De Beiaard

[Dutch Flag]

Located adjacent to the tram line running from Amsterdam's Centraal Station to the tourist mecca of the Leidseplein, De Beiaard offers an opportunity to experience a true "bier café." A glass walled patio provides the vantage point to sample the dozen draughts while observing the fast-paced traffic nearby as pedestrians, bicycles, cars and trams all vie for space on the narrow streets of this capitol city (Den Haag is the official seat of government). Inside, French and English language Rock & Roll tunes play as patrons relax reading newspapers and magazines in the small raised bar area or the lower level and its dozen wooden tables and chairs, all fit snugly in the narrow room. The plentiful windows provide ample light to enjoy the interior decorating and read the descriptions of the beers on the menu. Prices range from four to 21 Guilders, about two to ten US dollars, and cover a wide beer selection of 25 Belgians, nine Dutch and other assorted imports such as Corona, Rolling Rock, Warsteiner, Budvar, New Castle, Carlsberg and Grain D'Orge.

The Delirium Tremens (9%) is a clear gold color, well carbonated, with a smooth mouthfeel where an even flavor balance hints of malty sweetness and finishes cleanly. Very nice! The Columbus from Amsterdam's t'IJ Brouwerij also weighs in at 9% but is a hazy orange color with an estery aroma, nice mouthfeel and slightly fruity flavor, with noticeable alcohol in the finish. The La Trappe Dubbel is a ruby color with a thick creamy head. The flavor starts focused on the rich candi sugar and moves toward a dry finish. The La Quadrupel is a dark amber with a thick white head, intense alcohol and esters in the aroma, a full body, and a good combination of malty and complex fruity flavors that lead to a dry finish.

As is common at quality bars, all beers are served in their matching glassware. At this establishment the lone waitress is kept busy covering the three distinct rooms of the bar. With the only restrooms upstairs, wheelchair users will find De Beiaard unaccomodating but with its convenient location at Spui stop on Tram #2, it's definitely worth a quick visit if not a dedicate tasting session. Hours are Sundays through Thursdays 11 AM to 1 AM and Fridays and Saturdays 11 AM to 2 AM.

De Beiaard
30 Spui
Amsterdam, Netherlands
020 622 5110

Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - March, 1998

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