The other night I stumbled upon a beer bar called the AMSTERDAM CAFÉ in San Francisco in the longtime “worst neighborhood in town”, the Tenderloin. It’s got a smoker’s porch that faces the street, and an open-air vibe throughout that allows you to see the contents of the beer fridge and the tap handles from all the way across the street. “Saaaaaaay, that looks like an honest-to-god beer dork bar”, I remember sayin’ to myself. Well, there’s a bit of cognitive dissonance once you walk in, as there’s a disco-dancing room in the back playing thumping techno at top volume, so, when factored in with the top-drawer beer selection (AVERY, DOGFISH HEAD, RUSSIAN RIVER, Belgians of all kinds, etc.) & the general strangeness of the neighborhood – well, it’s a weird place. I can’t see going out of my way to get here, to be honest, but like anyplace serving great beer, I’m glad it’s around.
I had one shot and one shot only to pick a great beer, and there were dozens to choose from. I said to myself as gathered my resolve: it is time. It is finally time for a KONINGSHOEVEN QUADRUPEL TRAPPIST ALE. It was served to me promptly in a gorgeous Belgian goblet – a still, murky brown ale, visually calling me to finally revel in the Netherlands’ finest ale. And then – whoa. Jesus H. Christ, what the hell is this hot, boozy, thin-bodied mess? This caramel monstrosity, so hardcore on fire with alcohol it tastes nearer to college-dorm Jagermeister shots than a civilized beer? This should have been served with a line of blow and a pack of cigarettes. Gross. I seriously felt like if I dropped a match inside of this it would go up in flames. By far the worst of the Trappist ales. I get it, this is why no one ever praises these guys, these total also-rans of the Trappist brewers. I wished I’d ordered a Budweiser, seriously. Then again, maybe I’m wrong. What do you think? 3/10.