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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:
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.

StonePhil, Jul 23, 2008
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?

cajang, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of Blybloke
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Located right across the street (more like an alley) from Cafe Gollem, The Cracked Kettle is a bit of a hole in the wall. It's on a very quiet street a bit away from the bustle of the red light district (but not too far). I was referred to this shop by the bartender at Cafe Gollem who told me that I could find Westvleteren beers there. And sure enough, she was right. The selection was outstanding. All the trappist beers were represented, along with a beautiful selection of Belgians and others. I saw a few American beers (Anchor Steam, Liberty, Old Foghorn) and some harder-to-find English Ales like Thomas Hardy.

The atmosphere is inviting and the man that helped me was very personable. I asked him about the Westvleteren 12 and he led me right to it (in a wooden case on the floor along with the other Westys). The price per bottle of the 12 was 10.70 euros and I picked up a couple of them. I should have grabbed a couple other bottles, but my money on hand was dwindling after a couple hours at Cafe Gollem.

If you visit Amsterdam and care about your beer, this store is an absolute MUST. When I make it back to Amsterdam, I will make it one of my first stops.

Blybloke, Mar 21, 2007
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.

pauljmccain, Aug 19, 2010
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.

dirtylou, Jul 20, 2008
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.

rvdoorn, Oct 01, 2009
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

weissbierdrinker, Jul 27, 2008
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.

JBogan, Jan 20, 2008
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.

KickbacksSteve, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of drseamus
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%

I had already spoken with one of the owners Andy before I left for my trip and we set up a trade ahead of time. I got there and was immediately greeted by Andy and I selected some good beers for the trade. This was the one exception to rude service in Central Amsterdam. It seems that there is a bias against younger Americans in the touristy areas of Amsterdam; not totally without reason I guess.

They have all the standard Belgian beers plus more including Westvleteren beers and a good selection of Dutch beers as well. For the ex-pats in the area, he does have some English and German (including Andechs) beers and is expanding his American selection as well. When I was there he had some Great Divide beers and various other brands as well. I was looking for some rare beers and he didn’t have them so he gave me directions to the other beer store in the city, De Beerkoning. Although De Beerkoning has a slightly bigger selection, I would definitely recommend The Cracked Kettle over De Beerkoning because I found the service to be much better.

drseamus, Jul 11, 2007
Photo of Dobby
4.78/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

Dobby, May 09, 2011
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.

Jeffo, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of jasonm
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%

Made the trip to the Cracked Kettle for a "little" bit of shopping during a trip to Amsterdam. Located on an alley (pedestrian and bicycle traffic only) between Spuistraat and Singel in the city Centrum.

The shop is small, but you are blown away by the breadth and depth of their selection of Belgian, Dutch, and German beers. There are even a few American offerings (SN, Left Hand, Dogfish Head). You'll find your standard well-known European beers, but also a good selection of lesser known Dutch and Belgian micros. If not visible, ask about any special vintages. They had some 98 Westvleterns, several of the old St. Sixtus bottles, and lord-knows-how-old bottles of Westmalle with rusted caps! They also had plenty of fresh Westvleterns during my visit.

The gentleman minding the shop was helpful in picking out beers, checking prices and making recommendations. Prices were reasonable for the most part, although some of the harder to find beers had the expected price markup.

Definitely stop in, and head over to Cafe Gollem across the way when youre done!

jasonm, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of GregMcQ
4.65/5  rDev +1.1%

Visited The Cracked Kettle on 10-May-07. First impressions are everything... this one makes a very nice "first impression". It's not a big shop, but it's well laid out and has a nice European appeal to it. The Belgium beers are on one side; the other European/UK beers on the other; great range on both, although a few nuggets (for me at least) were noticeably missing. They did have an ample stocking of Westvleteren, though... and you just can't go wrong with an ample stocking of Westvleteren. There was also a smattering of nice American microbrewery beer there... some Anchor, some Sierra Nevada; and I was told that they were going to try and get some goodies from some Colorado brewers like Great Divide and Left Hand.

Met Andy (running shop when I got there) and Jeff (the owner); both were incredibly nice, helpful and informative... Andy pretty much drove me to every beer that I wound up buying. Jeff showed me the little microbrewery that he was building upstairs. Like I said, really nice guys. Another caveat to this place it it's location... right across the alley from Cafe Gollem. And when I say "right across the alley" I mean literally no more than five feet.

At any rate, this is a topnotch place ran by topnotch people; will be back there for sure.

GregMcQ, May 12, 2007
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.

stowehop, Apr 23, 2009
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!

AWolfAtTheDoor, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of theformula
4.65/5  rDev +1.1%

Awesome little beer store across from Cafe Gollem. I didn't even notice it was there until I noticed the Westvleteren crates outside (obviously empty). A Scottish fellow helped my g/f and I out and was very friendly and made some suggestions, including a very small micro-brewed beer in Amsterdam although the name escapes me now.

Nice varied selection and even some US micros. I picked up some Achel Trappist beer and De Dolle Arabier as well as Westlveteren. They have a good amount of glassware as well.

Really a great tucked away treasure and I'll be visiting again. Soon.

theformula, Sep 11, 2007
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.

koopa, May 11, 2009
Photo of Vanlingleipa
4.56/5  rDev -0.9%

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.

Vanlingleipa, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of IDateTheFormula
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%

My boyfriend and I found this gem after leaving Gollem Cafe (it's literally 5 steps away) and were blown away by the help and the selection. The gentleman that helped us was from Scotland and just had no problem chatting with us about beer while I played with the puppy who was scampering about. He interested to hear about American beers and recommended many beers to us. I purchased a Westvleteren 8, an odd japanese beer and a red flanders that I have since forgot the name of. Great prices, nice guys, and overall just a great place to check out.

IDateTheFormula, Sep 11, 2007
Photo of jbertsch
4.53/5  rDev -1.5%

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.

jbertsch, Jun 14, 2011
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.

baggio, Oct 07, 2008
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...

mdagnew, Jan 14, 2008
Photo of sfreshnock
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Stopped by here are first day in Amsterdam. I read the reviews and after some searching we located both Gollem and Cracked Kettle. After a friendly greeting we were amazed at the heavy selection paired with the appropriate glassware. The back wall had a selection of lesser knowns, lambics and fruit beers, Also a selection of US and European beers. The price is reasonable, with the dollar performing so crappy it was not inexpensive for us BUT if your on the Euro 33cl bottles were going from 1.50 - 2.50 compared to 3 to 4 Euro at the competition. Which is great!

The gentleman working went out of his way to locate beers for us and give us the history behind them. He was unable to find a price for "La Divine", so we went across the street to sample. When we returned he had our bottles ready to go. The friendly service above the norm of most bottle shops.

The store itself is rather small by US standards and packed full. Take your time cause you could easily overlook something. Beers rarely had more than one facing and some were not on the shelf. As stated above the staff is a great asset for overcoming the overwhelming selection.

It's tough for me to grasp the pricing. In Chicago we would pay from 4-10 dollars for some of these 33cl bottles. So the bottles are still very reasonable, especially for bottles that are considered rare. The prices were lower than many bottle shops I visited in Brussels but they had heavier tourist traffic.

This is a beer lovers paradise. They stock beers from all regions, with an increasing selection of US micros. The staff is friendly with know how. Good pricing too. If I lived in Amsterdam, this would be my top beer shop!

sfreshnock, Oct 11, 2007
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.

CBA, Jan 13, 2008
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De Gekraakte Ketel (The Cracked Kettle) in Amsterdam, Netherlands
99 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.