In the wake of the craft beer revolution, specialized beer stores are popping up. Much like the beers themselves, the selections differ a lot when it comes to beer styles and countries of origin. In Rotterdam we only boast a handful of these stores, but the quality is excellent, spoiling us for choice. Below you’ll find my go-to stores when I’m organizing a beer tasting, need a great gift or just want to try the latest brew!
1. Bier & zO
Bier&zO on the Hoogstraat is definitely my go-to store, not only because it’s close to where I live (though that is an excellent reason!). It is wholesaler Bier & Co’s retail store and has a large selection of Dutch, Belgian, German, UK and US beers, so you’ll definitely be able to find something you like. Usually they’ll have some limited and special editions, like Brewdog Abstrakt, Brewdog F and Mikkeller’s Spontanbasil, which so far I have not found anywhere else in Rotterdam. You can also find your favorite Rotterdam beers here, too! Check out the whisky selection while you’re there. If you have a hard time choosing, then Ben, Linda and Justin are happy to help out. They really know their beers and for some reason I never manage to leave the store without taking some with me!
Beers I bought there recently: 3.5 Pineapple Gose (Omnipollo), Vogelen (Oedipus), Holy Gose (Anderson Valley). (As you’ll see in the rest of the blog, I’m having a bit of a sour streak this summer!)
Address: Hoogstraat 54A, bierenzo.nl
2. World of Drinks
Located in the Markthal, the World of Drinks store’s whole first floor is dedicated to the wonderful world of craft beer. You’ll mostly find Dutch, Belgian and some German, Scandinavian and US brews here. I make it a point to stop by here when I’m organizing a beer tasting, because on occasion they’ll offer slightly better prices. The upstairs floor has a bar, where they organize frequent beer tastings on Thursdays. On weekends you’ll find people taking a break from shopping and hanging out with a beer.
Address: Grotemarkt 190 (Markthal), worldofdrinks.com
3. Plan B
Plan B has a wonderful selection of UK and Scandinavian beers. I am constantly surprised by the (for me) new labels that I find there. I even found my namesake beer, made by Little Creatures Brewing in Australia! As a consequence, the beers are a bit more expensive, but I guarantee you will not walk away empty-handed. When I stopped by last weekend just to take a picture for the blog, I walked out with five new sour beers, how did that happen? They also have a small selection of special Belgian and Dutch beers. However, don’t come in looking for pils or the equivalent supermarket beer, you’ll be sure to get an ‘eye-roll’!
Beers I bought there recently: The Púca Dry Hopped Lemon Sour Berry Hibiscus & Ginger (White Hag Irish Brewing Company), Salty Kiss Gooseberry Gose (Magic Rock Brewing), Sourdough (The Wild Beer Co), Superluminal (Buxton Brewery), Sky Mountain Sour (Buxton collab with To Øl).
Address: ‘s-Gravendijkwal 135, planbrotterdam.com
Hop-In is the new guy in town! Just recently opened in a temporary location in Delfshaven (which in itself is a good reason to go and check it out), Hop-In only sells Dutch beer, particularly focusing on Barrel-Aged and vintage bottles, including a few exceptional limited edition bottles. I had a really nice chat with the owner while I was there. He has a lot of expertise and even more enthusiasm! Hopefully he will be able to continue his store at another great location when this contract is up.
Beers I bought there recently: Mosaic Moustache (De Bebaarde Brouwer), New England IPA (Noordt), In Between Agendas (Het Uiltje collab with Põhjala).
Address: Aelbrechtskolk 23, hop-in.nl
5. Mad About Malt
Mad About Malt’s first store opened some time last year in Rotterdam. Recently they opened another one in Utrecht. As opposed to the other beer stores in this blog, their concept is ‘less is more’. You won’t find the store lined with rows of beers. They have one bottle of each beer they sell out on display. It definitely provides a better overview and prevents you from getting ‘lost in beer’. Featuring local and international craft beers in bottles and cans, you can sip a beer while browsing the shelves. They have gorgeous beers from all over the world: Russia, Bulgaria, Denmark, US, Scotland, and also some nifty ones from Holland. Never tried the beer from Amersfoort before (of course I promptly took one home with me!). The selection changes frequently. They are located in Rotterdam Noord, in the Hofbogen, a few blocks further down from the Eurotrash bar.
Beers I bought there recently: The First (Van de Streek), Amersfoort Pale Ale (Rock City Beers), Key Lime Pie Gose (Westbrook), Mission Gose (Evil Twin Brewing).
Address: Voorburgstraat 209; madaboutmalt.com
6. Kaapse Brouwers
Kaapse Brouwers’ bottle shop is situated next to their brewpub in the Fenix Food Factory. It looks small, but has quite an extensive selection of bottles from all over the world; for example Norway, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, UK, Estonia, Spain, Holland, and more. Prices range from €2,50 to €20 depending on size, beer style and country. The bottles are sorted by taste or type, so it’s easy to find the beer style you like. If all those beers have made you thirsty, just pop over to the bar next door, where they have thirty different beers on tap!
Beers I bought there recently: Wayfarer (Eight Degrees Brewing), Super Saison (Tiny Rebel Brewing Co), Nelson Sauvvy (Tempest Brewing Co).
Address: Veerlaan 19-D; kaapsebrouwers.nl