Candidate #1- Biercafé Gollem, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Trappist beer cheese

Trappist beer cheese

Until very recently, Biercafé Gollem and the original, Café Gollem near Spuistraat in the centre, were closed for business. Their third venture, Gollem’s Proeflokaal on the Overtoom in Oud West, was the sole survivor. The public feared the end of an era: Gollem was the first to import quality ales from Belgium, back in the 70s, and helped to reinvigorate the craft beer traditions of the Netherlands. Gollem’s Proeflokaal persevered through the tough economic climate and the financially draining infighting within the tri-chain, and a few months ago Amsterdam celebrated the re-opening of Café and Biercafé Gollem.


The decor enjoyed a lick of paint and the beer list benefitted from some very enthusiastic and competent staff to bring Biercafé Gollem into the small elite of Amsterdam’s brown bars.


Venue: 7/10

A decent bar length for solo drinking, a mezzanine nook for privacy and vertical drinking outside offer a variety of ways to drink beer. Biercafé Gollem lies in the heart of the vibrant De Pijp area of town, so there is a real buzz around this bar and plenty of alternatives for afters. And there is a Scrabble set should you feel like displaying your vocabulary-based prowess.

Beer: 9/10

It’s hard to imagine a better beer list. Sure, it might be a little light on imports from the States or further, but beers can lose their quality over those distances. There are 14 taps to choose from (7 regulars, 7 guest) and >150 bottles covering local breweries here in Amsterdam, craft brewers around the Netherlands and all the big and small players from Belgium.


It is debatable whether Biercafé Gollem is even the best Gollum in town. In most places, this bar would be top dog, but Amsterdam bats above its weight in the beer bar arena.

3 thoughts on “Candidate #1- Biercafé Gollem, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

  1. My husband and I were in Amsterdam earlier this month and this was one of the places we loved! Your pictures look a bit different than the one we went to though…it was a bit smaller and didn’t have tables on the ground floor (or space for them)…just the bar. But definitely called Biercafe Gollem.

    • It sounds like you went to the original (and best?) Gollum near the Spui. I love that bar too and I think it will also become a candidate- once I have some decent pictures! You did well to find it, hiding in the alley as it does.

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