After the work part of an overseas trip was finished, my partner joined me in Amsterdam for a few days in Europe. We met at Amsterdam Central station. It was a rainy and cold spring day in Amsterdam. It was quite miserable to be outside. Since we only had the one day in Amsterdam, we decided to make the most of it by visiting the Heineken Museum. The Heineken Museum is also known as the Heineken Experience.
Getting to the Heineken Museum
We bought a day ticket on the hop-on-hop-off sightseeing boat to get to the Heineken Museum and also to explore Amsterdam from its canals. My partner is an avid beer lover. He has even tried his hand at making craft beer, and it tasted delicious. So, the Heineken Experience was a MUST on our list of to-dos in Amsterdam.
We took the boat up to the closest stop to the Heineken Experience venue (an old Amsterdam Brewery). This is stop four on the route. From there we walked the rest of the way; it took less than 10 minutes.
Should one buy Heineken Museum tickets in advance?
Unfortunately, we had not planned ahead by booking tickets since our itinerary was only finalised late. Pity, because when we arrived at the Heineken Experience, the queue was very, very long. It almost went around the corner of the building. It was also freezing and slightly wet, which just added to our misery.
Luckily once we started queuing, we noticed that the line was moving reasonably fast. Also, the staff of the Heineken Experience served bitterballen with mustard to those of us in the back of the line. It was my first time having it. The bitterballen were yummy and warm. They were just what we needed to keep us motivated to stand in the long line.
Needless to say, if we had bought the tickets in advance, we could have taken the expressway. There was also a line for the express line, but it was short. So, worth considering!
Inside the Heineken Museum
Eventually, we made it to the cashiers and got our tickets and our wristbands with some tokens the cashier had given us. I did not know what this was for and just followed the crowd into the entrance passage to the display area.
From here on there was Heineken advertisements and memorabilia everywhere.
There was a lot more to the Heineken family, brand and beer than I had known before. For example, Heineken is a family business, and they had won many awards for the work done by them. Fascinating stuff!
In one of the rooms, they show the different ingredients beer is made off, and you can taste it. On their own, none of the ingredients is tasty at all!
In the old brewing room, they explained the process of beer-making from beginning to end. The big copper kettles were empty, and we could look inside.
From there we went past the Heineken stables – another surprise for me – and stood in a long queue. We did not know what was waiting for us, only that it was the second time in one day we had to queue for a Heineken Experience.
Eventually, we got to the front of the line, and it was a 4D movie – it was a lot of fun, and we got sprayed a bit – water (un)fortunately, not beer!
From there you can design your own beer bottle label. There are some displays about how beer bottles have changed throughout the years.
Drinking beer – finally
We eventually got to the end of the Heineken Experience and was shown into a place that looked like a bar. It was! We finally got to drink some Heineken, but first, we had to learn how to drink beer. An interesting little snippet I discovered was that women tend to drink beer too carefully and then only get the bitter foam on top – you need to take bigger sips to get to the good stuff! I must say after all the queuing and waiting; the icy cold beer was soo refreshing.
Afterwards, there are fun areas where you can play games like soccer and send Heineken postcards to your friends for free.
After all of this, we got to use the two tokens on the wristbands to buy beers. Each of us had two tokens and could buy two beers. We thoroughly enjoyed our beers. For those who do not drink beer, soda was available.
Before you go out of the Heineken Experience building, you use the last token to get your gift – 2 Heineken glasses.
Overall, I really thought the whole Heineken experience was worth it. Firstly, the three beers we were given while on the inside would have made up for at least half of the ticket price. Secondly, we learned so much and probably spent around 2,5 – 3 hours inside. Thirdly, we didn’t have to buy souvenirs since we received Heineken glasses for free. AND we got to keep the wristband. Fourthly, we got to taste bitterballen for the first time and for FREE!
Have you ever been to the Heineken Experience or a beer brewery? Did you like the experience? Anywhere you can recommend we go to in future?