Let me start by saying I am not a big beer drinker, like most don’t have a flavor that appeals to me. It may seem odd for a person who hates beer to then go spend half a day in a museum dedicated to it. I agree, but I was strongly encouraged to go and although I originally was opposed to the idea, I am happy I did it anyways! It was such a positive experience and honestly one of my favorite things I ended up doing while visiting the Netherlands.
Let’s just dive right in on what you can except when visiting the Heineken Museum.
Once you decide you want to visit, you want to book your tickets in advance. You can easily do this online on their main website. They are located near Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmusuem making it a great place to visit if you are seeing other museums. They are open 365 days a year from 10:30am until 7:30pm with last entrance at 5:30pm.
Now they advertise this brewery tour as an “experience” and that was really odd to me. Like how is looking at brewing beer an experience? More on that later promise!
When you first get there, you will check in based off your entrance time. You get a cute green little wristband! (I am such a sucker for a good accessory.) You get a quick history lesson about this being Heineken’s first brewery built in 1867! So it’s very old and is no longer a functioning brewery but they left a lot of the original features intact.
I have to say I had no idea how much work went into making beer or opening a beer company. Mad respect to Mr. Heineken he had a true vision and was only 22 when he launched this company! We won’t talk about what I was doing at 22 will leave that for another blog post.
After learning the history, next is all about how beer is made – hops, yeast, good water, etc. It was really informative, and they had full demonstration areas so you could visually see how it worked. I even got to see what hops looked like and I was so curious because I have never understood a “hoppy” beer.
Once we finished with the brewery tour and looking at horses, I thought we were done. Discovering that it’s time to get on the ride, I looked at our guide so confused, a ride in a brewery?? Deciding to just go with it, I have to say I fully understand why they call it an experience now. I won’t ruin it for you, but the ride is so much fun and it’s not what you expect at all, just prepare for your senses to be heightened.
The tour ended in a nightclub. No seriously, you walk downstairs with your voucher for beer and it was like walking into a club. Loud music, trippy lights and people congregating and having a great time. Now my highlight of this trip was winning the beer pouring contest! I am VERY competitive and have a hard time losing (I was an only child for five years so no judgement.) They had groups of five try to pour a perfect glass of beer with the proper amount of foam. I won and ended up giving my free beer away, but no one can take that win away from me, so I was a happy camper.
Even if you don’t like beer, you really should experience the Heineken Museum! It’s not your average brewery experience, its informative and interactive and freakin fun! You can spend anywhere from a couple hours to half a day and you will not be bored. I will admit their beer was some of the best I have had. I don’t know if it’s because it’s fresher (if that’s a thing) or what, but it was drinkable!
Drop a comment below if you have ever been to the Heineken Museum or would love to visit.