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De Gekraakte Ketel (The Cracked Kettle)

Not Rated.
De Gekraakte Ketel (The Cracked Kettle)De Gekraakte Ketel (The Cracked Kettle)
BA SCORE
99
world-class

34 Ratings
Ratings: 34
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 6.52%
[ Store ]

Raamsteeg 3
Amsterdam, 1012 VZ
Netherlands
phone: +31 (0)20 624 0745
// CLOSED //



Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-04-2006)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by sfprint:
Photo of sfprint
3.94/5  rDev -14.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Smaller than the Bierkoning, with a smaller selection and less organized, though they had many different beers. Mostly Dutch and Belgian though there's a small American, British and German section. Nice place but average compared with the Bierkoning. One complaint I would have is that there's a wall of bottles right by the front door which is glass and I imagine these bottles get some direct sunlight for part of the day. There's an upstairs area as well that was really chaotic, up those typical steep Amsterdam stairs, but there were so many boxes lying around on the floor, I wasn't able to see everything up there.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Vanlingleipa
4.56/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

It could be argued that BevMo and Cracked Kettle are both representative of their locales - BevMo being a quintessential American liquor supermarket experience while CK just oozes Dutch.

CK is Dutch in both philosophy and location. This is a small, neighborhood shop, located in downtown Amsterdam off the Singel canal in a 400-year-old building. It is not an overly large space - the building was apparently originally a home. When I first went there seven years ago, I heard that the second floor was used for the occasional gathering of beer lovers. now used to display more beer/spirits Again, so Dutch, as this is how people live in space-challenged Amsterdam, conforming centuries-old spacing to meet modern needs. You see it all the time in this lovely city.

Spent several months in Amsterdam, making it a routine to walk along the canal X times a week for a Leifmans brown or some local brew, stopping at the excellent bakery around the corner. There was sweet, pretty young Dutch woman working there as well as Andy and Jeff, the American owner (who btw, graduated from a local university in the Netherlands). Both gentlemen are very friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the art of brewing.

Photo of jbertsch
4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Just came back from Amsterdam and my main goal was to visit this place in order to score some Westys, which I did.

Got there at about 12:15, and it wasn't opened yet, even though it's supposed to open at 12:00. Checked back in 5 and it was just opened. The guy was helpful enough, though maybe a little preoccupied with still in the process of opening the store. But when i had questions, he answered them in a friendly manner. He was able to suggest some good local dutch beer for me to go with my Westy's, such as De Molen and Emellisee.

The atmosphere is really cool. Quite small, and the shelving is over 400 years old. Looks cavernous. However, I notice that the beers on the back wall are exposed to sunlight. Granted this store is down a tight alley, so I don't think there's a ton of sunlight coming through the window.

He's selling the Westy Blonde for 10 euros each, and the 12 for 12 euros each. The 8 wasn't there at that time, but I happen to stop in later that day because my friend wanted to go back, and a fresh batch of 8 had arrived. I couldn't buy any more bottles however.

Things aren't cheap there, but the Westys that were for sale at De Bierkoning were going for 14,50 euros. So Westy's were cheaper here, but the local dutch beers I bought were slightly cheaper at De Bierkoning

Very cool store worth visiting if you're into rare stuff, especially belgians. There are other other beers - american, german, etc., as well as select wines, and a little cheese.

Photo of Dobby
4.78/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Visisted here on my trip to AMS

A great little hole in the wall beer store in amsterdam. On my tour through europe I had to run to make sure I caught this place open as I was only there for one day and sure enough it was worth it.

I picked up a half dozen westy 12's for something like 15 euros each. While the price was steep it was the only place I had time to visit which actually had them in stock. The man serving us was very nice and knowledgeable and showed us around the store. Great selection of European beers and surprisingly a lot of american beers as well.

Overall a great little place which I sadly enough will probably not be visiting anytime soon. Suppositely they also do beer trades, ill have to try that out on my next trek out there.

Photo of psiweaver
4.44/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

went here on my Amsterdam trip.

I showed up as they were supposed to open but the guy ended up showing up about 30 to 45 minutes late.

They have a fantastic if expensive selection including westy 6 westy 12 and a bunch of hard to find Belgian and dutch specialties.

They also had a bunch of American beer in terms of BCS Rare, Darkness, Dark Lord and a bunch of Pliny and other American beers that are in high demand.

