Proeflokaal De Zotte

[NE Flag]

From the outside the Proeflokaal De Zotte seems an average Amsterdam beer café, a small narrow bar in a 15 by 65 foot room hosting two four-tap brass towers pouring Amstel, Hoegaarden, Brigand, Palm and Leffe. These "Bieren Van 't Vat" or "beers on tap" are often out classed by the bottled beer selection on hand, typically all bottled-conditioned.

The Kwak is an amber color with malty flavors accompanied by wild yeast-like tartness. The Brigand is a clear dark amber with light esters, a tangy mouthfeel, and a nice complex fruity/malty flavor combination that does not "wear out its welcome." The Karmeliert Triple is a hazy amber with fruity and malty flavors combining for a very pleasant flavor experience. The unlabeled Westvletern 8 is opaque in appearance with a thick mouthfeel and evenly balanced rich, creamy, chocolately flavor.

Although the crowd was mostly male, smokers were not in the majority. The reasonable hours, Sunday through Thursday 4 pm to 1 am, and Friday and Saturday 4 pm to 3 am, make it easy to relax and enjoy the all Dutch Rock & Roll music while sampling the beer selection. Even the kitchen is open until 2:30 am. Just don't try to stretch the weekday hours. At 1 am the police, called " beer facists ", come by to enforce " no service " rules.

The menu shows some interesting specialties such Moules a la bierre (mussels in beer) but it is the beer portion of the menu that will impress: 14 Trappist, 35 Abbey, 48 regional, 9 Pils, 1 Wit (Brugse tarwe), 14 Gueze/Kriek, and 1 Old Beer (Deugniet '92). Most beers cost around $3 for the 33 cl (12 ounce) size and averaged around 8% alcohol by volume. When in Amsterdam this is one of the best places sample Belgian beers and food. You'll find the 1 am closing time comes all too fast.

Proeflokaal De Zotte
Rosmarijnsteeg 10
1012 RP Amsterdam

Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - March, 1998

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