Proeflokaal A. van Wees

restaurant and jenever tasting room

vanwees Proeflokaal A. van Wees has a nostalgic setting and old Dutch atmosphere

Proeflokaal A. van Wees is the official tasting room of Van Wees Distillery De Ooievaar that makes traditional Old Dutch and Amsterdam spirits and liqueurs.

The bar staff, often members of the Van Wees family, provide expert information about the distillery's home-produced geneva and liqueurs.

All 15+ genevas and 60+ liqueurs of distiller A. van Wees can be tasted at Proeflokaal A. van Wees* on the Herengracht in Amsterdam.


The tasting room has an old Dutch ambiance and is one of the most beautiful, authentic decorated tasting rooms in Amsterdam.

It is located in a former stable of a rich patrician on the Herengracht in the Canal Belt of Amsterdam. The tiles on the floor are still reminders of that time.

The tall, green cabinet - where now liquor and genever bottles are on display - was used for storing the saddles and harness. And going to the toilet means, entering a huge, oak barrel of 10,000 litres!

The rare 'broekpomp' (trouser pump) behind the bar, was used during the distillation process for the supply and drainage of cooling water from the canals. It was made in 1868 and is one of the two only remaining pumps in the Netherlands.

* formerly known as Proeflokaal 'De Admiraal', named after a former genever distillery in the same building on the Herengracht. Its logo is a drawing of Admiral Michiel de Ruyter. Under his command, the Dutch fleet sailed upon the Thames, via Chatham and broke the chains. An original figurehead from a Dutch VOC ship adorns the facade of the tasting room.

Food and Drinks menu

Proeflokaal's restaurant serves various sandwiches, soups and burgers for lunch (daily from 12:00-16:00) and Cheese fondue, Deer stew, Chicken satay, Steak Béarnaise and Mussels dinner (daily from 17:00-22:00).

On the drinks menu are over 100 homemade distillates as well as beer, wine and other spirits and soft drinks.

Kopstootjes - a combination of beer & genever - come in 10+ variations and are a local classic.


Proeflokaal A. van Wees is located on Herengracht, not far from Dam Square. Nearby attractions are Spui square, Begijnhof and De 9 Straatjes shopping area.

From genever to gin

When William III of Orange (1650-1702) held sway over England, gin became popular there, too. English distillers tried to copy the spirits but they lacked the correct recipe. Therefore, they developed their own version of genever, which was known as gin.

Distillery 'De Ooievaar'

Van Wees Distillery De Ooievaar has its premises in the middle of a residential area in the northern corner of the nearby Jordaan. It was founded in 1782 and is the only remaining genever distillery in Amsterdam.

At Driehoekstraat 10, next door to the distillery, it also runs its own genever and liquor store where you can buy their craft products.

more impressions

All bars mentioned on this website are popular spots that are visited by locals and not mainly targeted at tourists