Enschede is not the typical Dutch town that you may have in mind when visiting the Netherlands. Still, it may be more typical than you think, because most Dutch people don’t live in that 17th century town that travel agencies tend to advertise with. If for whatever reason you find yourself in or around Enschede, you may just as well go for some local craft beers. Read on if you’re interested to know what are the best places to drink craft beer in Enschede!
Enschede is a town that probably isn’t on your bucket list. And to be clear: I don’t have a lot of arguments to put it there. Still, you may find yourself in this area, for example because:
- you’re visiting the Technical University of Twente, close to Enschede;
- you’ve decided to go hiking in the pretty countryside of Twente and want to spend the night in town;
- you’re from Germany and Enschede is the nearest Dutch city for you;
- or perhaps you’re just in an adventurous mood and want to go off the beaten track big time!
If you are into craft beer of course you’ll want to know: where can I drink craft beer in Enschede? What are the best places to find good beers? And are there any local breweries in Enschede? In this blog I will answer these questions. I will tell you about the best places to go in Enschede for a glass (or 2) of good craft beer.
1. Brewery Stanislaus Brewskovitch
Let’s start with my favorite in Enschede, craft beer brewery Stanislaus Brewskowitz. This brewpub is located in an old church just behind Enschede’s central square. The church has been renovated stylishly, has downstairs and upstairs seating and a small patio or Biergarten at the back. In the downstairs area you can see the actual brewery behind a glass wall. At this moment their brewing installation is not yet in use. Stanislaus is originally a contract brewer, which means that they let other breweries brew their beers. They plan to brew beers for their brewpub on their own premises, which is a pretty cool idea.
Stanislaus was originally a craft beer store. From 2016 onward they started brewing their own beers. The menu has by now extended to about 15 different brews. Most of these are inspired by the American craft beer culture. You won’t find the standard series of Belgian style Blond, Dubbel and Tripel here, but instead they do stouts, IPA’s and a red ale. Their craft beer menu is rather impressive, with a good choice of their own brews and beers from other brewers on tap. They also have a good collection of beers in bottles and cans to choose from.
Go here, because of
- the wide range of craft beers to choose from;
- the knowledgeable and friendly staff;
- the events, such as live bands, tap take overs and tasting sessions;
- the beautiful location
2. Brewery Eanske
Eanske means Enschede in the regional dialect. This brewery exists since 2014 and was until recently a contract brewery, that let other breweries produce its beers. Eanske opened its own brewery in 2019, in what was once the porter’s lodge of a textile factory. This brewery isn’t opened for accidental visitors though. If you want to visit you’ll have to request a tour and/or tasting via their website.
Recently I visited the Eanske brewery in Enschede and met the brewer. He runs the entire place by himself: brewing, sales, marketing, organizing tours… That is a lot for one guy I guess and it means that not all of his brews are always on stock.
They are interesting brews to try though. Before I met the brewer I had tasted a couple of the Eanske beers and thought they tasted a little herbal. The brewer told me that he doesn’t use any herbs at all! And that all of the flavor comes from yeasts and hops. That makes the beers even more interesting to me.
Eanske attempts to do extreme versions of well known beer styles, such as extra hoppy IPA’s. I don’t think their attempts are always successful. It’s not that the beers are horrible, just that they are not that extreme compared to the beers of other Dutch breweries. On the other hand, this is a brewer who has just started and who’s creative, so he may develop more interesting beers in the near future. Think of his sour ales that are now fermenting in barrels. It’s worth keeping an eye on this brewery, I think.
3. Craft beer bar De Beiaard
Before Stanislaus opened its doors as a craft beer lovers paradise, De Beiaard was the place to be for craft beer in Enschede. And it is still a decent bar to go to. They may be the more attractive option on a sunny day, when you can enjoy drinks on their sunny terrace on the central square of Enschede and do some people watching. As they serve meals, this may also be the best option if you are in for some pub style food.
De Beiaard is a place that has promoted craft beer for a long time, has staff that know their beers and a wide range of brews to choose from. They tend a bit towards Belgian style beers, so if you are more into those, this is definitely your place to be.
4. Twentsche Foodhall
If you don’t want to take a tour at the Eanske brewery, try its neighbor, the Twentsche Foodhal. This food court has a bar that has a couple of Eanske beers on tap. This is a vibrant place to visit for some drinks or snacks or a meal, with several kitchens to choose from. It is slightly outside of the city center, but easy to walk to from town or from the railway station.
When we were there, on a Friday afternoon, we noticed that the guy who served us had no clue about which beers he was serving and couldn’t even find beers that were on the menu. He claimed he had never heard of them… His excuse was that he usually works daytime and knows more about coffee. To me this felt like a missed opportunity especially for Eanske, which should be more or less their house beer.
Hoge Bothofstraat 39a
Website Twentsche Foodhal
5. Proeflokaal België
OK, not my top recommendation. Still, if you are into Belgian beers and neighboring De Beiaard is packed, you could decide to head to Proeflokaal België. It’s almost next to De Beiaard and specializes in Belgian beers. It has a nice enough terrace with a view of the church and the central square. Staff doesn’t know a lot about beer though.
Address: Oude Markt 20
Proeflokaal België on Facebook
How to reach Enschede by public transport
Reaching Enschede by train is pretty easy. There are direct trains coming from Schiphol/Amsterdam Zuid and from The Hague/Utrecht every hour.
Check your schedule on the public transport website 9292.nl and read my tips about using public transport in Holland. Mind that there are extra rules for users of public transport during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example: you have to wear a face mask when using public transport.
A tiny bit of history of Enschede
As its neighboring towns Hengelo and Almelo, Enschede was a small and rather insignificant town till the 19th century. Things changed in 1830, when Belgium seceded from the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Flanders just happened to be the place where textile was produced. The Dutch government then designated Twente – the region in which Enschede is located – as the new hotspot for the Dutch textile industry. This industry was an important employer for the many poor people living in Twente at that time and the small town of Enschede started to grow. The owners of the textile factories moved in too and built stately houses that you may spot when walking around in Enschede.
Of the 3 cities in Twente I find Enschede by far the most attractive. It is the most lively of the 3, with a more or less attractive shopping center, many bars, restaurants and a couple of interesting museums. Though I wouldn’t recommend spending too much time there, it is a nice town to hang out after a day of hiking in the surrounding countryside.