Heineken Experience in Amsterdam
The Heineken Experience in Amsterdam was a lot different than I was expecting. It was rich in history, informative, interactive and fun. I’m really glad that we decided to stop by. There was a bit of a line when we first arrived at the Heineken Brewery, but we bought e-tickets for a specific time (as in 15 minutes from when we bought them) online while we were waiting in line and were let in within 15 minutes.
It is currently decked out in Christmas decorations and a singing tree greets you as you are ushered in. It is also while you are checking in that you get you’re Heineken wristband. This wristband is important because it has two buttons attached to it that you cash in for beers at the end of the experience.
There is then a Heineken Guide that walks the group you came in with through the first few rooms. It is in these rooms that the history of Heineken is discussed. Including, how Heineken was the first company to bring beer to the United States after the end of Prohibition.
The tour continues where you can walk through multiple rooms that has memorabilia and facts about Heineken that you can read about. Or you can take the fast pass and head straight to the bar to cash in for your beers.
The tour also includes a walk through of one of their historic brewing rooms. It is also decorated for Christmas, which added to it’s charm. In the brewing room, you can look into each gigantic vessel. In the vessel, you can read about the processes of making beer and see a short video about it.
At the end of the tour of this room, you can try a mixture of barley and water which is the basis of beer. I tried it. I do not recommend it taste wise. But, for the experience it was worth it. Beer tastes much, much better.
After this, you are ushered in the stables. Yes, you read that right. Stables, as in horse stables. Now when I went the brewery was undergoing renovations so none of the horses were currently residing in the stables, but the tour still takes you through it.
In the stables, you are split up into small groups where a small host talks more about Heineken’s history and about the horses. The horses are still kept today for promotional reasons. They take a Heineken Beer cart around the city twice a day for two hours and also attend beer festivals and other events.
After you finish learning about the horses, you turn the corner and get your first beer of the experience. But, you can’t drink it yet.
First, a Heineken host will teach you the correct way to drink a beer. The host talks about why a beer has head, the bubbles in a beer and the correct way to position it to get the best taste. After the host finishes explaining all of this, you are free to finish your beer in the stables.
The Heineken Experience
After the stables, this is where the Heineken Experience really begins. I almost don’t know how to describe it because there was so much to see and interact with. It was multiple stories of different rooms that ranged from the bottling process to Heineken’s support of sports.
The selfie wall lights up with people dancing.
You can try your hand at the karaoke stage, where you bike with a basket that contains a case of Heineken’s to popular Dutch songs.
You can play Foosball and look at signed sports memorabilia from sponsored teams.
There are photo booths to take pictures in, you can design and customize a Heineken bottle to take home. You can practice your beer pouring skills on a simulator and a whole lot more until you finally get to…
The Best ‘Dam Bar! This is where you can finally cash in the buttons on your wristband for two “perfectly chilled beers”. Right now, this is down in a basement due to renovations but they do have a rooftop bar that should be opened again once the renovations are over.
The bar is dark, plays loud music and kinda feels like a club, but it was really fun. They were also serving fresh (aka scolding HOT!) traditional Dutch food to patrons.
Down here, they also had a beer pouring contest in the Heineken Draught Challenge, hosted and judged by one of the Heineken Hosts. There were four taps to compete on. The host would demonstrate the five steps to pouring the perfect beer:
- Clean the glass
- Pour the beer
- Skim the top, once
This was much harder than it looked and the winner of this competition got a prize, in the form of an extra beer button to cash in. After you leave the bar area, you enter the gift shop. There are plenty of items here and you can get beer glasses customized with hand-engravings. Overall, the Heineken Experience was really fun and I would recommend it to anyone who is in Amsterdam.
Have you ever been to the Heineken Experience?