Visited on: Friday 8th November 2019
De Drie Ringen restored brewing to a city that had in the past been noted for the quality of its beers. Currently Amersfoort has a population of over 150, 000 and it is to be found in the province of Utrecht. The second largest after the eponymous provincial capital. Taking in the whole of the Netherlands it has the fifteenth largest population in the country. Amsterdam is to the east at about 35 minutes train ride away.
It has a beautiful centre and this is where the Three Rings is located. Although the country is notably flat the towns and cities are exceptional places with lots of well-preserved buildings dating back to the medieval period. Nevertheless the countryside is a haven for wildlife, especially birds. In ancient Amersfoort the first mention of beer was in 1323. It appears that the water was conjunctive to brewing.
In those days the beer was even exported to Amsterdam and in 1528 King Karel V granted protective status to the city and two miles around it.
By the beginning of the nineteenth century brewing was much less prevalent and breweries were closing. The final death knell of brewing in the city came to an end in 1969 when Phoenix Brouwerij closed its doors, or was it really the end?
De Drie Ringen was a brewery in the seventeenth century and it reopened on its original site in 1989. The outside walls date from 1626. Its new incarnation was the idea of Johan and Marius Korthals-Altes who were directors of the old Phoenix brewery. Of course, new brewery equipment was required and that now occupies pride of place in the pub. There is a beer, Vuurvogel (Firebird) that is a recreation from the past.
The pub is quite narrow. On entering, myself and Linda found a table on the right of the room near the front window. The bar counter is a little further along, also on the right side. More tables and chairs faced us on the left side of the pub. At the end on the left side is the highly polished brewery equipment. Facing that is a circular staircase to an upper level with more seating.
We tried seven beers which were: Amersfoorter Zilver (5.0%) brewed for the 25th anniversary of the brewery’s revival. Said to be wheat beer, it wasn’t very sweet; Biere du Patron (6.5%) was smooth and dark with a distinct Belgian yeast flavour; Ruige Rund Wit (5.0%) was a typical Belgian-style wheat beer; Vuurvogel (7.0%) was a strong Belgian-style pale ale which could be regarded as a Doppel.
The selection continued with Rose Marie (6.5%) which the waiter described as a sweet porter; it was actually a dark dry stout and very pleasant. Stadsbier (aka Amersfoorts Blond) (5.0%) is a session beer in the Kölsch style. Bokbier (6.5%) was a good dark beer. I hope that I have listed these beers correctly as most of them appear to have two names.
This was a good visit to a pub in the historic centre of Amersfoort. It’s well recommended but please be aware of the opening hours; it is not a late night place.
Stadsbrouwerij De Drie Ringen, Kleine Spui 18, 3811 Amersfoort. Tel: 033 465 6575. Web: dedrieringen.nl
Hours: From 1st October to 31st March: Monday-Tuesday: Closed;
Wednesday-Thursday: 14.00-19.30; Friday-Sunday: 13.00-19.30.
From 1st April to 30th September: Monday: Closed;
Tuesday-Thursday: 14.00-19.30; Friday-Sunday: 13.00-19.30.
Getting there from Amersfoort railway station is slightly complicated as the brewery/pub is located in the old town which has vehicular access but no bus routes. A bus from the station will take you about half way.
It is possible to walk to the pub in around 15 minutes or you can catch a taxi.
Should you walk, the directions are as follows: Exit from the station to the zuidseit (south side).
You are in Stationspleien (station square). There are taxis here. Turn to the left into Stationsstraat.
This continues as Van Asch van Wijkstraat. This road veers to the right. Keep walking to its intersection.
This is a dual carriageway main road, Stadsring. Cross over to the other side. Here is Molenstraat.
Continue along this until you meet a canal. Turn left into Westingel which runs parallel to the canal.
The canal has a junction with another waterway on the left. Go left into Kleine Spui along the new canal.
You will find de Drei Ringen on the left about one hundred metres along.