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Beer in Haarlem

We did a recent trip to Amsterdam and parts of Belgium, we have been to some of the places 2 to 3 times, so no pressure to focus on major sights, but we did try to hit a number of Beer spots. We had intended to stay in Amsterdam, but a Run event forced us out to Haarlem, where we have stayed three times before, but the last time about 10 years ago.

I was pleased to see that the beer scene has improved greatly. Jopen of course has opened a brewery in town at the Jopenkerk, an old church they completely rebuilt. It retains some qualities of a church, but a thoroughly modern space. The beer is great, a bigger variety than many breweries in Europe, but they do focus on their own beers. We had trouble finding a menu online, but in the bar, food is limited to snacks, maybe some sandwiches, probably not enough for an evening meal. There is a full restaurant upstairs, but were not able to make it up there. The bar is a popular after-work spot, a bit noisy, younger crowd, but pleasant

Another great place was the Uiltje Bar. They are a micro brewery that opened a Taproom, serve a half dozen or more of their own beers plus a nice selection of other craft beers. Classic Beer bar ambiance, good bar staff, again, not a place for a meal, but I did notice that they seem to have no objection to letting you order a great pizza from "Back to Basics" and bringing it in. Again, the place was a bit busier than I expected, good local crowd, very pleasant.

A place closer to the Grote Markt is Proeflokaal in Den Uiver. Much more a traditional bar but a nice selection of beers on tap (about 10), more in bottles, but a good selection of whiskeys and Jenevers. It is off on a side street from the square and the crowd seemed more local than tourist. Again, not a place for a meal, but they do have snacks (Bitterballin, Rookwurst, cheese and meat plates), not a bad place for a nightcap and a snack.

Overall, while we had planned on nights in Amsterdam, once again, some relaxed evenings in Haarlem won out, really enjoyed tasting some unique beers.

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