Brouwerij t' IJ, Amsterdam
Belgium may be the beer capital of the world, but the Brouwerij t'Ij (Ij Brewery) in Amsterdam produces some very respectable hand-crafted brews worthy of standing alongside some of those that it's neighbor to the south can offer. In a land utterly dominated by mega-production beer(Heineken, Amstel), its nice to know that the art of brewing is still alive and well in the Netherlands.
We took a public bus about 10 minutes from the center of town to the brewery itself. You can't miss the brewery, as it has a giant windmill attached to it. Unfortunately, no one was available to give us a tour that day, so we had to settle for kicking back a few cold ones in their pub. Their Wit beer is particularly refreshing on a hot day (which it was). Their beers can also be bought by the bottle all around town, and I took many home with me.
Brouwerij 't IJ
Opening hours of the pub: From Wednesday till Sunday; from 15:00 to 20:00 hours.
The Brouwerij t' IJ is a brewery producing Trapisten style beers in an old windmill. It's on Funenkade 7 and is out of the centre, but you can use tram numbers 6 or 10. Opening hours are limited (guidebooks say Wednesday to Sunday 3-8pm) so it's worth phoning them first on 6228325. In good weather you can sit outside by the canal. We went in a thunderstorm but with beer at strengths of up to around 9% by volume it didn't take long to feel cosy and welcome. Take it steady if you plan to do much afterwards!.
't IJ brewery and it's brewery pub, IJ Proeflokaal. It's only open from 3 PM to 8 PM, but well worth the walk or take bus #20 from the station. It's a boisterous place where locals go after work to drink the best local beer in town. I met beer geeks from the States and England as well as friendly locals happy to see a tourist checking out their local beer. Try the Columbus which at 9% alcohol is just a wee bit to drinkable. Only plates of cheese, salami, or nuts are available and with these beers, essential!! A plus is the fact that it's built right into a windmill. Located at 7 Funenkade.