I told you I'd left my eye off the ball a bit here in Amsterdam. Just this week I found out about two new beery openings.
"Fancy trying out some new places this weekend, Dolores?"
"Where are they?"
"Both are pretty close to Centraal Station."
"OK then, we can go to Marks first."
Which we did. Didn't go ot the first pub, however, because that doesn't open until 5 pm. We hit town around midday, in time to get the marked down items in Marks.
You've probably heard of the Delirium Café in Brussels. It gets rather mixed reviews. The beer list is impressively ginormous, but the covernous cellar lacks atmosphere and gets packed with pissed-up students. The Amsterdam branch opened mid-September 2014. In a rather odd spot.
Look at the address in Streetview and all you'll see is a road and a tram stop. The pub is in reality directly below you. It's not that far from Centraal Station, but it's not a particularly nice walk nor that easy to find your way. Much simpler just to get tram 26 to Muziekgebouw Bimhuis. Go down the stairs and there you are.
Outside there's a huge terrace with a wonderful view of het Ij. Not the brewery, but the piece of water. You can also see the rather less wonderful - I'll be honest hideously ugly - new music theatre.
Inside is cavernous by Amsterdam standards. As we're the only customers, it seems even bigger. I suss out the draught selection. There's no central blackboard so I have to look at each individual tap. Not all 20 are in action. Being hung upside down is a novelty. But it won't make the beer taste any better.
My Porter is a weird mixture of banana and roast. Not sure about this one. Dolores takes a sip. "It tastes like Malzbier. That's what we used to drink as kids."
It may be the only Schneider beer I'm not keen on.
I suppose you want to know about the beer list. Like travelling back 10 years, is the simplest way to describe it. Lots of beers in the established Belgian styles, some Dutch stuff, plus a handfull of American and British beers. It looks really dated, to be honest. I wonder who their target market is. Especially stuck out in this odd corner of Amsterdam.
Dolores doubts that there are 500 bottled beers as claimed. She counts them: 310. The prices aren't too bad for 21st-century Amsterdam. Westmalle Dubbel is €3, Westmalle Tripel €4.20, Duvel €3.50, St. Bernardus Abr €5.10.
Schneider Hopfenweise is very reasonably priced, so I order one.
"I thought this sounded a bad idea - a combination of banana wheat beer and american hops. But I really like it."
"It sounds horrible."
"Just as horrible as I imagined, Ronald."
Some middle-aged Americans arrive, seeking lunch. It's their beer ordering that interests me. One asks for a regular light beer. Another for an IPA. That speaks volumes about what has happened in the USA.
Piet Heinkade 4-6-8
1019 BR Amsterdam
Tel: 020 811 03 81
Sun - Thur 12:00 - 01:00
Fri - Sat 12:00 - 03:00
Votes for Women? - I've just watched Emmeline Pankhurst: The Making of a Militant, shown on BBC Four last night at the same time that the England football team were taking on...
4 hours ago