We talk a lot about beer and breweries here at L&A. It could be our German ancestry or Wisconsin residency, but it is probably because beer tastes good. Heineken is no exception. Now, I know there are some haters out there who call Heineken (and any other green bottle brew) skunky, but hear me out. This distinctive flavor is intentional and is derived from a very special strain of yeast, and, like Guinness, it tastes better on its home turf. Enter the Heineken Experience. This is, well, an experience, housed in the old brewery in central Amsterdam. I say old because beer is no longer brewed here. To keep up with demand, production in the Netherlands moved to a facility in Zoeterwoude. Not to worry-plenty of beer is supplied to you while you are here.
The experience has a little bit of everything. Part museum, part tour, part interactive playground-it is all fun. It begins with with a tour of the old brew house where you can see the giant copper kettles responsible for bringing Heineken to the world for over 100 years. Then comes the most unique aspect of the experience: something called Brew U, where you get to see what it’s like to become beer. (You actually go through the experience of being bottled – complete with a bubbly fermentation.) After that is the interactive portion, where you can record a video of yourself at Heineken and send it to friends and family back home. Your parents will be so proud. Now you are ready for some beer – your 16 euros gets you 2 pints at the end (and a small glass halfway through to keep you sane). And after the alcohol loosens you purse strings, head to the gift shop and buy something ridiculously awesome.
Something this cool is bound to have a line, so if possible buy your tickets ahead of time here. It is open daily from 11am to 7pm and allow 1-2 hours for the full experience.
This will turn you into a Heineken lover yet.