Being an brew-loving nerd has it’s advantages! CansAcrossTheWorld.com went to Amsterdam to check out the Heineken Brewery Experience and find out what makes “the green and red” such an iconic brand.
The Heineken Brewery Experience is a major tourist attraction in Amsterdam. Up until 1988 it was the company’s primary brewing facility and has been open to “Experience” style tours since 1991.
The tour opens with a historical look at the beers production process through the years, its distribution and the evolution of the brand.
I found the beginning of the tour to be slightly ill-conceived : the pre-purchased ticket-holders had to wait outside in the rain whilst ticket-purchasing customers were welcomed inside. Once entry had been gained we were directed to a waiting area with staff who were unsure of their role in the entry process.
The tour begins with an introductory talk and moves swiftly past the toilets and on to the next section – a move which brought with it much frustration as we were busting by the time we got to that point. As a result we missed a section about the history of the brands shipping.
The tour takes the audience through the image of the brand and how it changed over the years as well as the brewing techniques used.
Then onto the vats room where we could see how the process took place. This room was beautifully tiled and had a distinct Willy Wonka vibe. There we tasted the Wort (water and barley heated and filtered).
The tour then kicks up a notch and it really takes on the “experience” role. The visitor is led into a series of interactive rooms and experiences the 4D event of being brewed. This element of the tour was most impressive indeed.
There is definitely a feeling of indoctrination to the brand which becomes more potent as the visitor exits into the tasting room. By then we were ready to sample the wares but this portion of the tour felt slightly rushed as we hadn’t even concluded the talk when the next batch of eager tasters descended upon the room and we were ushered on.
The tour went on to various interactive aspects of the brand and its alluring green bottles, ending with the basement bar and 2 servings of the golden brew.
By the time we hit the gift shop at the end of the tour I had consumed a hefty quantity (as my very patient fiance is not a beer drinker) and I became emotional that I couldn’t “bring home that bloody lovely giant magnum of Heineken” which was available for purchase exclusively to tour visitors.
A big CATW shout-out to the staff on the tour. They were fantastic at delivering the information in a funny, entertaining and professional manner and were more than happy to pose for photos and answer any questions.
Highly recommended despite needing a few tweeks at the beginning…. A great day out nevertheless!