Some information on the Walhalla Brewery and Taproom at Amsterdam-Noord in Nederland


Our visit to the Walhalla Brewery and Taproom formed part of a wonderful day of activity. We had set off quite early from Diemen and cycled towards the city along the Rijnkanaal. We had quite a delay crossing the IJ, albeit witnessing the interesting spectacle of the Schellingwouderbrug being raised to allow the passage of a luxury yacht.

The journey to Amsterdam-Noord followed De Schellingwouderdijk, apparently the street in which most people of Amsterdam dream of owning a house. Apparently, it is the most searched street on property websites. The charm of this locale gradually declines as one heads towards the former ship-building yards.

Amsterdam : View of Houthaven from NDSM wharf [2024]
© Photo taken by author on May 17th, 2024. DO NOT COPY

The biggest yard at Amsterdam-Noord was operated by the Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij shipbuilding company. When the yard closed in 1984 the area became something of a post-industrial wasteland. Housing was cheap on this side of the river but property prices are rising with some gentrification of the area, led by what is called the cultural quarter. Indicative of how Nouveau Vogue it all is, accommodation within the old shipyard crane is around €1,000 per night! A number of publications call this an edgy hotbed of creative art, coupled with a mix of vibrant cafés, bars and quirky shopping. We visited on a Friday so perhaps the vibrancy only kicks in at the weekend or during festivals. We certainly did not experience the dynamic buzz, leaving us wondering if it is was hyperbole. Notwithstanding this, we had an enjoyable time exploring the Art City NDSM, and particularly the STRAAT Museum dedicated to telling the history of graffiti art. I also like the fact that there is plenty of mangled ironwork to clamber over [see above pic] on the derelict waterfront. I suspect that increased gentrification will eventually sanitise the old shipyard and such junk landscapes will vanish.

Amsterdam : Anne Frank mural at STRAAT Museum [2024]
© Photo taken by author on May 17th, 2024. DO NOT COPY

We chomped on an enjoyable lunch at Ijver Amsterdam, the trendy industrial café-restaurant next to the STRAAT Museum. There are a lot of taps here, some devoted to interesting breweries, but we were keeping our powder dry for the time being as we had pencilled in visits to three brewery taps.

Amsterdam : Walhalla Brewery Tap on Spijkerkade [2024]
© Photo taken by author on May 17th, 2024. DO NOT COPY

From the shipyard it is only a short cycle ride to the Walhalla Brewery and Taproom near Ijplein. If you wish to avoid some of the industrial areas, the best route is through Buik Sloterbreek and Norderpark. Housed in an industrial unit, the brewery is on Spijkerkade just off Meeuwenlaan. The building had previously served as a tyre bay and service centre so visitors will not be here for the aesthetic attributes of the place. There is seating outside the frontage and an outdoor drinking area has been created on a former car park opposite.

Amsterdam : Walhalla Brewery Taproom [2024]
© Photo taken by author on May 17th, 2024. DO NOT COPY

Sitting outside was not for us - we wanted to soak up the atmosphere of a former tyre bay. If I had taken this photograph a decade earlier I would have captured one of those car elevator thingys to facilitate working under vehicles. It is no secret that I like to wallow in historic brown cafés, not old industrial units, but the whole point of our holiday meandering was to experience craft beer where it is brewed.

Amsterdam : Walhalla Craft Beer

Following a crowdfunding campaign, the Walhalla Microbrouwerij was founded in 2016 by the jazz musician Aart van Bergen. Already a home brewer, he swapped life on the road with a saxophone, in order to create floral notes with hops. The key theme behind the title and beer names is loosely based on Norse mythology. Consequently, a regular ale is Loki Golden IPA. However, other celestial beings have been embraced. For example, Osiris Farmhouse Ale honoured the ancient Egyptian god of fertility. The dark and other wordly beer labelling is the work of the artist and illustrator, Vincent Sapthu.

Amsterdam : Walhalla Beer Brands

Beyond a core range, one-off brews are also produced, including porters and stouts. This is one of the real positives of the craft beer movement - beer styles that were going out of fashion have been revived and gaining a new audience.

Amsterdam : Walhalla Microbrouwerij [2024]
© Photo taken by author on May 17th, 2024. DO NOT COPY

Our information was that the tap did not open until 16.00hrs on Fridays. However, this is incorrect as they kick-off at 14.00hrs. Beer flights are a bit of a gimmick in some respects but they do offer an entry into the mysterious world of a particular brewery. Walhalla has 15 beers on tap so our strategy was to buy a four-beer flight for €13.

Amsterdam : Beer Board at Walhalla Taproom [2024]
© Photo taken by author on May 17th, 2024. DO NOT COPY

Amsterdam : Beer Flight at Walhalla Taproom [2024]
© Photo taken by author on May 17th, 2024. DO NOT COPY

Lance seemed to be quite happy with this arrangement. He asked what we were going to do for the rest of the afternoon whilst he does the card and empties the fridges of cans. For some bizarre reason this bleedin' duck, who we are saddled with, was proving popular in Amsterdam. He wanted to charge a fee for autographs.

I did not ask for a name but I must highlight the friendliness of the woman running the tap. She was very helpful with beer choices and displayed a very warm character. It is an enduring memory of our visit so other breweries take note - good customer service is a very important factor. Between serving and general duties, she would mingle with customers and ensure near-empty glasses were replaced with more beer. I am sure this was not an upselling strategy but more of her friendly disposition. She did make one error of judgement when remarking that Lance was cute. If only she knew what a git he is. He instructed her to cut out the small talk and bring him more beer.

Walhalla Izanami

All of the beers we tried were excellent. I am singling out the Izanami for particular praise. Named after the Japanese goddess, this 7.8% stout is brewed with Sorachi Ace hops that impart a lovely burst, offsetting the complexity of the dark malt flavour. An absolutely terrific beer.

The brewery tap hosts events and live music. Naturally, given the founder's background, jazz features quite a bit. During our visit there was a pretty cool playlist featuring the likes of alt-J, Tame Impala and Empire Of The Sun. After a highly enjoyable experience at Walhalla we cycled off with some extra zip to our pedalling action. Of course, we had to drag the duck out by his flipper as he was convinced there was a beer he hadn't sampled. He was later sick on the ferry.

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