After meeting up with the whole crew, including the friends from Manchester, we set off to go to the Heineken Experience, which is a tour of the Heineken brewery. If you’re living at a hotel or hostel, a tip would be to check if they have any discount vouchers since you’re likely to get a few dollars off. I believe we got it for around 16 euros. When you arrive, you receive complimentary coat check. Then you proceed to turn in your ticket and you get a wristband in return with 2 beer tokens and a free gift token.
It’s a self guided tour and they estimate it takes around 1.5 hours to get through the whole tour. The beginning includes a lot of history of how the company came together and the different branding and marketing strategies they used throughout time.
Honestly, I didn’t think the history section was too interesting. It was sort of like going to a museum and we had to read everything off the plaques, so we skimmed through it quite quickly.
Then we got to some things that were a little more interesting. They had a worker explain to us the process of how beer is made.
You got to try some of the hops and barley. Hops definitely did not taste that great…
Then you arrive at the Brew Room. You can’t really see what’s going on, so it’s more like getting a big picture of how it would be produced.
You can get a mandatory picture of yourself brewing in that brown leather apron too!
Then, you’ll find yourself in the stable walk with tons of horses. These horses were huge! Apparently, the horses were used to transport beer to the bars. I didn’t get a picture of the next room, but it’s pretty fun! It was a 4D ride called Brew Your Ride, and you essentially stand in this platform with other visitors and watch a film where you are basically Heineken beer. You go through the whole process including how you would be bottled up if you were the beer. It was pretty neat since the platform would move and water would squirt out to give effects.
Finally, we got to sample some beer! I think most of us were just looking for beer. They should’ve totally given us a beer to begin with so we could sip on it while going through the tour. The worker told us how to truly taste a beer and how to smell and see if it’s good beer. He also taught us the differences between Heineken and other beers. Some cold beer was perfect!
Next, we saw how the beer was bottled up with labels applied. This was really cool since you were able to customize your own label and you could see your customized bottle go down the production line.
They also had a final inspection! Some of our friends purchased this, but had to drink the beer in the end, since we were taking budget airlines with no checked luggage. So be warned that if you’re taking a budget airline, it’s probably not worth your money to purchase this, unless you don’t mind the bottle being uncapped.
Another section became tons of interactive games and such. They had plenty of screens where you could take pictures or videos with their branding and you could send it to your email. There was also a room with the advertisements they had used in the past and just tons of beer bottles decorating the ceilings and walls. Another interactive game was challenging yourself to pour beer from the tap perfectly. They also had a real life draught challenge and you could get a certificate to say that you had perfected pouring beer. However, that required two of your tokens from the wristband.
Instead, we used the tokens to trade ourselves some cold beer! Finally, we were able to just relax and enjoy ourselves in their Heineken World Bar. The Heineken Experience ends with the gift shop, which has some pretty cool gifts. You can also customize your beer glasses or mugs with etched names.
Overall, I thought it was a decent activity with friends. I’d suggest it if you were here for more than a day and have spare time. I’m not a huge beer fan, although Heineken is one of the beers I prefer more. I do find the admission price to be a little pricey for what we got. Learning-wise, I didn’t think I learned that much. It might’ve been better if someone was taking us around on the tour so we could just hear the explanations in person. Didn’t really enjoy the reading part of the tour..but that’s just me. Apparently you’re also able to get a water taxi to go to the Heineken Gift Shop across town to get the free gift, but we missed the last taxi, so we never got the gift.