The Brouwerij’t IJ is a charming Dutch brewery situated in an old municipal bathhouse, adjacent to the nearly 300-year-old De Gooyer windmill, just on the eastern outskirts of Amsterdam’s city center. Founded in 1985, it has grown into a popular and idyllic meeting spot for visitors and locals alike.
At a time when craft breweries were hard to come by in the Netherlands, founder Kasper Peterson was inspired by his experience with Belgian beer styles and, as his brewery has grown, so has its offerings and experimental nature. The ostrich-and-egg logo was also Peterson’s brainchild, as he had a particular fondness for the oversized avian species (which is fitting in respect to the brewery’s proximity to Amsterdam’s Royal Artis Zoo).
The brewery’s offerings include Belgian styles such as dubbels and tripels as well as a pilsner and IPAs. As if enjoying a beer beside a windmill wasn’t enough to entice customers, the Brouwerij’t IJ also serves up puns on the sly. For most unsuspecting and uninitiated tourists, it’s easy for the wordplay to go right over your head since it delightfully deals with the letters i and j. In Dutch, IJ is the name of the river that the brewery sits on. Pronounced “eye,” this could also be used for the Dutch word for “egg,” which is actually spelled ei. Some beers on tap include the IJ Wit (or “Egg White”), the Paas IJ (“Easter Egg”), the IJndejaars (“One Year Old”), and the IJbok (“Egg Buck,” whatever that is), in addition to more standard and less playfully named brews.
Continuing with its theme of avian appreciation, the brewery adopted one of the ostriches at the Artis zoo and named her Esasa, Zulu for “be happy.”
Know Before You Go
There is another bar situated just before you get to the Brouwerij't IJ, profiting from the brewery's popularity and unsuspecting tourists. Don't be fooled: Keep walking through until you get to the brewery.