“Let’s meet at the windmill, guys. As soon as you get off work!”. There has usually been a sense of urgency when we’ve met up at the windmill, as it closes at 20:00. If we got there at 18:00, we still had two hours of Amsterdam craft beer sipping by the river Ij, and we didn’t want to miss a second of it, my friends and Ι.
By windmill we meant, in fact, Brouwerij aan’t Ij, the brewery located under the 18th century De Goyer windmill. Windmill and brewery have nothing to do with each other but the first dominates the landscape spectacularly, and that’s enough for the latter to go by its name. Funnily enough, before becoming a kingdom of beer, the brewery space was a public bathhouse. Now it offers more than 55 artisanal local beers, in a “gezellig” environment — “gezellig” being the untranslatable Dutch word for cosiness and warm conviviality.
One of the things that makes Brouwerij aan’t Ij unique is the mix of locals, foreigners and tourists that visit it. For the rest, the merit is all in the beer, my personal favourites being the triple “Zatte” and the white beer “Ijwit”. And, of course, the windmill makes for the perfect Dutch holiday photos. Oh, if you only have two hours left, like my friends and I, don’t worry, that will be enough to put you in a slight state of euphoria and flavour infatuation. I speak from experience.