Ok I’m finally starting my Amsterdam blog posts and I’m starting with the Heineken Experience. Because spoiler, it’s awesome.
The Heineken Experience is a tourist spot that’s been created in the old Heineken brewery, right on the canal on Stadhouderskade. They don’t actually brew Heineken there anymore but it now serves as an ‘experience’ to show visitors exactly how it is made. This is all I had to go on when I went, not knowing exactly what this would entail, and it definitely exceeded my expectations…
Learn about Heineken and how it is made
First up was the part I was expecting, the history of Heineken and how it is made. To be honest, I wasn’t massively interested in the first part which was just Heineken memorabilia and bit of info about its creator.
But the next bit was really interesting as it was a lot more interactive. A guy gave an explanation to everyone on the ingredients that go into the beer, then we could walk around the big brass vats for an explanation of the first part of the process – mixing the water and barley to create ‘wort’. You could even get stuck in, mixing the mixture, grinding the barley and even trying a sip of the wort creation (very sweet).
The last part of this section even involves a stable full of horses! I forget why they were important as I was too busy looking at how cute they were.
‘The Brew You Ride’ simulator
The next part of the tour involved a simulator where you get to experience the journey beer takes through the brewery. We did have to queue for this part but not more than 10 minutes. You just have to stand up and the platform moves as the film shows the route the beer takes, complete with water and bubbles!
Learn how to drink Heineken
Ok it’s not rocket science, you just drink it. But hey, you get a free beer right? Learn to say cheers in dutch and the correct position to be in (let the beer come to you) at the awesome star-shaped bars. Go to the front as if you get an answer right to one of the questions, you get a free beer. As you can see from my boyf’s three beers, he knows his shit.
Learn to pour Heineken
The next bit has a guy at a bar showing you exactly how to pour the perfect pint of Heineken. Well, the dutch way anyway (Brits would definitely go for less foam and more alcohol). Again, if you want to try it out, you get another free beer!
Fun and games aplenty
If you’re anything like me, you will probably be quite tipsy at this point. But that’s good because this section is all about having fun with various games available. We rode weird faux bikes in front of a green screen, singing a random Dutch song which was quite funny. And you could play football games and rugby games, aligning with Heineken’s sponsorships. I liked this part a lot, it felt like going to the Science Museum when you’re a kid.
At the end of the experience, you reach the bar and you have two free beer tokens on your wristband! There is a downstairs bar at the end of the tour or you can jump in the lift and head to the rooftop bar. I opted for one in each, but the rooftop bar is much nicer with gorgeous views across Amsterdam.
The best part is that barmen are practically giving away extra beers. So if you weren’t already smashed from the free beers in the tour and your two free beers on your wristband, there are plenty more available.
Oh and I forgot, I also got a personalised bottle of Heineken printed for Heels In My Backpack! I totally love it.
Overall I really enjoyed the Heineken Experience, it was one of the major highlights of my trip. I think they got it bang on by calling it an ‘experience’ as that is exactly what it is. I spent over three hours in there, as there was so much to see and do… and drink.
It was a lot of fun and at €18 for entry including the two beer tokens (and all the extra free beer), I think it’s a massive bargain. Check out the Heineken Experience website for tickets and more information. Quick tip though, if you’re going on a Saturday it gets real busy between 1pm and 5pm. I went at 12.30pm and breezed right through. On my way out the queue looked like this…
So make sure you plan it into your day early or late!
Have you been to the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!
Total blogger transparency: I accepted free entry to Heineken Experience Amsterdam but all opinions expressed are my own. I wouldn’t play you like that, shorty.