The shop employee was fairly helpful if a little uninterested in answering the questions that I had.

All in all i enjoyed check this place out but liked the employees better at Bierkonig, though this is the place if your just looking for rare older beer at high prices.

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%

If you are in or near Amsterdam, this store is a must stop. Great ambiance, charm, character, great vibe, Jeff is great (helpful in many ways, even helping to guide us as we were set to visit Belgium) the selection is extensive (I would even say it was great if I didn't score some Westy's). The shop is a little off the beaten path but its a pleasant walk to get to. Everything a bottle shop should be, stop in to see Jeff and his way cool guard dog. I certainly will be back each time I visit Amsterdam.

Photo of pauljmccain
5/5  rDev +8.7%

This place has it all. They supply Gollem right across the alley. You walk in, and you're instantly in heaven. All wooden shelves, filled with bottles. A nice selection of wine as well. Walk up the spiral staircase and you'll find a huge selection of American and German beers. Many popular beers are even refrigerated downstairs.

This is also one of the only places that reliably has the sought-after Westvleteren. 12 euros/bottle as of June 2010.

Additionally, the guys at the counter know their beers, as opposed to more commercialized shops. I was looking for Anchor Steam, and the guy said it had just came in. Sure enough, he opened the box and grabbed me one. The owner was working next time I came, and went upstairs with me to explain to me the differences between the German wheat beers he had available. Sad though that I was the only one there both times I visited.

Photo of Brabander
4.15/5  rDev -9.8%

Went here tonight (nov 7-2009) with 12 westvleteren12 bottles to trade some beer. I wanted to have some from all over the world. Below in the shop there are mostly the Belgium and Dutch beers. On the first floor are the beers from Germany and from the rest of the world. I was very well advised by the guy who was there, a man from Scotland.

If you are in Amsterdam its worth going there. On the other side of the small alley is Cafe Gollem.

The next weeks i can review the beers i have traded. A nice way to get to know a few unknown beers.

Photo of rvdoorn
5/5  rDev +8.7%

I only found out about the existence of the cracked kettle several months ago. My first order was via their website. The website is very user friendly, updated and has an enormous collection of beers (rare, vintage, Belgium, Dutch, German, UK, a lot of rare USA beer, and many many more countries). They have a unique collection of trappist beers! This is the only shop where I ever saw the famous Westvleteren red cap (WV 6, not produced anymore since the late 90s), the not commercial available table beer from the Westmalle brewery (the Westmalle extra) and the not commercial available table beer from Chimay, the Chimay doree. WOW. These beers are a must try for all beer (and especially trappist) lovers like us! Shipping was very well packed and fast. Also the communication was excellent.

Next time I decided to pay the shop a visit myself. When entering, one is overwhelmed by the enormous amount of beers. The shop is small, but the beers are packed against the walls. The service is very good and very friendly, and obviously know where they are talking about.

Nowadays I'm a frequent costumer, I bought many rare and vintage beauties here. Although not the cheapest shop, this is by far the shop with the rarest beers I have ever seen! Better than Bierkoning for sure! Highly recommendable.

Photo of joedon
4.3/5  rDev -6.5%

Very tiny beer store across the alley from Cafe Gollum. They specialize in hard to find Belgians like Pannepot, Westvleterein, etc. Also carry a few cans of Grolsch and Heinekin for tourists.

Also had a few American specialities: Rogue, Dogfish 120 (at $11 for a 12 oz. bottle!), Anchor. A few odds 'n ends from UK and Germany.

Most of the bottles were priced 5% more than at de Bierkonig. They generally have more rarities however.
They also stock a few items of glassware.

Worth a visit, especially if you've been to Cafe Gollum. They also have internet sales and will pack and ship.

Photo of koopa
4.65/5  rDev +1.1%

Oh the Cracked Kettle is another "must do" when in Amsterdam. It's located at Ramsteeg 3 near the corner of Spuistraat, right across from Cafe Gollem. The shop is about identical in size with the Bier Koning on Paleisstraat. Only difference though is that The Cracked Kettle has a larger "downstairs area" and Bier Koning has a larger "upstairs area" for shopping.

