There is a strong stereotype that Irish people love their drink and are all alcoholics. I’m not an alcoholic, but I do love a cool, crisp pint of beer. In particular Heineken, one of the greatest exports of The Netherlands. During a recent visit to Amsterdam, I jumped at the chance to visit the Heineken brewery and experience the creation of one of the grestest brands in consumer history.
The Heineken Brewery is located in Stadhouderskade 78, Amsterdam. For the great price of €16, you can experience the brewery and the brew itself, with a lesson on how to be an expert Heineken drinker.
The tour starts with an introduction to the Heineken company. The company was founded by Gerard Adriaan Heineken in 1864. He purchased the brewery ‘Den Hoyberg’ with funding from his parents. When he first attempted to purchase ‘Den Hoyberg’, he was offered shares in the brewery, however, he wanted ‘all or nothing’. His attempt for full control was successful and he received full control of the brewery and so Heinken was born. Consequently, Heineken worked tirelessly to develop his own brand of beer.
The ingredients are shown to you and the brewing process is explained. There are also free samples of a sweet liquid know as wort. Wort is a mixture of water and hops, this is apparently supposed to be good for a hangover and is an ingredient of the beer. The tour is seeped in information and contains a lot of interactive features including a virtual tour of the life of a Heineken beer. Standing in a room the floor moves, lights flash and various other effects turn you into a bottle of Heineken as it moves through the brewing and bottling process.
While on the tour, you will receive a small glass of The Netherland’s finest beer and will be tutored on how to examine the colour, the smell and how to drink the beer in order to maximise your Heineken experience. There is the option to have a customised bottle of Heineken with your name or a message of your choice on the bottle.
The tour proceeds to show how the beer developed throughout the years and became one of the greatest and most known brands in the world. Through their unique advertising and sponsorship of major events including the UEFA Champions League, Heineken Cup and the Rugby World Cup, Heineken has become the most widely recognised beer all over the world.
There are table football games for you to use and have fun with your friends on the tour, there is also an interactive ‘DJ Hero’ style game for you to try out. Interactive videos and photo booths allow you to send e-cards or videos to friends or star in your own Heineken video. There is also a database which allows you to search for your favourite Heineken Champions League experience.
The tour ends with the option to learn how to pour the perfect glass of Heineken. The tour includes two free beers in order for you to put all you have learned into effect to optimise your experience of the greatest beer in the world.
Text by Nick kennedy
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