De Gekraakte Ketel (The Cracked Kettle)
Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
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.
05-11-2009 17:35:35 | More by koopa
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.
04-23-2009 21:49:51 | More by stowehop
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?
12-20-2008 21:51:06 | More by cajang
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.
11-16-2008 16:14:26 | More by Bitterbill
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.
10-13-2008 18:55:24 | More by Jeffo
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.
10-07-2008 16:53:50 | More by baggio
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
07-27-2008 01:38:51 | More by weissbierdrinker
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.
07-23-2008 07:16:35 | More by StonePhil
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.
07-20-2008 18:10:33 | More by dirtylou
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.
05-17-2008 19:18:56 | More by ggaughan
De Gekraakte Ketel (The Cracked Kettle) in Amsterdam, Netherlands
99 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.