Brouwerij ‘t IJ (Windmill Brewery)

Brouwerij ‘t IJ (broweri an het IJ) or ‘brewery on the IJ’ is commonly known as the Windmill Brewery. Not to be confused with De Molen – which means mill and is also located in a Windmill but not in Amsterdam (it’ll come in a future post).

This is a fantastic place to spend an afternoon drinking and enjoying your stay in the city. It’s open a very typical Dutch time from 2-8pm Daily (1400-2000) but that just means you’ll have to end your day sooner and relax. You’re on holiday… why not?

They’ve been brewing beer there since 1985 and it shows. They have fantastic beers! My personal favorite is De Natte (moist) but ask them for their sampler and they’ll give you 5 or 6 smalls beers to test and see which will be better for you- good for sharing between 2 persons to get you started. Sometimes they’ll say something like “we’re sold out” which basically means all the small glasses are out. One is asked to return the glasses to the bar and sometimes people don’t. It helps to have a quick wander about the bar to see if there are any small glasses laying around.

The service can be a bit ‘first come first serve’. Most of the staff are friendly, one or two dislike tourists and can be rude. Such is life. You should keep in mind Dutch service is not like service in many counties – I’m looking at you America 😉 People may form a cue but this is Holland, cue jumping is an art form. They are often busy so if you hear something along the lines ‘wie is aan de buurt’ then don’t be surprised that if you are too slow someone will go ahead of you. If you want service just make your way to the front best you can.

If you are around near the weekend and looking for something to do they offer (in English at 330pm; Dutch 4pm– Fri/Sat/Sun) a tour of their Brewery. At the time of this writing (August 2014) the cost is 4,50€ and it includes a free beer which you can order before or after the tour. Basically arrive when you want (earlier the better in the height of summer tourist season) and tell someone behind the bar you’d like the tour. When you pay you’ll have a spot and you get a drink token you can use when you’d like. Near to the start time they’ll announce that everyone who’s there for the tour should gather near to the bar. It lasts close to an hour.