Just a short walk from the Rijksmuseum, was The Heineken Experience. We managed to buy tickets just minutes before the last entry of the day. The Heineken Experience is very much like Cadbury World ( factory tour, glitzy interactive displays, a ride, plethora of samples), just with beer, rather than chocolate. Also, The Heineken Experience is adults only.
Tickets were eighteen euros, which included the self-guided tour, and four small, yet full, glasses of Heineken. The beer coupons were attached to a rubber bracelet, making the whole process very convenient.
As with Cadbury World, the tour was at our own pace, but kept us moving in one direction through the building. The first part was focused on the Heineken's history, including advertising, methods of making beer, and the innovations in bottling.
Just before entering the Historic Brew Room, we listened to a lesson on beer making.
The Historic Brew Room is no longer in use, but it was very cool to see.
If someone ever tells you to try barley water, decline. To say that it's a unique, acquired taste, is being kind. Barley Sugar = Yes. Barley Water = No.
The Heineken Experience has beer and...horses! I may have squealed a little.
Next came the ride. As a theme park enthusiast, I always appreciate a ride. This was a bumpy, 4-D film experience about Heineken beer being made. We were the beer! Funny enough, Cadbury has a very similar ride, where "You are a cocoa bean". I'm wondering what other factories I can visit to "be a food".
Next, it was time for the samples. Whoo-hoo!
One of the coolest things was the interactive coasters. Check out this video that Dan made. We could have played with the coasters all day. It's mesmerizing.
I'm a light-weight; two beers was more than enough, so we passed along our additional beer tickets to another couple, before finishing up with the last of the displays. Here is another interactive one.
We had the opportunity to create a personalized Heineken label and watch a machine bottle it. We did the personalized Cadbury label, so we skipped the Heineken Souvenir, but Dan took a video of the machine.
Speaking of bottles, there was this artsy display using Heineken bottles.
Here are the bottles through the decades, plenty of changes.
We left The Heineken Experience feeling like we got value for money. We had a great time. And then, we were totally surprised with an additional element after leaving the factory. Heineken offered a free canal boat shuttle to take us across town, much closer to our hotel. The boat was docked right outside of The Heineken Experience and leaving in five minutes.
Stay tuned for pictures and videos of our canal ride and snaps from the rest of our evening touring the city.