Brouwerij De 7 Deugden

My Dutch brewery tour continues, this time with Brouwerij De 7 Deugden (7 Stars Brewery). They did their first bottling in March, so they are Amsterdam’s newest brewery, although Veenhuizen’s Maallust is slightly newer. Heard about these two via a colleague of Rene’s, the beer connoisseur Harry Pinkster, whose web site details all the Dutch breweries and beers he’s tried. I also found out via his site that I basically walked right by Brouwerij Zeeburg while meandering around the neighborhood near the IJ Brewery. Doh!

7 Deugden is not as centrally located as the others, and especially not as De Prael, a brewpub located smack dab in the city center that was unfortunately closed April 26th to May 26th in order to move to a new, bigger location, just around the corner from its original spot. But it was a pretty straightforward trip to 7 Deugden’s west Amsterdam location. Tram 17 to its second to last stop, then a mile north along Osdorperweg, which starts as a bike/pedestrian path but becomes a regular road, with the same name conveniently enough. You can also take tram 13 to its end, but you have to wander through some neighborhood streets and then hop on a bike path through the fields for a bit. Straightforward or adventurous, your pick.

The owner spent time in Colorado and brought back a few experimental ideas with him. He’s still tweaking the recipes, so basically your mileage may vary if and when you try these. Nice folks at 7 Deugden — I wish them much success.

De 7 Deugden

Tasting a beer at De 7 Deugden — Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Rob’s Picks

  • Wijs+Neuzig – 5% – (Wise and Nosey) Spicy aroma, light in color. Immediate zing, then mellows to a nice maltiness, with a bit of a hoppy finish. Slight tart edge. Really fun summer beer.
  • Stout+Moedig – 7.5% – (Stout and Bold) Very dark color. Sweet, strong aroma. Thicker than the others. Initial sweetness to good coffee flavor, then nice smokiness. Can still taste the malty base. A Dutch stout.
  • Dubbel+Dik – 7.5% – (Dubbel and Fat) This might be my favorite dubbel so far, which isn’t saying much, mainly because it’s not as sweet as the other dubbels. I think it’s pretty good, but folks who like the regular dubbels probably won’t like this one…
    The Rest

  • Arm+Zalig – 5% – (Poor and Glorious) Made with juniper berries. They add a little something to the subtle aroma and give a nice balance to the malty sweetness. But a little too light and watery on the tongue for me.
  • Scherp+Zinnig – 5% – (Sharp and Sensible) Fruity aroma. Light, but a fuller taste than A+Z. Good hoppiness. It’s a chili pepper beer, but this batch didn’t have enough peppers, so the spiciness is very, very subtle, although it’s more present in the aftertaste as it builds up. Does add a slight edge to an otherwise lightly bready blond. Still tweaking the recipe — first batch was way too spicy, apparently, but next batch will kick it up a bit. Probably would’ve been a Pick if it had been spicier.
  • Scheepsrecht – 8% – (hard to translate, sort of “third time hits true”) Tripel made with cloves. Strong clove aroma and taste. Blends really well with the caramel flavor. Very drinkable, too, but the clove taste became a bit too much for me. A little less clove and this would be great.

They do not yet have logo glassware, which I suppose is good for me. Carrying around one glass through Europe is one glass too many — two glasses would be even worse. I did manage to travel around Patagonia with three glasses at one point, but I like to think I can learn something from past experiences. Guess I’ll see how well that holds up…

Brouwerij ‘t IJ

This Amsterdam brewery has been around since the 80s, is located at a windmill, and brews up organic beers. And with a name like Brouwerij ‘t IJ, I just had to visit. They had five beers on tap and one more in a bottle, so it was good I had all late afternoon and early evening to relax with a sampler tray and a small plate of sheep cheese from a local farm where the sheep are fed the spent grain from the brewery. I wanted to ask if they had a file on the particular sheep that produced the milk and if that sheep was happy, had sheep friends, but I didn’t think they’d get the Portlandia joke.

The brewery is open only from 3:00 to 8:00, and they do a free tour Fridays at 4:00. I showed up on Thursday so I just got to drink beer. There were a few folks already enjoying a brew in the sun when I arrived around 5:00, and it just got more and more crowded until it was basically standing room only when they closed.

brewery at the windmill

The very photogenic Brouwerij ‘t IJ — Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Rob’s Picks

  • Plzen – 5% – Bready, slight honey flavor. Good bitterness. Not too light. A good beer.
  • Zatte – 8% – Their Belgian Tripel style. Nutty, smooth, and really nice. Darkest in color of the five on tap.
  • Columbus – 9% – Tastes kind of like a tripel. Complex sweet caramel, strong alcohol, but with a slight spiciness. A beer to drink slowly.
    The Rest

  • IJWit – 7% – Sweeter and smoother than the Plzen. Lemony flavor. Reminds me of a thicker Hoegaarden. Vaguely oily on the tongue, which was interesting.
  • Natte – 6.5% – Less nutty, more sweet, lighter in color than the Zatte. This is their dubbel. Still looking for a dubbel that I really like…
  • Strius – 9% – bottle – Much more like the Belgian dubbels I’ve had. Pretty bock-y, with that sweetness I’m not so fond of.
IJ sampler

Sampler tray at the IJ — Amsterdam, Netherlands

Turned out they had two different logo glasses for sale. A full-size glass and a smaller taster-size glass. I gave in to temptation and bought the small one. It’s small — so it’s not nearly as crazy as carrying around Europe a large glass for a month. I’m just carrying around Europe a small glass for a month…

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