Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Delirium Café Amsterdam

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.

"Schneider Porter? I've never heard of that." Sounds a weird concept. But I give it a try. Dolores goes for standard Schneider.

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."

"Try it."

"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.

Delirium Café
Piet Heinkade 4-6-8
1019 BR Amsterdam
Tel: 020 811 03 81

20 draught
500 bottled

Opening times:
Sun - Thur 12:00 - 01:00
Fri - Sat 12:00 - 03:00


Grey Ghost said...

Interesting. I was there early september for a couple of days. Managed to find myself some Cafe Gollum and De Bierkoning. Was some nice drinking and often nicer prices than even generic NZ beers.

Ollie Hall said...

I nearly went there during a recent trip! Nice to see someone's write-up.

Bryan the Beerviking said...

The Schneider Porterweisse was last year's TAP X, if I remember rightly. Had it at Braukunst Live and my reaction was similar to yours - pleasant bits of each, but a case of 2+2=3.

Ollie Hall said...

I thought AMsterdam was an amazing city.. did you check out Brouwerij 't IJ as well?

Ron Pattinson said...


I live in Amsterdam so I've been to het Ij lots of times.

John Clarke said...

It is an odd walk there - in September I went through an underpass that had been converted into a pop up art gallery (very Amsterdam...). What was the second opening you went to?

Ollie Hall said...

I'm envious Ron!

Was this the underpass?

John Clarke said...

Hi Ollie - yes that was it! It was completely unexpected and enjoyable - I lingered a little while to take it in.1818

Yuri Hegge said...

Thanks for the review.

We present our new beer menu in 2 weeks with a lot of craft beer. Our public will be a combination between beer lovers and beer geeks.. Coming Tuesday we present our White IPA from draft. We will be the only place in Holland to serve this magnificent IPA.
Give us time and we will have a rightfull place in beery Amsterdam.

Kind Regards,
Yuri Hegge
Delirium Cafe Amsterdam