The Heineken Experience is a self-guided tour through interactive exhibits housed in the former Heineken brewery. The exhibits and displays aim to provide historical insight into the well-known Heineken pilsner as well as the brewing process. You’ll learn how the hop and malted barley are turned into this tasty pride of Holland, all from the point of view of a bottle of beer.
The brand name is clearly visible as you approach the old brick Bierbrouwerij building, which was a working brewery until 1988. A thorough 2008 renovation transformed the Heineken Experience into four levels of interactive multimedia exhibits, but much of its authentic interior was preserved.
At the beginning of the tour, you’ll learn how Gerard Adriaan Heineken bought the old Haystack brewery in 1864. He became one of the most famous beer brewers in the world because of his award-winning recipe. These days, Heineken is actually brewed in Zoeterwoude instead of here.
Take the self-guided tour and visit the Old Brew Room. You’ll see big mash tuns, or casks, where the barley was once boiled. Staff are on-hand to answer any questions.
Visit the Stable Walk to see the magnificent Clydesdales, the horses that still tow wooden beer carts around Amsterdam for promotional purposes. Ride the 4-D “roller-coaster” movie, and attempt to pour and bottle your own Heineken.
The tour concludes in the futuristic-looking Tasting Bar, where you’ll sample fresh Heineken, with a couple of free beers for each visitor. Enter the party atmosphere of the disco or just stand at the bar. There is no lack of Heineken merchandise, with the shop selling souvenirs to beer lovers. Give yourself two hours to complete the tour.
The Heineken Experience is just south of the Canal Ring and open daily, except a few major public holidays. From Central Station, take the tram to Stadhouderskade, or a hop-on, hop-off cruise to the Heineken landing stage. There are parking lots in the city center, but spaces are limited.
To avoid lines, come before beer o’clock, or book the tickets ahead.