We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
One of my favorite things when I am off traveling different parts of the world is to sit down somewhere and enjoy a refreshing local beer. It does not matter what the weather is like because a good beer can always be enjoyed. It is just one of the many pleasures for me when I travel. So, when we stayed with our good friend Rory in Haarlem, Netherlands it was on top of our list to go to the local brewery. He seemed to have read our mind because when we showed up he suggested that we go to Jopenkerk because they make some of his favorite beer. We decided to waste no time and go right away to what might be one of the coolest breweries I have ever been to. This week on Sunday Wine Down it is all about Jopenkerk and how it should be a must stop on your trip to the Netherlands.
Let us start off with where Jopenkerk is; it is located in the small city of Haarlem. I understand that most of the people who travel the The Netherlands want to go and experience Amsterdam. They want to wander the canals, become intellectuals in the Van Gogh Museum, explore the red light district, sit in the coffee shops trying to get to cloud nine, and they want to club until they wear holes in their shoes. I understand all of that and I believe that you should do all of that but I have a secret for you.
Haarlem is just outside of Amsterdam and you don’t have to deal with all the tourists. It has all the charm of Amsterdam without the hordes of tourists. I suggest that you find a place in Harlem and then travel into Amsterdam. The train, at the most, will take you 20 minutes, but we found it to be more like 10 to 15 minutes. The train system in the country is so smooth that it is no hassle at all. So stay in Haarlem, you will thank me later. Now that you are staying in Haarlem it is time to go and drink some quality beer.
Jopenkerk is a brewery, cafe, and restaurant set in an old church in the heart of Haarlem. That is correct, the brewery is set in an old church and, to say the least, the building is beautiful. The brewery did a nice job of using modern decor yet still keeping the beauty of the church background. Even if beer is not your thing this is a place just to go and see the building itself. I would assume though that most of us are here though like to drink quality beer. There are at least 10 or so beers on tap here at any time. What makes Jopenkerk beers unique is that they took century old recipes to brew their beer as well as some new recipes. They are putting the age old Haarlem brewing tradition back on the map and they have done a great job.
Ashley and I wanted to get a taste of as many of there beers that we could. So the three of us took advantage of their tasting flight of three beers. So we were able to try 9 of their beers and their flights are a good size so you get to really enjoy the beer. There were so many beers but we all had our favorites. I really enjoyed the rye meiboch which was their spring beer and Ashley really enjoyed their jacobas rye pale ale.
It really was not a tasting of what beer we liked, but more of a tasting of which one we liked better. They were all so good and none of them left me disappointed. They do have a large list of beers to try so we just had the bartender pick us 9 different beers for all of us to try. This was the right decision because he gave a great variety of beers. After enjoying our tasting we each picked our favorite for another pint.
After our first experience with Jopenkerk we knew we were going to have to come back and enjoy some more beer. We found out that along with the grand cafe which serves the beer they had a restaurant on the upper floor. So our last night in Haarlem we went to dinner. We already knew that they had good beer but man do they have a fantastic dinner! It is a little up there in price but is worth every cent.
Ashley enjoyed grilled cod over potatoes and spring vegetables topped with a beurre blanc sauce and I had the pleasure of enjoying a spring risotto mixed with spring vegetables and topped with some arugula and a parmesan crisp. Instead of having wine with dinner we decided to go with some of their beer. Each dish is listed with a suggested beer pairing so you will know exactly what beer goes best with your meal. Ashley and I though, both got the Jacobas rye pale ale with ours. We washed down our dinner with some coffee and we were feeling satisfied. I highly recommend the Jopenkerk restaurant as it was one of the best meals we had in Haarlem and probably one of the best meals that you can find in a brewery anywhere.
The atmosphere at Jopenkerk is very inviting and the staff that work here do a great job when helping you pick your beer. It is easy to get overwhelmed with so many options so it is nice to have some help. I found it very easy to see myself sitting here for a few hours and enjoying all their beers. I know it is possible because Rory admitted he was guilty of enjoying a few too many here before. I am sure I would find myself guilty of the same thing if I lived that close to the brewery.
The church doors of the brewery open everyday at 10am and close at 1am. You can have lunch at the their grand cafe from 12:00 – 3:00pm as well. Tuesday through Saturday you will find their restaurant open from 5:30 till closing. Sunday and Mondays the dishes will be available for lunch in their grand cafe. As I said Jopenkerk was one of the highlight of our trips and it is a must visit. It is filled locals and tourists alike and is set up perfectly for an enjoyable day. On your next trip to Holland make sure you go to Haarlem if only to enjoy a beer or a meal at this wonderful brewery.
That is it for this Sunday Wine Down. I hope you enjoyed. If you have been to Jopenkerk I would love to hear about your experience and what your favorite beer was in the comments below. If you have other breweries that you think Ashley and I would like we would love to hear that as well! Thanks for reading and keep following.
Pin for Later