What's Brewing in Amsterdam's Red Light District: Brouwerij de Prael
Who'd guess you'd find a working micro-brewery in Amsterdam's Red Light District? Yet there it is on tree-draped Oudezijdsvoorburgwal: Brouwerij de Prael, a sunshine yellow 17th century canal house where Golden Age auctions were held, now a tasting room, shop and brewery warmed by Persian rugs, comfy furnishings and pictures of popular vintages.
Open daily, Brouwerij de Prael boasts a modern plant yet keeps beer history alive using centuries-old brewing techniques that predate the Industrial Age. More than a half-dozen craft beers named after iconic Dutch singers are brewed on-site, in addition to seasonal and special edition brews. Take a guided tour and sample one beer or up the ante with a tour and four-beer tasting or a beer tasting sans tour showcasing four brews.
With friends, hunker down on wooden benches to view the brewing process while sampling lightweight "Johnny" (5.7% alcohol), heavier German beers, British stouts and caramel-laced "Willy," a brew that packs a punch with 11.5% alcohol. To go with your ales, order from a menu of beer-inspired selections, many served with the brewery's signature beer bread. Dutch specialties include bitterballen, croquettes, local cheese and sausage selections, plus soups, salads and sandwiches.
Beer packages featuring several craft brews, as well as T-shirts, beer mustard, beer chutney, beer schnapps and beer books, are available in the shop. If you're a real fan, purchase a beer stein so you can raise a glass at home!