on August 27, 2009
In a city with so much history and culture, it slightly embarrasses me to say that the Heineken Experience was one of the trips highlights. First off, the tour is in English, so after two days faced with the language barrier I was happy to completely understand my surroundings.The tour started with a video running through the founding and evolution of the company, followed by a maze filled with historical Heineken objects.Eventually you make your way to the brewery littered with large copper colored cisterns and the smell of barley. In this room you can read and hear about the beer making process, and taste the wort separated during the mashing process.Next is the "Brew You Ride", a virtual experience that takes you through the beer making process (in English of course), complete with a moving platform, wind, and mist. This was a definitely a "is this real?" moment.After the ride, you enter a room with two star shaped bars tended by English speaking dutch bartenders. There they crack some jokes, explain why beer is supposed to have head (including a fairly comical joke for those English speakers), and give you your first sample.From here the tour transitions to a bit of a fun house atmosphere - Heineken video games, short videos displayed in single person pods, Heineken sports memorabilia, and loads of other things to overload your senses.The finale is, of course, a bar with another sample. Your ticket includes two samples, but they weren't stopping at two. Try the Heineken '0' - it's kept at zero degrees Celsius, so it's refreshingly ice cold.Don't forget to swing by the gift shop on your way out - it's reasonably priced and their pint glasses make great gifts.
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