Time For A Biertje - The Basics On Dutch Beer

Dutch beer might be served a little differently than you'e used to. Here are the basics on Dutch beer and how to order when you're in a bar or pub in Amsterdam.


Beers & Buds? Only if you are a true pro!


Beer prices in Amsterdam range from:

€ 1.25 to € 2.10 for a REAL small glass of beer, named “fluitje” (fla-out-ya).

€ 1.75 to € 3.00 for a simple small beer, lovingly called a “biertje” (beert-ya) or a medium, known in Amsterdam as a “vaasje” (vaass-ya).

€ 2.75 to € 6.00 for a pint, or large, called a “pul” (poewl), “pint” (pin-t) or “groot” (groat).


Some “sexy bars” will charge outrageous prices; we guess people think it’s worth it to watch some shakin’ ass that they’ll never even have a shot at brushing up against! “Happy Hours” (see page 163) are more common in the Centrum area, and particularly on the Warmoesstraat. Most bars serve until 1am on weekdays and 3am on weekends.

The Dutch like to have a “lively” head on most beers. Expect to find at least a 3 finger deep layer of foam. Some barmen pour the beer so quickly, there is half a glass of head! Then watch as the barman uses a spatula to “cut” the foam that rises above the glass! It is not uncommon for a pint of Guinness to be served in the same manner...(Irish eyes are crying!) Fear not, there are a FEW proper pubs in town! 

This “beer etiquette” can be shocking to all the Aussies, Americans, Scottish, British, and of course the Irish! (Hell, all of the english speaking nations do love their BIG beers!) (oh, did we forget the Germans?)


Find this and much more in the Smokers Guide to Amsterdam book - get your copy here!

And take a look at our Pubs & Clubs Business Listings to find our Amsterdam favorites!