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Around Amsterdam in 80 Beers Paperback – 1 Oct 2010
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From the same publisher as Around Bruges/Brussels/London in 80 Beers and continuing their tradition of quality books - attractive, authoritative, well illustrated and laid-out and of course written by an expert in the subject. As the title implies 80 bars/cafes/ hotels/restaurants, breweries and even museums serving good beer in attractive surroundings are included - each with a photo or two, an information block and a description of the offerings. For convenience the author has also listed the entries into the various types of drinking establishment. The guide not only covers Amsterdam but Haarlem too. The bar entries take up the bulk of the book but there is supporting useful snippets on beer styles, the Dutch and food, Amsterdam, the breweries (and also the distilleries) plus useful maps of Amsterdam and Haarlem. Recommended both for the visitor on foot or the armchair planner.
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Skelton has researched well, and has chosen wisely. Descriptions of the pubs, beers and important features are clear and to the point. We found the pubs easily enough, but the maps were a little lacking in detail, and often we had to use another map in conjunction with the info in the book to find the required watering hole. 4 stars because of this. With clearer maps it would be a 5 star effort.
I have two gripes as a user of pub and tourist guides (eg 10 top Things To Do In ..) generally :
1 there are quite a few places here that look at least as if they would not welcome the more shabbily dressed visitor looking for a beer - some very swanky restaurants included - and it is a BEER guide
2 although you can guess, there is no text indication or guide price for a universal beer (say Duvel) or a / / banding to give you a clue as to what your spend might be. Beware that in Amsterdam probably more than anywhere I've been, the price of a beer goes from tourist trap to oligarch level for the same beer with no obvious reason why. You need to check out what look like good selection for your trip against the bar's website: most are honest enough to tell you the damage!
A good starting point rather than the holy grail itself.
POST-USE review: visited 8 of the 80: all good places, with good beer, so guide was excellent on that score. Only complaint: maps could be better, maybe small sections of map showing nearest tram stop and more exact pub location?
Would I buy another in this series? Definitely! Cheers!
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