Amsterdam Day/Night One – Beer in the Land of the Giants

I arrived in Amsterdam just after noon, which meant I needed to force myself to stay up for at least a few hours. After a very pleasant Tesla taxi ride with a gregarious driver, I got to my hotel which was just on the edge of the Vondelpark and central to just about everywhere.

Amazingly my hotel room was actually ready but I knew not to fall into the trap of resting. Nope, it was time to explore my temporary new ‘hood. The weather was less than ideal but the brisk breeze actually helping keeping me awake so I didn’t mind. Plus, I mean look at this beautiful city.

My friend Erik, a fellow beer nerd, insisted I check out a great Dutch beer bar but first I needed food. Luckily, there was a place next door to it that looked inviting.

Turned out this was actually a chain that is based out of Venice, CA but at least this one had a decidedly Dutch centric menu. I chose the Hot Oct which was basically a grilled octopus version of a lobster roll. Delicious as was the badly needed hot chocolate, but with real cacao and Mexican spices.

I was starting to fade but figured perhaps Dutch beer could help conquer the jetlag. The beer bar featured an impressive lineup of Dutch beers, most of which were unknown to me so I let the bartender pick a flight for me. He turned out to have nailed my tastes although I ended up subbing the selected lambeek for a pumpkin ale. I made the right choice.

Clearly a global beer nerd station of the cross, the crowd was a lively mix of locals and fellow travelers. I chatted up with a twenty something from Santa Barbara and a Muscovite escaping the thrall of Putin to have some good beer.

The bartender recommended checking out their sister spot Beer Loves Food for dinner but first I needed to head back to the hotel for a bit respite.

An hour later I was back on the road and made my way over the restaurant while dodging the packs of bicyclists that were seemingly everywhere. I could tell I was definitely walking into a pretty touristy area of the city based on the familiar brands that now dotted my field of view. Thankfully, the brewpub was on the outer edge and seemed to be once again a mix of locals and traveling beer nerds.

Unlike the last place, Beer Loves Food featured both local as well as international options. I wanted to stay local so I selected a couple of local brews tasters. I had been told the thing to get here was the Dutch croquettes so I choose the shrimp, wild geese and beer braised beef assortment. Deep fried goodness, especially the wild geese ones.

My belly now full of various Dutch delicacies, I finally succumbed to the wailing sirens of sleep and crashed as soon as head hit the pillow on my pleasantly long bed.

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