Beers & Bars

BEER,  BARS & NIGHTLIFE….

The legendary Amsterdam nightlife is an integral part of the Amsterdam Sevens experience. Here are a few useful facts and hints. The legendary Amsterdam nightlife is an integral part of the Amsterdam Sevens experience. Here are a few useful facts and hints. There are a number of  (rugby) bars in Amsterdam that are supporting the Amsterdam 7s  Tournament. Players and spectators are more than welcome.

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Café Cobra | Museumplein

A wide open grassy area behind the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum (the Stedelijk museum of modern art also used to be on the museumplein until it moved recently). The Museumplein is a great place to go for a run out and throw a ball around to loosen up on Friday. Cobra Café, as befits its artistic location, is dedicated to the Cobra modern art movement which took it’s name from the three cities it was based in (Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam although they seem to have spent a lot of time in Paris) and includes Karel Appel and Cornielle. Well worth a visit by the more cultured visitors to Amsterdam.

Café Corso | Oudezijds Achterburgwal 26

In the red light district is one of the traditional rugby bars of Amsterdam and the walls are covered in rugby memorabilia and pictures of the teams that have represented Café Corso with pride of place going to the 2004 team that won the tournament. During the year rugby is shown on TV and rugby players and teams from around the world just pop in. Café Corso is the clubhouse for the White Hart Marauders during the Amsterdam Sevens and the celebrations start on Thursday evening and run through the whole weekend until Monday Morning where many drop in for Bloody Mary Monday before making their way to the Central Station.

Susies Saloon | Oudezijds Voorburgwal 254

Is on the edge of the Red Light District near the Dam. Another rugby mad bar, they enter a Men’s team and a Ladies team in the Amsterdam Sevens, usually with an antipodean flavour with Pacific Islands reinforcements. The bar is usually open until six in the morning for the Amsterdam Sevens (not recommended for players). They also do food and have a smoking room (also not advised for players).

Dan Murphy’s | Leidseplein 24

An Irish bar. Leidseplein is one of Amsterdam’s main nightlife destinations. Half of the square is filled with terraces where you can sit outside with a beer or six and chill out. On the other half of the square are lots of buskers making music or performing magic. It is surrounded by bars, Cinemas and music venues (Melkweg which has music, theatre, cinema and Paradiso). Dan Murphy’s is in the corner of Leidseplein and, in addition to the friendly staff boasts the best pint of Murphys stout in town. Leidseplein is also close to the location of the Friday evening reception.

O’Reilly’s | Paleisstraat 103

Is a large, sports oriented Irish bar situated just behind the palace on the Dam. The bar has several small rooms and for big matches they have a projector with a massive screen. They also do excellent food.

Café Heuvel | Prinsengracht 568

A typically Dutch bar on the corner of Prinsengracht and Spiegelstraat. Pierre, the owner used to play rugby with AAC and some of the teams who come regularly to the Amsterdam Sevens use Cafe Heuvel as their Amsterdam base for the weekend.

Coco’s Outback | Thorbeckeplein 8-12

The only Australian bar in Amsterdam. So you know what to expect. They have two happy hours per day, lots of promotions on food and drinks, wide range of beers, including many Aussie beers, DJs on Saturday nights, darts, pool and a terrace so you can sit outside. They show a lot of rugby as well as other sports. Ideal for a lively few beers rather than a quiet beer.

DUTCH BEERS

You can drink beer in pints but remember the beer in Holland is stronger than the beer in the UK and if it gets warm it becomes almost undrinkable. We recommend drinking in the same glasses as the locals. The normal glass if you ask for a beer or pils (to sound local you can use the diminutive form biertje – pronounced beer-tjeh, or Pilsje – pronounced Pils-yer) is about 30cl. The fluitje (pronounced flout-yeh) is smaller and really for girlies. The vaasje (Fars-yeh) has straight sides and looks bigger than a normal pils glass although barmen claim it is the same size. Whatever glass you ask for, there will be a foaming head which will be “two fingers” deep.

 

Beer in Amsterdam is synonymous with Heineken. Whereas Heinekens fantastic marketing department has succeeded in making Heineken a premium brand almost everywhere in the world, in the Netherlands the same beer is the “bog standard” beer because it is served everywhere and, especially in Amsterdam it is difficult to find anything but Heineken. If you want a couple of alternatives try the following. Café Gollem (Raamsteeg 4) is now closed temporarily but you can visit their sister bar the Gollum Proeflocaal (literally tasting location) which can be found at Overtoom 160, not far from the Leidseplein. Golem has been serving beers from around the world since 1974. The bar is about the size of a small hotel bedroom but they manage to serve up to 200 different beers, about 12 of them from the tap, and many of the beers are served in their own special glasses (try the Belgian beer Kwaak for the weirdest glass). The beers include some very strong beers such as Westvleteren, brewed by monks and the strongest is 12% alcohol. The bar’s formula is so successful there are now two more Gollems just outside the centre. “In de Wildeman” (Kolksteeg 3) is another 200 beer bar with 17 on tap. Much bigger and brighter than Café Gollem it is well worth a visit. They are closed on Sundays. How many beers are brewed in Amsterdam? The answer is two and neither of them is Heineken. Heineken has not been brewed in Amsterdam for years although their head office is still there. In the centre of town (Oudezijds Voorbergwaal – in the oldest part of town two minutes from the Cafe Corso) is Brouwerij de Prael. Brouwerij ‘t Ij (Funenkade 7) is outside the centre but well worth a visit to their windmill brewery. You can also find their beers in some bars in Amsterdam. They brew 10 different beers, some seasonal, but have stopped making their famous “Grote Lul” (Big Penis) which led to much merriment when you asked for a big penis at the bar.

NO SMOKING

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NO SMOKING

Like most of the rest of Europe and America you are not allowed to smoke tobacco indoors in public places.There are a couple of exceptions. Because the law is aimed at the health of bar staff some bars have airtight smoking rooms where the staff do not go in. Some other bars do not have staff other than the owner and they can allow you to smoke. And of course, this being Holland, a number of bars just ignore the ban. The presence of ashtrays is a good indication. One very Dutch exception is that in Coffee Shops you can smoke Marijuana inside but if you mix it with tobacco you have to go outside to smoke.

 

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