A trip to Amsterdam would not be complete without spending some time at the Heineken Brewery. The Heineken Experience is a major tourist attraction in Amsterdam and offers a glimpse into the history and brewing process of the ‘golden’ beer. It is an interactive and very nice tour to discover the world of Heineken. This post will describe in detail every part of the experience and will provide some tips and general information.
The experience in 9 steps:
1. Educate yourself. The experience starts with a visit to the old silos. Here, an employee will tell you all about Heineken’s history, the founders, the first bottle and how the beer was developed.
2. Walk through the beer silos. You can walk through the old silos and see some memorabilia, awards, and medals.
3. Know your beer ingredients. An employee will tell you an interesting and short story about the four main ingredients of a Heineken beer.
4. Kettle yourself. Within this room, you can see some preserved original copper kettles. The inside of the kettles are empty and used to project films on. In this room, you can also stir water in a massive barrel, grind barley and taste a mix of barley and water (not delicious though!)
5. Meet the horses. After the copper kettles room, you will visit the horse stable. I was lucky to meet Jean-Francois and Gerard, two of the nine black Shire horses. The horses have always played an important role in the Heineken story. In the past, they were used as a source of power and to transport the beer around the country.
6. Develop your own bottle. For just €6,50 you can bottle yourself by writing your name on a Heineken beer bottle. You can pick-up your bottle at the end of the tour at the cash desk.
7. Brew your ride. Be the beer. This is maybe the funniest part of the tour. You will become the beer yourself! How? Via a simulator. You will see the brewing process on a big screen and interactively join the process. When the water falls in the barrel, you get sprayed with water, and when the barrel gets stirred, the floor will shake and stir you.
8. Become a beer snob. After the simulation, you can finally taste a beer! A bartender will explain how you should drink you beer and what a perfect beer does look like. You can either finish your beer at the bar or enter a big green room where advertisements are playing and where you can sit down. If you do so, you should have a look at the rood. It is built from beer bottles and looks amazing.
9. Participate in beer activities. Now you will enter an interactive part. Here you can do several activities like karaoke, take a photo or cycle through Amsterdam with a simulator.
10. Ball the beer. Another interactive part is focused on sports and Heineken’s connection with FIFA. In this part of the tour, you can play FIFA or rugby, and see important football trophies and football shirts.
11. Enjoy a beer. The last part is the bar! You can ‘cash in’ your two tokens (that are attached to the rubber bracelet they give you upon entering) for two pints of regular Heineken or to tap your own beer. When you decide to tap your own beer, you need to hand in two tokens, and can only tap one beer. You do get a good explanation of a Heineken tap professional and after you have tapped your beer, a nice certification with your name and date.
12. Remembeer your experience. After the bar, you will walk through the shop where you can buy memorabilia. Here you can also pick up your personalized bottle (if you have created one at step six) and there is an opportunity to engrave a glass for only € 3,00.
I really enjoyed the Heineken Brewery Experience Tour in Amsterdam. It was busy and touristic, but not too much, so I still could enjoy my experience. I am more a wine person, but still enjoyed the tour. If you are not much fan of beer, then it is maybe not worth visiting this attraction.
Tip: The place can get really crowded. Try to visit the brewery in the morning and try to avoid weekends.
Length of tour: The tour takes around 1.5 hours. I took my time to read all the description and to play some games in the sports section, so it took me a bit longer. Overall, I spent almost 3 hours in the Heineken Experience.
Admission fees: Adults €18,00 (order online and just pay €16,00), child 12-17 years €12,50 and child 0-11 years free.
Address: Stadhouderskade 78, 1072 AE, Amsterdam
Opening hours: Open 365 days a year.
Monday – Thursday: 10:30 – 7:30 pm
Friday – Sunday: 10:30 – 9:00 pm
July & August: 10:30 – 9:00 pm everyday
I hope this post can help you prepare what to expect at the Heineken Brewery Experience. If you already visited the experience, I am curious about your experience. Let me know if you enjoyed it!
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