On our first day in Amsterdam, one of the first places we visited was the Heineken Brewery since it happened to be close to where we were staying (coincidence? fate? either way, perfect).
I’ve been on a good number of brewery tours, so I figured this would be fairly similar to all of the ones I’ve been on. Boy, was I wrong! This place was HUGE and had so much to offer!
The tour lasted a little over two hours, and involved horses, an interactive ride (I felt like I was back at Disney!), a little bit of history, taste tests, a rugby tackle, lots of soccer (aka football), and a quick intro to bartending! So. Much. Fun.
Now an international seller, Heineken began in Amsterdam in the 1870s by Gerard Heineken.
The first part of the tour was more leisurely and go at your own pace, with info cards and pictures lining the walls, and a few informational videos.
Next, a tour guide gave a brief explanation of how the beer is made, and sent us off for a firsthand experience!
This “experience” made me feel like I was a kid at Disney World! Standing on steps with a group of people, we were transported into the brewing world, becoming part of the attraction! The interactive ride was bumpy, wet (we got a bit splashed by the beer sloshing around), hot, cold, involved bubbles raining down on us, and ended with a disco party!. Watching the screen in front of us explain all the steps involved in making a bottle of beer was so entertaining!
After the ride was over, we were free to walk through the rest of the brewery.
The factory that houses the machinery was built in the 19th century, and had the best windows!
I was so surprised when I walked into the next room and saw the Heineken horses!
They had a horse trainer there explaining the roles the horses play in the production of Heineken beer. The horses are housed in the stables of the warehouse, and smelled like a barn! It made me miss driving past the farms by my home.
Finally, it was time for some taste testing!
We wandered through the sports section of the museum, and tried our hand at a rugby tackle. I’ve decided that sadly, rugby is probably not the sport for me 😦 I did enjoy seeing the soccer sponsors though!
Deator tried her hand at pouring the perfect Heineken pint, and didn’t do too badly! A little more practice and she’ll be a pro in no time!
You can bottle your own beer and create your own personalized label!
We got a bit stuck along the way…