Cracked Kettle has a fine selection of Dutch, Belgian, German, and American brews plus lots of other offerings. The staff is extremely helpful, patient, and knowledgeable. The shop is pricey, especially by USA standards. Shipping back to the states is also extremely expensive. It can easily cost you up to $140 USD to ship a case of beer home via FedEx...

They are also a good karma shop that supports beer trading. When I recently visited, I purchases a DL 09' and a BA Angels Share that they had received in a trade from an American.

Photo of stowehop
4.65/5  rDev +1.1%

Haven't been there but ordered online for some rare beers. Surprised at how quickly Jeff responded and got the beer out. They ship express only, a bit pricey, but worth it for the rarity. Beers packed more than well enough.

The package arrived and had been opened by us customs. When I took out the beers, one of them was empty. It had not leaked, and the cap had been perfectly replaced, so it looked like a promo bottle. Not even the slightest kink in the cap WTF.

I Immediately informed Jeff by e-mail, who without hesitation refunded not only the price of the beer, but it's % of the shipping charge(beer is long sold out). Even offered to try to get more and hold it for me.

Not sure if it was another bored,thirsty customs agent, or if they poured one out to make sure it was only beer- the box did originate in Amsterdam! Either way, I'm sure most of it went down the drain-wasn't Bud or Coors.

So sorry BA, but that is one less bottle of Black Damnation that will hit the trade market. Thank Uncle Sam.

Don't hesitate to order from the Kettle. Jeff will go out of his way to make sure you are happy.

Photo of cajang
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Just got back from a visit to this store. Right of Spui tram stop, second alley on the left. An arms length from Gollem, which I did not visit tonight.

Talked to a wonderful gentleman named Andy who was knowledgeable and enthusiastic about beer. He certainly knew his beers. Had a great conversation about everything from the beer selection (he said it could easily be triple if they had the space or demand), to the history of John Martin Stout (new to me), to home brewing. He gave me some great suggestions on good value beers, and pointed me in the direction of some other good bars and breweries in Amsterdam. This small beer shop has a great selection of Belgium and Dutch beers as well as some American and English beers. I also spied a few Czech selections and a Corona.

They were selling all the Westy's for 10 Euro there, and I saw a couple pallates in the corner. Some RR Suplication and Tempation behind the counter and he even said he had a couple Lost Abbey upstairs. Black Albert for 6 Euro.

This is certainly a must visit if you are in Amsterdam. Easy to get to, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and a world class selection... what more do you want?

Photo of Bitterbill
4.2/5  rDev -8.7%

I went the order on line route for this place as I saw it mentioned in a post on BA.

Ordering was easy enough and I asked for 3 bottles each of Pannepot Grand Reserva, Guinness Special Export(John Martin), Berliner Kindlweisse, and 2 bottles of Westvleteren 6, which actually turned out to be the Blonde. I emailed them about the wrong labelling of the 6 and they have fixed that.

Anywho, they were very quick with their email responses to any questions I had but apparently, after a few weeks, I found out that they were out of the Berliner and were waiting for more to come in.

It took roughly a month and a half before I got my beers but they were well packaged and all were in great condition. The cost was very high due to the rate of exchange between the Dollar and the Euro but I knew that when I went into this transaction. Rates have since changed and are much better for US consumers.

Other than the out of stock predicament which wasn't shown on their website, I'd say the overall experience was pretty darned good. I can recommend them.

Photo of Jeffo
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%

I've been going here every couple of months for a little over a year now, so I think I can give a more accurate review of it now.

The shop has grown since my last review. They have two smaller floors on the bottom, but they've expanded upstairs. Essentially, the owner used to live on the two floors above the shop, but he's cleared out one floor and added that to the shop. The bottom two floors have the Belgian beers, English brews, and a some fine wines, while the upstairs now includes German, American, and Scandinavian stuff.

The staff is top notch. The two guys I see there are great guys and the love talking shop. They know their stuff and always have great recommendations. What I really value is their honesty; if they don't think something is all its cracked up to be, they'll be one-hundred procent honest about that. I value honesty.

Selection is good, though a bit thin. All the standard Belgians are there, but the English, German, and US selection is a bit thin. They tend to shy away from the standard stuff that the main importer, Beer&Co., deliver into Europe. They'll take the more interesting things, but the standard stuff is sometimes hard to come across here.

