Most of the taprooms and bars I’ve visited in Amsterdam so far have been quiet and deserted. Not so Brouwerei Troost – here is it dark, but crowded and lively. I’m excited to try it already.
Reassuringly, most of the drinkers here are speaking Dutch rather than English. I am delighted. This seems to be where at least some of the locals drink. Perhaps as a result, the Bob Marley playlist is long gone: instead, the soundtrack to the evening is lively pop music, and the menu for the night is a four beer tasting flight.
New England IPA 5.5% €4.90
Allegedly this is one of the top ten beers in all of Amsterdam. At this point in my trip, I have tasted fewer than ten beers so from a personal perspective this is a guaranteed, though meaningless, honour.
Peachy and milky, almost creamy in consistency, this looks like an interesting offering. The nose is powerful: peach, mango, pineapple all mingle to create a juicy, fruity aroma. The flavour starts simple, consisting of fizzy pineapple juice, but with the carbonation and hops it evolves into something a bit more bitter and interesting. Then, just as we start to get comfortable with that, it swerves back to fruity sweetness for the finish.
I’d like a touch more bitterness to balance out the sweet fruity flavours here, but I’m splitting hairs. This is a very nice beer, and a great start to the evening. 4/5
Tripel 7.5% €4.55
Burnished gold in colour and moderately cloudy, the Tripel looks like a beer to be reckoned with – and at 7.5%, that’s a fair assessment.
The Troost Tripel offers caramelised sugar, coriander seeds, and citrus on the nose. An interesting mix, until you realise coriander seeds and orange peel are both adjuncts in the beer. It tastes wheaty sweet, with that sticky, glutinous mouthfeel you get from wheat beer. Transitioning from that it’s warming and spicy, with more orange flavours evolving. It’s a pretty nice beer at first, but before long you’re really having to hunt for any flavours that aren’t just from the orange additions.
This Tripel occupies an odd space: not fruity enough to match Elvis Juice, but too fruity to taste like actual beer. A shame, really, since there was some potential here. 2/5
IPA 6.5%, €4.50
Here we have a beer that claims to be heavily hopped, and yet we’re presented with what smells like a fruity, red ale. There’s some darker malt aromas on the nose, but mostly this smells like sweet berry fruits., perhaps with a hint of spiced honey.
This doesn’t taste or feel like anything I know as an IPA. On the tongue, that spiciness almost tastes like rye; beyond that the flavour is sweet and slightly bitter, like red apple skins.
Apparently this beer contains Simcoe, Citra, Columbus, and Centennial hops. Despite the variety, I’d argue that it doesn’t contain enough. 1/5
Brunette 7.0% €4.50
Holding this one up to the light, it’s a dark, clear, chestnut-brown. The aroma is of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and fruit: perhaps it’s a little cold to pick out which fruit exactly?
The flavour is entirely different. Bubblegum. Blueberry. Cocao. This tastes like good quality hot chocolate. There’s some nice, dark malts here, not necessarily backed up by hops and it’s not quite full bodied enough to go without, but it’s a good attempt.
On the finish, the Brunette offers a hint of bitterness and a sticky sweet layer than coats and lingers on the tongue. I’d come back for another. 4/5
While other bars I’ve tried in Amsterdam have been quiet and empty, Troost was filled with locals all tucking into a few glasses of beer and a plate of loaded fries. It’s perhaps not the quiet, real ale pub you’d seek out at home, but if you’re looking for a pleasant night out in the same sort of surroundings a native might seek out, Troost isn’t a bad place to start.