Skip to content

Month: May 2024

A Beery Birthday in Rotterdam

A midweek public holiday in May was for me an excellent occasion to check out the newest additions to the craft beer scene in Rotterdam. Coincidentally, it was also my birthday, which meant I could claim a free birthday beer here and there…

After taking a very full train—even people standing in the corridors—from Brussels to Rotterdam, I really needed a coffee! There were definitely some decent coffee bars nearer to the station, but to get me closer to the rest of the locations I planned to visit, I decided on Urban Espresso Bar West this time. Breakfast was already more or less digested by now, so I had a nice piece of salted caramel cake with my cortado as an early dessert.

For the main dish, and to add another name to my long list of visited BrewDog bars, I then went to BrewDog Witte de Withstraat. The place was much larger than I expected from a bar in this street, but I was almost alone inside: the sun was shining, and terrace therefore more popular. After finishing my The Big Pastrami One pizza, I spent quite some time here, since none of the other bars I planned on visiting would open before 4pm… And I did get to enjoy my first free birthday beer!

Completely different, and way more local, was Kaapse Will’ns, the newest bar of the Rotterdam brewery Kaapse Brouwers. With just a limited number of taps, it tried to stay true to its origins as a traditional, local bar. Considering the number of people still asking for a Heineken, I’d say they succeeded! Funny detail: one of the tap handles actually says “Heineken“, but it’s the tap for sparkling water…

In the next bar—Bierboutique—the taps with “Heineken” on them actually did serve the horrid beer, and most of the other taps were from the same producer… The bottle and can list however was way more interesting, and I was able to try some more interesting local beers.

As last stop of the day I revisited the BrewDog Rotterdam Outpost. It wasn’t that busy when I came in, but considering the number of booked tables that would later fill up, it was probably smart they actually booked a table for me as well! One of the nice things of an Outpost is a selection of unique beers, brewed on-site. They were actually brewing while I was there! That beer obviously wouldn’t be ready in time to have as my free birthday, so I had another one instead.
For dinner I had the local special Brews Springstew, a six hour slow cooked stew with beef cheek, onion, celery, carrots, and Black Heart stout, served on a bed of fresh fries. Very nice, but I could hardly finish it!

When all the beers were tasted, it was time to head back to the beautiful Rotterdam central station, and take the train home…