Where they fall short on the regular imports, they excell well beyond what you'd expect on special imports. These guys are real hunters, and they'll try to hunt down hard-to-find stuff for their shop. In that sense, this really is a "speciality shop." I've seen aged bottles of Westvleteren here, rare De Struis beers, and even some special releases from the US, such as Abyss and Dark Lord. It's rare to see them, but every now and then the owner will gets his hands on a bottle of something rare and add it to his shelves. This always makes a trip to the Kettle an exciting one. As such, it's hard to give a grade for selection. If it was a grade for rarity and special beers only, it'd be a perfect score.

Their beers are a little more expensive than average. Compared to their main competitor in the city, they are .50 to 2 Euro more per bottle. Despite this, I always make the Kettle my first stop, mostly for the special stuff and the great service.

This place is definitely a must-stop place when in Amsterdam. I don't get down to Amsterdam very often, but when I do I always get excited to stop at the Kettle.

One last thing. If you're on your way to Amsterdam and know you're going to be stopping in, make it a point to bring something interesting and rare from your area. These guys always like making trades for interesting and rare stuff.

Photo of baggio
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Visited this place during my trip to Amsterdam a few weeks ago.

This little shop is just across the street from Cafe Gollem which probably is the best pub in Amsterdam :)

Nice cozy wooden interior with huge shelves packed with beer from all over the world but mainly Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Great selection!

Owner was very friendly, professional and a true beer enthusiast.

This is the best beershop in Amsterdam hands down! Not to be missed! I'll make sure to stop by this shop whenever i happen to in the area.

Photo of weissbierdrinker
5/5  rDev +8.7%

I stayed in Amsterdam for a little over a year and while there this store was a frequent stop for me. After a while I got to know the staff and they where exceptionally nice and knowlegeable. They where able to recommend me beers in styles that I was looking for and also able to tell me about each one. They are willing to trade beers with you in their search for unusual hard to come by beers. The staff there, which ever employee you get, is great to talk to and very friendly. This is THE beerstore you need to visit while in Amsterdam

Photo of StonePhil
5/5  rDev +8.7%

It's taken me a while to finally sit down and write this review but during the interim of my visit and this post I haven't forgotten the exceptional service and selection that this place offers.

The shop itself was located in an alley and wasn't impressively large. However, they packed that store to the brim with walls of incredible beers. A good selection of Belgian and Trappist ales made up a good chunk of their selection but I was surprised to see that they also carried a Great Divide and I even saw a few Lost Abbey beers aging in a corner.

The staff were knowledgeable, friendly and down to Earth. They gave me several recommendations and also agreed to trade beers with me.

The prices were fair, even with the exchange rate as it is.

I'd definitely recommend this place to any BA's that happen to travel to Amsterdam.

Photo of dirtylou
5/5  rDev +8.7%

another absolutely world-class Amsterdam beer store.

This has a slight advantage over De Bierkoning in that it is located directly across the alley (about 3 feet) from a world class beer-bar in Cafe Gollem, so this 2-stop combination is strongly encouraged when in Amsterdam.

I hit Cafe Gollem first with my dad and then stumbled out to notice a beer store in front of me. I recognized the name as the other beerstore i really wanted to visit, and ironically i had no clue that it was going to be right here - what a great surprise.

the store was temporarily closed but i had very little time so i rang the bell and the shopkeep opened up for me (he was on his lunchbreak). I expressed my gratitude and mentioned that i had read about his store in the United States. This guy was fantastic and recommended some nice dutch brews and we had some great beer convos.

The Westy's were out and about at this stop too, and they had vintages of at least the 12 that dated back to 1998. Belgian and dutch beers were present in overwhelming quantities. This and De Bierkoning are not big stores (space-wise) but they are just overflowing with gems.

The US beer selection here was similar to De Bierkoning (great divide, terrapin, etc) but also had some shocking items - Port Hop 15?!?!? How the hell is that even possible? Apparently, they make trips to the States and import the beers themselves. I doubt its legal, but its sure cool. They also had the rarer DFH line available with hefty price tags.

A phenomenal experience.

