Café Genootschap der Geneugten
By Andy Symmonds
This fine café is probably not well known to that many beer drinkers unless they also have a passion for meat from the grill. I say this as it is discreetly hidden just off the busy Leidsestraat on Kerkstraat amongst an eclectic assortment of other businesses. Many people will discover this gem of a café as it doubles as a waiting room for Café de Klos, which is situated almost opposite on Kerkstraat. As there is regularly a queue for Café de Klos, this makes Café Genootschap der Geneugten probably the best waiting room in the world.
You walk from a relatively busy street into a bar that evokes the atmosphere of days long past, with lots of wood and beautiful art deco lights, a rich selection of beer glasses with other beer related memorabilia and an immaculately dressed barman. It turns out that this is one of those rare establishments in Amsterdam where you can enjoy good customer service without paying through the nose for the privilege. Courteous service with a smile and drinks delivered to the table are all part of the experience.
The café / bar has six different beers available from the tap and another 15 bottled beer, including the remarkably tasty Fullers IPA if you find yourself yearning for a taste of home (well, for Londoners anyway). Three of the beers are house beers. De Manke Monnik is a cheeky tripel weighing in at 7.2% abv, but it has a lovely rich flavour and is well worth spending some time over. The Bittere Neel is the other end of the scale, and is a pale ale with only 3.8% alcohol but mysteriously still manages to pack some great flavour with clear hoppy tones. The need for sobriety meant that extensive testing was not going to be a smart idea, but most readers will be no stranger to either Amstel (more flavour than its sister beer, Heineken) and the perennial favourite La Chouffe (a force of nature according to the large advert on the wall).
Café Genootschap der Geneugten do sell a range of tasty bar snacks, but if you’re looking for food you need to pop over to Café de Klos (with the best ribs in the known universe IMHO). If you are looking for a gezellig bar with an interesting if not over extensive range of beers with good service then it’s time to plan a visit. You can find the café at Kerkstraat 54, 1017 GM Amsterdam. The website is: http://cafegdg.info
Many thanks to the knowledgeable and very helpful Yannick for spending the time to answer some questions and an interesting chat about the history of IPA.