Beer In Amsterdam: Schuim
After leaving The Cracked Kettle, perhaps unsurprisingly I felt it was time for a beer. I’d happily missed dinner in the hotel for the sake of this expedition so also needed to line my stomach. I had passed Schuim (“Foam”) on Spuistraat and it looked like a nice arty cafe. When I saw that Tim Skelton said it did good hamburgers in my newly-purchased Around Amsterdam In 80 Beers I decided to go for it.
The inside of Schuim is a reasonably large, high-ceilinged space with a selection of different furniture: big tables, leather armchairs, intimate tables for two with attractive lampshades hanging over them. The walls were covered in a selection of classic cinema posters and there was a DJ booth in the corner. This sunny Friday evening there a lot of customers were sitting out, smoking and chatting, so there were some free seats inside between some groups of apparently happy, relaxed drinkers.
It didn’t have a huge selection of beers when I went in (although they did have Brewdog Hardcore IPA), they have La Chouffe on tap. I got a 25cl glass, ordered a burger and sat down at one of the big tables and started properly reading up on Amsterdam’s beer bars. I enjoyed the La Chouffe, which proved very drinkable, but perhaps less interesting than the bottles I remembered.
I finished it and ordered a Blanche De Namur, a witbier that was served from tap with a slice of lemon and a pink plastic cocktail stirrer, the latter of which confused me. I’m not a huge fan of witbiers generally but this was quite pleasant and the slice of lemon either complemented the fresh lemon flavour of the beer or caused it. I didn’t have a non-lemon control beer to compare.
Whilst I was enjoying the beer, the atmosphere and the book, I was getting hungry and my burger was taking a very long time indeed. When I asked the staff they apologised and explained that a large table had ordered just before me, which they had said at the time. However I was given a free pilsner (I think it was a Leeuw in a Budels glass – nice but nothing special), and then after another 15 minutes the chef brought me out a plate of cheese, pickles and mustard and apologised for the delay. They were very polite and helpful despite the delay and I remained in a good mood as a result.
When the burger finally came it was very nice indeed: tender, tasty, moist and crumbly, just like a good homemade burger should be. I wolfed it down, dipping the chips in lots of mayonnaise to emphasise how acclimatised I was becoming.
I enjoyed Schuim and felt very happy to sit there on my own and pass the time, but by this point I was keen to move on to somewhere with a bigger selection. In particular I’d been reading about a bar just around the corner that sounded very exciting indeed: a US craft beer bar called Beer Temple, on which more next time.