Photo of ggaughan
4.2/5  rDev -8.7%

I stopped by here with my wife on a recent trip to Holland. I head read alot of reviews of things place. Mostly good but some no so good. Overall my experience was very good. Cool little store with a great selection of Belgian beers and nice addition of some English and German beers I wanted but didn't have the room to drag home on the train. I ended up just getting a Struise glass that I had been looking for for some time. They had a handful of hard to find STruise beers at decent prices. I also saw a crate or 2 of Westvleteren 12 but I wasn't in the market at the time to buy any. They had a few bottles from DFH and a few other American craft brewers which was cool to see. Although I doubt they were for sale, they also had some bottles in the back from Lost Abbey and Stone.
Worth a trip if you are in Amsterdam and it is one of the best shops in town.

Forgot to mention, right when you walk in the door there is a cool bench made out of Westvletern crates. Really cool.

Photo of bierme
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%

Good beer? yea you could say that. Not really much bad there, particulary lots of Belgiums and lots of other great stuff too.

As with most people in Amsterdam, person working there was great.

They even had beer from Colorado breweries, Great Divide, Left Hand and a few others. Not very big place though. I bo which i had bught a filtered Duvel, a lovely sour and a St. Bernardus Six which I had never seen before

Well, i guess it is not thier fault the dollar is so weak.

Had a nice time talking to the clerk before Gollem opned.

Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.65/5  rDev +1.1%

Just an awesome place literally right across the alley from Cafe Gollem, one of the best beer bars in Amsterdam. Bottle seclection is quite good, but the real gem that I found was a Struise (brewers of Pannepot) tulip glass. Super rare (evidently only one of six in the Netherlands) and evidently so as I was not able to find it anywhere in Brugge, nor Bruxelles. Unfortunately Gekraakte was out of the Pannepot, but I was overjoyed to get a glass none the less. When I was there one of the owners had just gotten back from California and I spied a crate of Pizza Port bottles. Yes, Pizza Port in Amsterdam. I couldn't believe it. I bought some dutch beers to bring home for a tasting session with a friend of mine, I will update my review once we drink them. Beer prices were good, glass prices seemed average to high. Absolutely go here. Just stop what you are doing, walk away from the computer and go here NOW!

Photo of JBogan
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%

This is a must stop for anyone interested in beer who happens to find themselves in Amsterdam. It's a tiny little store but full of great beer, from floor to ceiling. Lots of treasures to be found. Rather than trying to remember and list them all here, you can check out their website for a good idea of what you'll find.

The Cracked Kettle was a little hard to find at first (Amsterdam can be a little confusing to get around,especially at night), but it's worth the effort. After fulfilling your beer shopping desires, take a few steps across the walkway and you're in the Cafe Gollem. Highly recommended.

Photo of mdagnew
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

This is just a review of the online shop as i sadly haven't been in person yet...

I had been thinking about ordering from here for a while so when i noticed they had a great selection of Scandinavian beers in stock i thought i would finally bite the bullet...

As i said they have a great selection of Scandinavian brews (i ordered some Mikkeller Jackie Brown, Olfabrikken Brown, Nogne Saison & Pale Ale, Nils Oscar Barley Wine & Imperial Stout and a couple of Huvila brews) as well as a supreme selection of both Belgian and Dutch stuff. I didn't order any Dutch this time but did order some Pannepot which i had been dying to try for ages...

They also had a decent selection of US and German beers... i ordered Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock, Great Divide Yeti & Hibernation and also some Left Hand Imperial Stout...

Service was very friendly and helpful with plenty of emails to keep me up to date... Shipping was a little pricey but very quick - i received my order about 4 working days after it was shipped...

Overall i was very pleased with this place and wouldn't hesitate to order from it again...

Photo of CBA
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Great location, set up, selection, and service. The guys running the store are obviously knowledgable and a pleasure to speak with. The pricing however was quite steep, so be prepared to open your wallet wide (Pannepot Reserva 75cl @ $30 Euro's) Still no saisons to speak off - what's up with that. No love for the farmhouse beers apparently. Luckily we went to Houffilze, Roche and Soy - Fantome abound. Would've dearly loved to purchase the 75cl Aardmonnik if only I had room in my luggage.

Good selection of glassware, and if wine and scotch is your thing, they've got some good choices as well.

The hours are good as they are open late, and all the more perfect to spend all those leftover euro's after a slightly drunken visit to Gollem - an easy trip and stumble out the door. Just watch out for Snoppy prowling in the alley.

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De Gekraakte Ketel (The Cracked Kettle) in Amsterdam, Netherlands
99 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.