Café Gollem was the first to bring good beer back to Amsterdam. And is still one of the best.
Around since 1974, Gollem is a beer institution famous in Amsterdam and the world. Originally, the proprietor hired a car, drove to Belgium and filled up. These beers sold quickly.
Gollem probably looked old when it was new. The bar has an ambience that breaks down social barriers and patrons chat freely. Maybe also because it is tiny: the venue is split over two layers; a large U-shaped stool area surrounding the bar, with some prized window seats too, and a mezzanine floor with some small tables. Get here early if you want a seat.
Make sure you compliment your beer with some Trappist cheese. Those monks, man.
The only criticism is the size, but that’s also part of the atmosphere. So really I’m just complaining that it’s hard to get a seat, which is kinda like complaining because it is too good.
It’s hard to imagine a better beer list. There are 14 taps to choose from (7 regulars, 7 guest) and ~250 bottles covering local breweries here in Amsterdam, craft brewers around the Netherlands and all the big and small players from Belgium.
Little has changed since its’ inception almost 40 years ago, because they got so much right.