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One of the things I really like about our travels is finding out how things are made. Well this trip is no different. While visiting Amsterdam, we were fortunate enough to see how beer is made at Heineken. Through the Heineken Experience, the Wagoners Abroad crew was able to do just that.
I will admit that I’m not a huge beer fan, but I do like the occasional cold brew, so this experience was right up my alley. I will also point out that this is a very family friendly tour. Obviously young kids will not be drinking any beer, but there are alternatives provided (water or soda).
There are a lot of things I enjoyed about the Heineken Experience. First off, the staff was very friendly, and knowledgeable about the beer making process. The easy to follow tour is set up in such a way that you can linger on the things that are important to you, or skip the stuff that doesn’t interest you. They provide a lot of history about the company and it’s founder. Another section provided information on the components of beer:
- Yeast (Heineken’s “secret sauce”)
We were given samples of hops to smell, and barley to eat. Very cool. Another part of the tour allowed us to sample the wort (the semi-sweet infusion of barley before it’s fermented). The kids even got into the act, and were put to work mixing the heated solution.
The best part of the tour was a “ride”, where you are the beer and get to imagine yourself going through the entire beer making process. It’s a cute video that has some special effects (not going to spoil it). Afterwards, during the taste testing (yes!), one of the staff detailed the reason for having a head on beer, the proper way to drink a beer, and even the way the Dutch say “Cheers!”. It’s “Proost!“. I just love learning about new cultures! Near the end of the taste testing, the staff member threw out some trivia. The first question was, “What was the name of the guy in the video you just saw?”. Right off the bat, Lars yelled, “Alex!”. And he won…a glass of Heineken. That’s my boy! He is going to be awesome in college. Of course we quickly took that beer for him.
I was surprised at all of the activities that are provided as part of the experience. Lars and I were able to battle it out on FIFA 14 football (Playstation). He beat me by only the smallest of margins, and was very lucky in doing so. They have foosball, crazy dance/screen simulators, and other things that can help keep the younger ones interested. For the adults, you can customize your own bottle of Heineken, T-shirt, or piece of memorabilia. Quite fun after the little taste test.
I’ve also found my new vocation. I will no longer be just a World Class Travel Blogger, but I’m going to follow my dreams and become a World Class DJ. Be prepared to have your mind blown at my DJ skills. Lars was there too, but the camera didn’t quite get him in. If that doesn’t work, then I will fall back on my second passion, and Lars and I are going to hit the Karaoke circuit. Yeah…I know. Words can’t express the pure awesomeness of our performance.
During the tour, not only do you get one tasting and two glasses of beer, but included in the purchase price is a small Heineken glass. It was a great tour, and even if Heineken is not your favorite beer, it’s a fun experience for the entire family. We all had a great time.
More fun videos from our Heineken Experience in Amsterdam.
- Karaoke Lars and Anya
- Karaoke Heidi and Anya
To schedule your tour, check out their website or give them a call.
The Heineken Experience
Address : Stadhouderskade 78 Amsterdam
Telephone number : + 31 (0)20 523 92 22
Website : www.heinekenexperience.com
Disclaimer: We would like to thank The Amsterdam Tourism Office and Heineken for sponsoring our visit. All of the reviews, recommendations and opinions are our own.