The way to order a beer in Amsterdam

Girl having fun with a beer at Café Tabac in Amsterdam’s Jordaan district

Order Beer Like An Amsterdammer

Ordering a beer is easy sufficient, in fact. However figuring out the Amsterdam lingo for doing so can definitely assist forestall unwelcome surprises.

In any case, you wouldn’t be the primary vacationer who, after ordering a beer in English, will get its served in a a lot bigger amount than imagined — and at a a lot larger worth.

Talking of which: In case you’re used to consuming a pint of beer at a time in England, Eire, or America, you’re in for a little bit of a shock. The Dutch often serve their beers in a lot smaller glasses.

Sidewalk terrace at Cafe Kalkhoven in Amsterdam
The sidewalk terrace at Cafe Kalkhoven in downtown Amsterdam

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The way to Order a Beer in Dutch

There’s a humorous e-book titled, The Undutchables. It’s a extremely common caricature of the Dutch.

Except for over-the-top observations, the e-book (thought-about important studying by Holland’s massive expat neighborhood) consists of helpful data usually not present in vacationer guides.

Take into account the next perception into ordering beer within the Netherlands:

Dutch beer (bier, pils) is nice, tasty and robust.  Ordering a beer could be complicated for foreigners who try to take action for the primary time in Dutch.

Regardless of the way you check with a “beer” in Dutch, the bartender will reply by utilizing a distinct time period. Right here, the obsession with diminutives comes into play:

Magazine ik een biertje? (Could I’ve a beer?) Een biertje? (A beer? Lit. “somewhat beer,” doesn’t check with measurement)

Magazine ik een pils? (Could I’ve a beer?) Een pilsje? (A beer? Lit. “somewhat beer,” doesn’t check with measurement)

For a small glass of beer, use the double diminutive: Magazine ik een kleintje pils? (Could I’ve a small beer? Lit. “Could I’ve a small little beer?”)

Een kleintje? (A small one?  Lit. “a small infant,” refers to measurement).

The UnDutchables

Extra about that in a second. However first, this temporary have a look at a Dutch language oddity will assist you to higher perceive the beer lingo:

The Dutch obsession with the Diminutive

Within the above quote, The UnDutchables refers back to the Dutch obsession with diminutives. That’s as a result of the Dutch refer to almost the whole lot within the diminutive.

For instance: “Ik doe mijn schoentjes aan om met mijn hondje een blokje om te gaan” Meaning, “I’m placing on my sneakers to take my canine for a stroll across the block”. However actually the Dutch say, “I’m placing on my small sneakers to take my small canine across the small block.”

‘Terrasje pakken?” (Dutch shorthand for ‘we could sit on a terrace for some time?”

Likewise, you’ll hear Amsterdammers recommend to one another, terrasje pakken? — Dutch shorthand for ‘we could sit on a terrace for some time?’ (Actually, ‘Seize a small terrace?’)

Why? Some say this emphasis on the diminutive is rooted within the Dutch psyche. Ostensibly it stems from an obsession with soberness as impressed by Calvinism. Luckily, that goes method past the scope of this text.

Fluitje, Vaasje, or Simply Biertje?

Simply to make issues extra fascinating, totally different bars could have totally different customs for ordering.

As an example, in case you ask a waiter or bartender for a biertje, she or he could reply with, ‘vaasje?’ or ‘fluitje?’

Each a vaasje and a fluitje are available barely totally different sizes — and these sizes typically differ from bar to bar, since they elevated over time.

Suffice it to say {that a} fluitje (‘skinny whistle’) is a smaller beer glass than a vaasje (‘small vase’). You’ll find yourself with wherever from 20 cl (centiliter) to 33 cl. By comparability, a UK pint comprises 56.83 cl. A US pint converts to 47,32 cl.

Simply order a Biertje

However frankly, more often than not all you have to know is “biertje,” which is able to get you a small glass of beer. Don’t fear an excessive amount of about it.

A biertje is often the home beer on faucet, from whichever brewery the pub has a contract with.

Draft or bottled

Most bars and pubs in Amsterdam are inclined to have a comparatively small variety of beers on faucet, along with an inexpensive choice of bottled beers.

Some pubs delight themselves on providing a a lot bigger selection.

After which there are microbreweries, equivalent to De Prael or Brouwerij ‘t IJ.

Amsterdam Beer Excursions

However hey, that is Amsterdam — hometown to one of many world’s high beers: Heineken. If beer’s is your factor, don’t miss the Heineken Experience.

Tip: Mix your go to to the Heineken Brewery with a incredible canal cruise.

Take the canal cruise first, then benefit from the Heineken Expertise. From there it’s solely a 15 minute stroll to Museumplein, the place you’ll discover the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Stedelijk Museum.

Wish to get off the crushed beer path as an alternative? Beer aficionados and ale appreciators alike extremely fee the Amsterdam Beer Walking Tour with a Local.

Dutch Beer Comes With a Head of Foam

Dutch draft beer comes with a head of froth. At instances a beer lover who isn’t used to that wrongly assumes the barkeeper is dishonest him out of gulp or two.

The 2-fingers deep layer of froth serves a function: to lure the style, and thereby to maintain your beer recent.

Is that actually Heineken?

Heineken beer boat
Not each barrel that claims Heineken really comprises Heineken beer

A number of years in the past the Heineken brewery found that a lot of the beer offered in pubs as ‘Heineken’ was, in truth, not Heineken at all.

By secretly letting unbranded beer circulation by means of their Heineken faucets restaurant- and pub house owners savde 25 to 50 Euro per barrel — on high of the additional earnings derived from promoting inferior beer at premium costs.

We have now encountered switched-out beer ourselves. We’ve additionally been served watered-down Irish beer, admittedly at a vacationer lure bar on Leidseplein.

Anyway, on the time insiders within the drinks commerce estimated that some 60 p.c of the hospitality companies have been concerned within the Heineken swap deception.

The Heineken brewery hit again by hiring many further investigators and ‘secret customers’. Phrase is that they catch a number of dozen swindlers a 12 months. The corporate actively pursues authorized actions towards them.

That mentioned, whereas Heineken remains to be the top-selling beer in Amsterdam (and the remainder of the Netherlands), these days the recognition of craft beers is rising as effectively.


By the way in which, right here’s how to visit an Amsterdam café

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