Wednesday, 18 June 2008

New Amsterdam beer pub

I like to think that I've got my finger on the pulse of Amsterdam. But I think lots of things. So it was a bit of a shock to discover a beer pub that I knew nothing about. How embarrassing.

John Clarke tipped me off (thank you, John). The report was confirmed by a colleague of Will's. Am I the last to find out? Actually, I blame Mike. He was supposed to have investigated the islands. So it's him who missed it, really. Not that I'm pointing the finger at him, but it was totally his fault.

Now I've finished distributing praise and retribution, maybe we can discuss the pub itself, Westerdok. I'd walked past it before, many years ago. It had never been open. Then again, it had been 6 o' clock in the morning. Not many pubs open at that time.

You'll have to excuse me if I'm parsimonious with facts and details. Me and Mike hit Westerdok a good way into the afternoon. We started off with a couple in Wildeman (the delicious Hummel Räucherator), then continued on to Wijnand Fockinck to sit in the wonderful garden. And drink jenever, obviously.

By the time we reached Westerdok we were already quite cheerful. When we left, we were positively euphoric. Let's see what I can remember about it. It's located on the Westerdok (what a surprise) just over the road from the Silo. (I may, one day, tell you some of my Silo stories. You can just about see the Silo in the background of the picture to the left.)

The pub is on the corner a row of 19th century houses. The interior is charmingly downbeat. Just my sort of place. I can't remember how many draught beers they had. Between 6 and 8. I do recall that there were around 50 bottled beers. In Amsterdam that qualifies it as a fully-fledged beer pub.

I seem to remember eating bitterballen. That must have been Mike's idea. He's always eating, not that you'd think it to look at him. Must have a tapeworm.

Next thing in my memory is waking up with the football on. I guess there were a couple of events inbetween, like walking back to the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, getting on a tram, eating my tea. They don't seem to have left any impression on my mind. I'm even a bit hazy about the score in the football.

And my coat seems to have gone missing. I suspect Dolores may have just taken the opportunity to throw it away. She's been on at me to replace it for a couple of years. It had just about fallen apart. But buying clothes is such a chore. I try to limit the experience to once every two or three years.

Reading it back, this isn't my most informative post ever. But, hey, there are facts to spare in the posts that straddle it. Just borrow a few from one of those, if you feel shortchanged.

Café Westerdok
Westerdoksdijk 715/A,
1013 BX Amsterdam.
Tel: 020 - 428 9670

Opening times:
Mon closed
Tue - Thur 16:00 - 00:00
Fri - Sat 16:00 - 01:00
Sun 16:00 - 00:00


Zythophile said...

I think Google Ads is trying to tell you something, Ron - the top ad on this post right now says:

Before you head out, find out how many units you can consume & why.

Ron Pattinson said...

zythophile, I prefer to live in blissful ignorance.

Still, a bit creepy to find Google ads keeping an eye on me.

Stonch said...

Google ads is now saying "meet beer girls". Whenever a girl orders a pint of Landlord in my pub the barmaids always shout "quick, grab her Jeff, this might be your only chance!" It gets embarrassing. For the customer, not for me. I don't get embarrassed.

Ronbo, this pub looks fecking boring. In your photo all I can see are two old farts, sitting at big tables, drinking on their own.

Ron Pattinson said...

Stnoch, good to see your staff are looking out for you. Sounds like the perfect way to meet The One.

That "fecking boring pub" is in fact Wildeman, one of the best beer pubs in the world.

Alan said...

Are they the last two contestants in a not-looking-up contest? Are there huddled hundreds behind the camera encamped for hours waiting to see who cracks first?

Nick said...

Ron: this blog is great. Empirical research is rare enough in the world of beer blogs, but your dedication to unearthing such an array of source documentation, your ability to understand and communicate it, and then realise it through commissioning recreation of otherwise-lost beers means that you are making a uniquely valuable contribution to beer knowledge. And that's something that none of the people that you've tangled with have ever done - so please ignore them and keep focused on what you're the best at.

However, just a small point on Stonch's comment on your photo of In het Wildeman. As I'm sure you you know, both the gentleman described by Stonch as "old farts" are highly respected and well liked members of the Wildeman community, by owners and staff as well as other regulars. It detracts from your blog a little bit that someone who obviously hasn't visited the Wildeman should use your blog to describe these men - who are easily identifiable to anyone who uses the Wildeman - in such childishly derogatory terms. Perhaps you could have a quiet word with your friend?

Stonch: it's a pity that despite being featured in Ron's wonderful description of his adventures in Franconia, you don't seem to have visited the great man's European Beer Guide. Had you done so, you would have realised that Ron's still-life "Two Amsterdam gentleman and a newspaper" was composed in Bierproeflokaal In het Wildeman - but then no-one's perfect, are they?

Alan said...

Ron: will you please lock Nick up in the garden shed for the weekend? He's being a silly moo again.

Stonch said...

Nick, I suspect you're a boring old fart!

Ron Pattinson said...


I recognise the bloke on the left in the photo. He's a regular who reads the paper and drinks a beer or two. I find that civilised rather than boring. But I would say that - I've done the same often enough myself.

Stonch, you might know a couple of the pubs of the pubs where I did some scandalously farty newspaper readiing, as you live in London. WHat were they galled? Betty Spottiswood and the Damascus Tavern I think they were called. Apolgies if I've got that wrong. Us old people can't remeber anything.

Nick said...

Thanks, Ron.

Stonch said...

There is nothing wrong with reading the paper in the pub I do it myself. I was merely opining waggishly that the pub you're raving about is made to look dull by a photograph which shows only two punters, both of who are merely reading the paper. But you knew that.

You see, in the best pub in the world - Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa - it is impossible to take a photo without about 20 people jumping in on it and making rude gestures. That sets the bar high.