Destinations Magazine

A Taste of Beer History

By Amsterdam City Tours

A taste of beer history

Everyone who travels to Amsterdam knows they are in for a good beer. But not many visitors know the long history and tradition of beer brewing in Holland and the many influences that have come together to make the golden drink famous.

Heineken, Grolsch and Amstel brands are synonymous with Dutch beer worldwide, but  they are only a fraction of the unique and special brews that can be found only in Holland.

Thanks to a some very dedicated beer aficionados and Amsterdam Urban Adventure tours, you can delve deep into the fascinating world of Dutch beer with a walking beer tour and experience the very best in beer that the Netherlands has to offer.

Over three hours, you can learn the history of beer brewing in Holland and tantalise not only your mind – but also your taste buds – by sampling the many different beers that are brewed right in the center of the city under the guidance of highly trained tour leaders.

A taste of beer history

The tour begins opposite the original Heineken building, an appropriate starting place for this refreshing adventure. And while Heineken is arguably the most famous Dutch beer, you will follow your guide on a fascinating journey that uncovers how beer brewing – and its import and export – has been one of the most influential trades in Dutch history.

You will be guided to both the bustling beer halls and the hidden hide-outs where the best in Dutch beer is served. In between, your guide will pepper the tour with facts about Amsterdam’s general history and how beer played an integral role in Dutch life from the 15th century onwards.

Most importantly, your guide will help you navigate the overwhelming beer selections you encounter, offering samples of local beers and giving lessons on the American and German influences that have shaped the Dutch brewing industry.

Making your way north through the city, you will stop at the Nieuwmarkt area to visit the spot where Amsterdam’s nuns used to brew beer back in the 16th century. Today, the bar still brews its own ale to the delight of its many regular customers.

You will then be led on an optional detour through the red light district. Few who pass through the area see beyond the famous windows to glimpse De Prael. The small brewery is an Amsterdam landmark where you can learn the ins and outs of beer making from brewers who are so dedicated, they are all employed as volunteers.

A taste of beer history

The adventure continues on to a legendary local beer hall that stocks more than 200 different varieties of beer. Beer lovers will be amazed at the range on offer here, and glad for the sage advise your guide will be able to share. He will help you choose between sipping on a pale lager, gulping some golden ale or sampling a strong stout to celebrate the end of the tour.

Raise a glass with friends, make a toast to Amsterdam and share the new found knowledge you will have of one of the most important industries in the world – and one of the most delicious drinks!

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