Brouwerij ‘t IJ has been brewing quality beers since 1985.
It all started when musician Kasper Peterson looked for an official outlet for his experimental home brewing. As a member and composer of the band Drukwerk, he fell in love with the Belgian style beers while touring south of the Dutch border. Since similar beers were not yet brewed in Amsterdam, Kasper decided to produce them himself.
Searching for a suitable building to start an official brewery, he stumbled upon an old municipal bath house in disuse. It still had its water supply and drainage system, easy-to-keep-clean tiles and steam generator. It was, in short, the perfect building for a brewer. As a bonus, it had the biggest wooden windmill of the Netherlands right next door as the ultimate landmark.
The pioneering paid off and ‘t IJ gradually grew into the biggest and best known brewery of Amsterdam. After more than twenty years, Kasper decided his work was done. Bart Obertop and Patrick Hendrikse took over and continue brewing the distinctive kind of quality beers ‘t IJ has become known for.
Since demand was so much higher than supply, a new brewery was opened at a mere 700 meters from the original location in 2013. The original brewery at the Funenkade now produces all the beers for consumption in the bar in the same building. The new facilities at the Zeeburgerpad enable us to fill a significantly increased number of bottles and kegs. We manage to keep up with demand a little better and are still able to offer you an exciting experimental brew occasionally.
For some time, all our beers were certified as organic, but we recently departed from our organic recipe in the case of some beers. The main reason why some beers are no longer organic lies mainly with the hops. Hops are one of the basic ingredients of beer, but it is a rather difficult crop to grow organically because it is very vulnerable to diseases. The bitter hop species are particularly vulnerable. This makes it extremely difficult to grow bitter hops organically, and only small quantities are grown in this way.
If you want to brew beer using organic bitter hops, you have to choose from a limited number of species while ignoring other, non-organic hop species that have wonderful flavours.
Not only that, the organic bitter hops often have to be imported from distant places such as New Zealand which are free from the diseases that can attack hops. Of course, you also have to think about how eco-friendly it is to bring your ingredients all the way from New Zealand in a diesel-powered ship.
It was for these reasons that we switched to non-organic, bitter hop species for some of our beers. This means our Plzeň, IJwit, Paasij, IJbok, I.P.A. and IJndejaars beers no longer carry the organic seal of approval. Natte, Zatte, Columbus and Struis, on the other hand, remain organic as before.
After brewing, we are left with a little more than the much desired beer. Once we have extracted all the fermentable liquid from the grains we use, the grain itself is useless. This malt pulp, however, still contains plenty of proteins which makes it excellent fodder for livestock.
Farmer Alex regularly visits us to collect what we call “bostel” and drive it to sheep farm De Dikhoeve. With the milk of the sheep that eat our brewing leftovers, Alex produces delicious, soft, organic, white mould cheese: the ‘Skeapsrond’.
The Skaepsrond is available in the better cheese stores in and around Amsterdam and obviously in our bar too, where it pairs just great with many of our beers.
There is no deposit on our bottles. We fill so many bottles with our beer these days that cleaning them all ourselves would require setting up a little industry in itself.
We decided to outsource this labour to those who have specialized in it. So pass by the glass bank on your way to our brewery. Recycling professionals will turn your empty bottles into beautiful new glass again. The same holds for our crates, which are made out of recycled cardboard. Bring the empty ones along on your way to the containers. We will happily sell you boxes full of bottles beer afterwards.
On the days we don’t brew, we conduct tours in our brewery. We tell you about the fascinating history of our brewery and explain the role of water, malt, hops and yeast within the brewing process.
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, an English language tour starts at 3.30pm, followed by a Dutch one at 4pm. Tickets are only available at the bar on the day itself, booking in advance is not possible.
The tour takes about 20 minutes and costs € 5.50 per person, which includes a free beer of choice. With a limited number of twenty places, tickets tend to sell out fast so be quick to grab some if you are keen to join.
You can book tours in advance for groups. These tours are held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 3pm. A tour for a group of up to 20 people costs € 60 in total (excl. beer) To book, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to a number of negative experiences, it is, unfortunately, no longer possible to book a tour as a bachelor party with us.
Individuals / small groups: Friday / Saturday / Sunday 15.30 – English 16:00 – Dutch Price per person: €5.50 (includes a free beer of choice) Larger groups (up to 20 people): Friday / Saturday / Sunday 15:00 – book in advance Price per group: €60 (beer is not included in the group tours)