Beer In Amsterdam: The Beer Temple
After Schuim I moved on to my next bar, The Beer Temple, just round the corner and again quite centrally located near Dam. This US-style craft beer bar was started by the same man as Cafe ‘t Arendsnest, a bier cafe that sells exclusively Dutch beers, a remarkable 150 of them.
The Beer Temple also claims to have 30 draft beers and 100 bottles, mostly imported and with a bent towards US and US-influenced craft beer (e.g. Brewdog, Mikkeller). The draft beers are dispensed from a US-style bar, with the taps against the back wall, many with the large ornamental branded handles that you get in US bars.
There was an interesting mix of people when I went in, some American tourists or expats as well as Dutch beer geeks. In fact there were two American lads sitting next to me in black suits and animal masks (one rooster, one gorilla) as part of a plan to surprise an expat friend on her birthday. It was all going a but David Lynch, but fortunately the reassuring bar staff were happy to talk about the selection, which they seemed to have a really good knowledge of.
The range of beer was great, as you can see from the blackboard of draft beers in the photo. Imported keg beers included Great Divide, BrewDog, Flying Dog, Left Hand and Anchor: in fact it was interesting to note how well BrewDog fitted in here and I wonder how many casual craft drinkers in the US and abroad think they’re an American brewery. There’s a further longer blackboard running along the side wall of the long, narrow bar. I started with a glass of the house beer: Tempelbier, a nice, citrus-crisp bitter Dutch take on a US style IPA.
After enjoying the first drink (and cursing myself slightly for having a few beers before arriving here and thus limiting my selection) I asked what Mikkeller beers they had and was shown a selection of bottles including Devine Rebel. However I was very interested to see that they had a bottle of Mikkeller Koppi Coffee IPA and was happy to pay 6 Euros for it.
This was a remarkable beer which seemed extremely appropriate for Amsterdam, given the association between coffee shops and mind-blowing substances. I thought the coffee was really up-front in both the aroma and taste but there was a nice light hoppy fruity bitterness in there as well. The combination of citrus hop and roast coffee bitterness was a revelation. The thrilling but unusual mix of strong flavours meant that it wasn’t a quick drink, but I was happy to take my time and savour it. In retrospect I should have tried some Orval cheese from the snack menu to go with it.
I did really enjoy my short visit to Beer Temple and it made me want to try t’ Arendsnest for an equally expansive collection of Dutch beers to explore the country’s own beers better. However again that will have to be added to the list for my next trip to Amsterdam.
Unfortunately time was ticking on and I had to move on and meet my colleagues who were in a more typical Dutch brown cafe, Konigshut, after which we moved on to another, Cafe Van Daele. The beer selection in both was more limited, but I was happy to end the night in a pleasant atmosphere, drinking a bottle of Palm then having a couple of genevers as a nightcap.