Haarlem Pub Guide
The city - its pubs

haarlem churchHaarlem
Haarlem, only 24 km, or 15 minutes on the train, away from Amsterdam is a good destination for a short trip if you are becoming jaded with the big city.

With a population of around 150,000, it's not exactly a village itself, but it has a noticeably more relaxed feel than the capital. The centre is typical of the major towns in the west of Holland: canals, 17th century merchants' houses and a town hall and church that face each other across the market square.

Haarlem is one of Holland's most attractive old towns and also worth visiting by those with a thirst for something other than beer.

Historically, Haarlem was a far more important brewing centre than Amsterdam or Rotterdam. The industrialisation of brewing at the end of the 19th century snuffed out the tradition. Yet not everything has been lost, as you will read below. Classic Haarlem beer styles from before 1700 have been lovingly recreated.

Dutch breweries (large)
Dutch breweries (small)
Belgian breweries
Bockbier Tasting 2004

Pub Index
Haarlem Pubs

Café 1900
In den Uiver
Café Koops
Beer from Haarlem
Now that we're on the subject of beer - which is, after all, the pupose of this page - it's intersting to note that Haarlem is the only town in Holland to have its own unique beer style.

A group of local enthusiasts got a bit carried away with Haarlem's 750th anniversary celebrations (in 1995) and recreated a 16th century beer. It went down so well that they kept brewing it (under conrtract) after the celebrations had ended. Further recreations have followed since.
Haarlems Jopenbier
Jopenbier is a recreation of the beer which made Haarlem one of the biggest beer exporting towns in the 16th century. It's brewed in the Jopenkerk, Haarlem's chique new brepub. It was first brewed under contract at the end of 1994 and was intended to celebrate the 750th anniversary of Haarlem in 1995.

A recipe from 1501 is used as the basis, though the modern version isn't exactly the same as the 16th century original. It's intersting to see the grains which were used in the late Middle Ages to produce beer; up to 75% was malted oats, with the remainder being made up of malted wheat and barley, though sometimes with none of the latter at all. By the beginning of the 16th century the proportion of oats had fallen, but was still over 50%.

The grist for the modern version consists of 55% barley, 25% wheat and 20% oats, which, though not as extreme as the original, is still unusual for the present day. It is amber in colour, 6.5% alcohol and unfiltered. The aroma is a lovely mixture of hop bitterness and sweet spicy coriander. In the mouth there is a touch of fruit and even a little sourness, probably from the hops. The finish is very long and again beautifully combines spiciness and bitterness. A flavoursome and distinctive beer which is one of the most welcome recent additions to the gamma of Dutch beer. I hope plenty of others appreciate it as much as I do. Happily. it is widely available in the town, often on draught.
Haarlems Koyt
Delving even further back into the town's brewing past, the Haarlems Biergenootschap has come up with a second beer, Haarlems Koyt . This uses a recipe from 1407 and is brewed from barley, wheat and oats. What is particularly interesting, is that 'gruit', or a mixture of spices, is used for bittering rather than hops. This was the practice all over Europe before the introduction of hops and control of gruit was used as a method of taxing beer. Due to the modern public's rather different expectations of how beer should taste, a small amount of hops are also used. It is 8.6% alcohol and, unsurprisingly, has a very spicy flavour.

It's very heartening that Haarlem should have enough interest in it's own illustrious brewing history for these beers to have been resurrected and to be so commonly found in the city's pubs.

Haarlem Breweries
Haarlems Jopenbier is now produced in Haarlem. A former church in the town centre hais been converted into a brewpub by Jopen. Haarlem will finally have its beers back home.

Haarlem Pub Guide

Map Index

Café Briljant
Lange Annastraat 33,
2011 XG Haarlem.
Tel.: 023 - 542 2925
Opening hours: Wed - Thur 17:00 - 01:00,
Fri 17:00 - 03:00,
Sat 19:00 - 03:00,
Sun 17:00 - 01:00,
Monday and Tuesday closed.
Number of draught beers: 6
Number of bottled beers: 41
Regular draught beers:
Food: Pils €1.75-3.80
Light brown café in the centre of Haarlem.

The bottled selection features a seasonal beer from the Klein Duimpje micro.
Rating: Public transport:

Lange Wijngaardstraat 16,
2012 ZV Haarlem.
Tel.: 023 - 531 4509
bruxelles outside
Opening hours: Sun - Wed 17:00 - 01:00,
Thur - Sat 16:00 - 02:00
Number of draught beers: 6
Number of bottled beers: +-50
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks €3-8, meals €10-17.
bruxelles insideTucked away down an unpromising side street on the station side of the city centre (the beerguide speak is going well today), is a dichotic paradox.

I will expand (that OU course is doing wonders for my prose style): My photos - yes mine, Matt, because yours were all crap - give a false impression. Quite typically, for me. I portray the backstreet, brown cafe identity. Just about all of it.

If my camera were able to operate in poorer light, you may have seen the minimalist theme that lurks, somewhat uncannily, behind my head (in this shot). Or maybe not. My personal architecural demons are the invisible directors behind every snap I take. That's why I asked Matt to assume some of the visual encatchment operations.

Returning to something relevant for the rest of you, my image of the interior typifies perfectly what Bruxelles isn't like. Functionalist with an almost squat-like intensity, it evokes the emptiness of my mind in search of an aposite noun. Stark, ineffective, yet poignant. Even better, they have draught beer, sadly absent from the barren desert of my imagination.

Anywhere that doesn't open until late afternoon always risks a review from Mr. Magoo. And tempertures above 20.1º C contribute little to my lucidity. I'll revisit when snow next falls.

