Nippy Goes on a Brew Tour

When you think of Amsterdam, you don’t automatically think of beer. However, as the home of Heineken and the land of all things sinful, a beer in Amsterdam is never far away.

Amsterdam also has a wide range of craft breweries, and one rainy Saturday night, Nippy was ready for a tasting. He texted me and told me to organize a group to go on a bike tour of four different breweries in the city: Brouwerij ‘t IJ, de Prael, Bier Fabriek, and Brouwerij Troost.

I heeded his wishes, and organized an event. I should have known better, but I guess you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Nippy was nervous to meet my friends, so before joining us at Brouwerij ‘t IJ, he drank a bottle of wine by himself while watching Shrek. When he showed up at the bar, he was aggressive, to say the least.

 

Brouwerij ‘t IJ is one of the most famous spots in Amsterdam, located in an old windmill. Their beer is delicious, but also really strong. This hotspot also closes at 8pm, so you have to get there early, and be ready to drink a lot before cut off time.

Nippy bonded immediately with my friend Auke, a tall 6’4” Dutch man who can hold his alcohol. They started going drink for drink, something that’s never a good idea to do with Auke.

Auke and Nippy ordering their 6th drink.


At the stroke of 8:00, Nippy ran out of his drink and we decided to move onto the next bar, a cafe called de Prael. Our friend Liva joined us at this location, and I think she was a little disturbed by how drunk we were after only one brewery.

 "Show me scared. Now show me pure fear. Horror. Excellent."

After a serious conversation about what language Liva, who is Latvian, and her Swedish fiancé were going to raise their children in, Nippy was ready to move on. At this point he was about 9 beers in and feeling pretty confident about himself. He turned to his new best friend Auke and said “Dearest friend, what do you say about cycling to the next brewpub? I hear their beer is marvelous!” Auke, a steel tank of a human and still sober, was confused why Nippy was acting so weird all of a sudden, but agreed that it was time to move on. We said goodbye to Liva, and climbed onto our bikes. Nippy chose to ride along with Auke, because apparently I’m old news.

One of the negatives of our brew tour was that we had to cross through one of the busiest parts of town. The Warmoesstraat is an old alleyway that used to serve as one of the main thoroughfares through the city, but is now filled with burger shops and other drunk food restaurants. It is also swarming with tourists who are traveling by foot, something that’s infuriating to anyone who is on a bike on a Saturday night.

Nippy was having none of it. All he wanted to do was get to Bier Fabriek as quickly and efficiently as possible. As a result, he started shouting at people from the bike as Auke tried to navigate his way through the throngs of people.

“Hey! What are you doing!? You’re in my way!”

“This is a street, not a sidewalk! GET IT RIGHT!!”

“Ajca;jclajdkaljcakhda;cjugggggghhhhhhhh”

The last one was the funniest, and somehow it stuck. The rest of our bike ride was spent growling at passersby in an attempt to get them out of our way.

Once we got to Bier Fabriek, all bets were off. At this point we were definitely inebriated, but still having fun. This brewery is right in the heart of the city, and is infamous for their floors, which are absolutely covered in peanut shells. It was the perfect spot for Nippy, who at this point was too intoxicated to care about being tidy.

Double fisting at Bier Fabriek like a Golden God.

Bier Fabriek was where Nippy started winding down. His drink-for-drink challenge was not going well. They were about 13 drinks deep. Auke was just getting started, but Nippy was starting to lose his mind. He was loud. He was boisterous. He was complicated. At one point, I think he was crying about being too drunk. Honestly, who knows what was happening.

Eventually, Nippy returned from the bathroom with some smudged mascara around his eyes and apologized for being so dramatic. We were all kind enough to not say anything, and decided that it was time to clear the air and move to the next bar.

At Brouwerij Troost, we met up with more friends, by Nippy was too far gone to pay attention. He was tired. He was hungry. He wanted bed more than anything. I tried to entice him to eat a burger, but it was to no avail. Nippy was toasted.

I took Nippy home after Troost, helping him wobble his way up the stairs and get into his bed comfortably. He asked me to stay at his place and offered to sleep on the couch, but I just patted his head and left a water glass and two Advil on his bedside table. I shoved a bucket next to his bed in case he needed it, then quietly let myself out and biked back home. It had been a long night, and I was excited to get back to my own bed. It had been another fun night in Amsterdam thanks to Nippy’s creative ideas, and it was only a matter of time before the next adventure came.

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