Amsterdam, city of beer and brewers
Amsterdam beer city. It has been since the 14th century when the city, together with Medemblik, was designated as the only import port for beer from Germany. Later, the current world market leader Heineken was established here. And nowadays, Amsterdam has over 45 breweries, with which the city has the largest number of brewers in the Netherlands by far.
Backwards through beer history
In the exhibition the visitor is led from the present to the past. You start in the recent craft beer revolution of small breweries and proceed via the advance of lager in the late 19th century to the beginning of Amsterdam as a staple market for German hopping beer in the 14th century.
There are about 400 different types of beer worldwide. Depending on the ingredients, the taste varies from sour to salty and from bitter to sweet, but they are all made according to the same process. In the exhibition you will discover the different flavours and raw materials, but you will also learn more about, for example, the role that hops play in shelf life.
It goes without saying that the exhibition gives a lot of attention to contemporary Amsterdam brewers. For example, De Prael functions as a social workshop and Troost converts residual waste into bread or electricity. Get acquainted with the city's many brewers.
Beer was the number one popular drink for centuries. Because the water was not clean and the wine was too expensive everyone drank it, even children. But now, more than in the past, the production and consumption of beer are being called into question. That is why the exhibition also pays attention to the ecological footprint of breweries, the macho image beer had for a long time, and the social and health effects of alcohol consumption.
Just one more...
In 1806, Amsterdam already had 1793 beer houses and breweries, and the city is still teeming with pubs. A beer exhibition without a pub is not finished. And that includes the traces that café culture has left behind in art. From Gabriel Metsu's 17th-century portrait of an old drinker to Gijs Assmann's contemporary vanitas sculptures with beer bottles. A 17th-century still life with a beer-filled pass glass by Janz. Van de Velde has been reconstructed for the exhibition with archaeological finds from Amsterdam soil.
During the duration of the exhibition, the Amsterdam Museum organizes various (online) activities around beer and brewers. Keep an eye on the activities page for upcoming events.
Amsterdam Museum Beer
On the occasion of this exhibition, we rename the New England IPA of Brewery Troost the beer of the Amsterdam Museum. It is a summery beer that, because of its accessibility, is also appreciated by less fanatical beer drinkers, but where connoisseurs enjoy discovering different layers. There is also a low-alcohol (<0.5%) beer with the Amsterdam Museum label. For this purpose, we selected the Virgin IPA of Brewery Troost. Both beers are available in museum café Mokum and in the museum shop. The beer is offered in a limited edition can because canned beer is more sustainable and stays good for longer.
The exhibition Beer - Amsterdam City of Beer and Brewers opens on 10 July 2020. The exhibition has been compiled by guest curators Irma Enklaar and Edo Dijksterhuis. Dijksterhuis has written several books on beer and brewers.