One of the things we knew we wanted to do while visiting Amsterdam was a tour of Heineken. Starting to do some research we learned that Heineken offers two of what they call “Heineken Experience”. A “Heineken Experience”, which cost 16 Euro, or a VIP Experience, costing 49 Euro. We are “once in a lifetime” tourers and went with the VIP Experience.
Probably one of the world’s best known beers, Heineken was founded in 1864 by Gerard Adriaan Heineken. The building we toured was the primary brewing facility for Heineken from 1867 until 1988. A few years later, in 1991, it was opened to the public as a brewery tour and visitation centre.
The first part of our tour was what those who paid for the regular “Heineken Experience” got to see – a bit of history of the brand, the owners (the Heineken family) as well as information about the development of Heineken-A Yeast, which is used in all of Heineken’s beers around the world.
After learning about the history and ingredients, we were brought to the original (very stunning) brewing room.
Next was the stables. From it’s insception, until 1965 Heineken had horses helping in the manufacturing and delivering beer. Now they still have a handful of horses in the Amsterdam stables for promotional purposes.
We were then brought up to the meeting area. A space on the top floor of the building where anyone can host weddings, events or meetings. It was beautiful (and obviously had a bar with Heineken on tap). The best part though? The view.
Then came my favourite part – something that you only get during the VIP tour – beer and cheese tasting! Let me explain. With each entry to the Heineken tour everyone gets two beers at the end (and a third when they teach you about the bubbles). On the VIP tour, you get to sample five different Heineken branded beers that are matched with cheeses. Our tour guide Jos was amazing. Answering all of our questions about the different beers and brands Heineken owns (and giving us a little extra beer or cheese because our group was small).
As we were enjoying out lovely beer and cheese pairings, we were surprised with our own personalized Heineken bottles (which I’m happy to say made it home safely).
The tour finished with the “Brew You” ride, a bit of a lesson on how to pour Heineken (and another taste). Then we were free to roam the media areas and pick up our two tastes.
We had a blast (those eight beers may have helped hah). We would definitely recommend paying the extra for the VIP Tour.