brown cafés with smoke-stained walls put carpets on their table and peanut shells on their floors. Grand cafés in marble and glass ooze opulence and hand-made ales. Marvels of minimalist modern design nestle alongside ancient spirits houses. It is a city built for explorers.
For half a century smaller Dutch brewers have been caught in the headlights of the Heineken brewing empire on one side and the craft brewing eccentricities of the Dutch on the other. Yet bubbling below the surface is an increasingly confident band of newer brewers intent on learning from both.
Tim Skelton’s hand-picked collection of 80 cafés, restaurants, beer shops and the occasional museum selling between them 80 different beers, takes you on a guided tour round the high spots and to places you would never have found without him, along with useful tips on where to eat and a few places in Haarlem.
Current edition: October 2012
Published by: Cogan & Mater
Tim Skelton is a freelance travel writer (timskelton.eu) who writes regularly for Fodor, Thomas Cook and Bradt Travel Guides, for whom he writes the only English-language guidebook to Luxembourg. Based in the Netherlands since 1989, Around Amsterdam in 80 Beers was his first beer book but will not be his last.