A friendly, if somewhat spartan, beer café, with an eetcafé nuance. I liked it; Matt - what did you think?
Rating: **** Public transport:

Café het Melkwoud
Zijlstraat 63,
2011 TK Haarlem.
Tel. 023 - 531 3535
Opening hours: Sun - Thur 14:00 - 02:00,
Fri - Sat 14:00 - 04:00
Number of draught beers: 8
Number of bottled beers: +-50
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks.
1930's style beer café in the centre of Haarlem.
Rating: *** Public transport:

Vestestraat 1,
2011 VR Haarlem
Tel: 023-5334114
Fax: 023-5402192
Jopenkerk, Haarlem, exterior
Opening hours:Mon - Sun 10:00 - 01:00
Number of draught beers: 9
Number of bottled beers:
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks €6.50 - 13.50, meals €15-25. Beer € for 0.5l.
Jopenkerk, Haarlem, inside looking trendyUgly. That's something you couldn't accuse Jopenkerk of being. The inclusion of the word church in the name seems appropriate for more than just the building's history. In a way this is a beer church. In the best sense.

It being a former church, there's plenty of space inside. Only part of which is filled with the shiny copper and stainless steel things that fill every geek homebrewer's dreams. And some of mine, if I'm honest.

If the Saturday aftyernoon me and Mike dropped by is anything to go by, it's quite a popular spot. Too popular for Mike. We found seats and it didn't take too long a get a beer into my sweaty, fat hand. A Koyt as it happens. One of my favourite Dutch beers for several reasons. The principal being: I really enjoy drinking it. This was my first taste of Haarlem-brewed Koyt. (I'm sort of assuming that it had been brewed in Haarlem. I don't have any actual proof of that.) Yes, still full of late middle-agey-multi-grainy goodness.Try it and you'll see what I mean.

The chance to drink Haarlem styles of beer, brewed in Haarlem should be argument enough to visit. For the anthrophobic, a visit just after opening time or on a wet Wednesday afternoon in November might work best.

Jopenkerk, Haarlem, brewing vessels
Rating:**** Public transport:

Grote Markt 25,
2011 RT Haarlem.
Tel. 023 531 0033
Fax: 023 542 0475
Homepage: http://www.cafestudio.nl/
Opening hours: Mon - Sun: 12:00-02:00
Number of draught beers: 10
Number of bottled beers: +-50
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks.
You would have to be totally dysoriental to be unable to find Studio, situated as it is bang opposite the church on the main square. It has a single square room with the bar running the full length of one wall. Above the centre of the room is a massive opaque glass light fitting - like a huge upsidedown lampshade - which must date from the buildings previous function as a cinema café. It has a sort of 20's look, which I suppose fits in nicely with the slight cinema theme. Everything is wooden (apart from the beer taps, of course), but in a shade that is dark beige rather than out and out crispy golden black.

Outside on the square is a large terrace, with a very pleasing view of the church and the 17th century buildings clumped around it, as well as whatever trendies there are sunning themselves or strolling around trying to look cool.

Studio is the oldest specialist beer bar in Haarlem. No surprise, then, that the beer selection is excellent, with the guest taps featuring some pretty obscure items.
Rating: **** Public transport:

In Den Uiver
Riviervismarkt 13,
2011 HJ Haarlem.
Tel. 023 - 532 5599
Fax 023 - 571 9166
Email: info@indenuiver.nl
Homepage: http://www.indenuiver.nl/
In Den UIver
Opening hours: Mon - Thur: 15:00-02:00,
Fri - Sat: 14:00-04:00,
Sun: 14:00-02:00
Number of draught beers: 10
Number of bottled beers: 11
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks.
Vischhandel - fish shop - is what it says on the art-deco facade of this pub, but don't believe a word of it. Once inside there is an odd, rambling pub with an interior which looks at least a couple of centuries older than the 1905 date embossed in stone outside.

It really is a strange jumble of green wood panelling and junk furniture. The photos and prints which cover large sections of the walls have an aviation theme, though surely something seafaring would have been more appropriate, given it's former use in the fish trade (and its address). Perhaps a previous occupant was an arial fisherman.? At the very back is an odd room, lit only by a coloured skylight, which looks like the private sitting room of a sea captain.

A very, very eccentric pub, not quite like anything I've ever come across before. An incredible atmosphere, which sould not be missed, despite the limited beer selection (though they do now have the complete Jopen range in bottles).
Rating: **** Public transport:

Café Koops
Damstraat 4,
2011 HA Haarlem.
Tel. 023 532 2760
cafe koops
Opening hours: Sun - Fri: 16:00-01:00
Sat: 16:00-02:00
Number of draught beers: 6
Number of bottled beers: 15
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks, meals.
In a simple 20's building, you could easily be misled by the neon sign into thinking that Café Koops is one of those sparse, modern pubs so beloved by trendy Holland. No - it's another pub with a full timbered interior, this time in a slightly sickly shade of mustard yellow (let's hope we don't have a chlorine gas attack during opening hours, because we wouldn't notice until far too late).

It's a mixture of indeterminately old and 1920's, the light fittings have some top hole glasswork from this latter period. The pre-war advertising posters carry on the theme from this period in an appropriate manner. Again, there are some very idiosyncratic parts to the design; now why exactly is there a sash window between two parts of the room? Wacky and original.

The beers are rather more serious here, if a little too Interbrew. Still, they do have Jopenbier on draught.
Rating: ***** Public transport:

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