Heineken Experience

Heineken Experience

Built upon

the foundations of the former Heineken brewery (which used to be in this very

building until 1988 but was relocated to a more convenient facility in the

outskirts of the city), this amazing place, known earlier as the Heineken Treat

and Information Centre and since 2001 as the Heineken Experience, provides its

visitors with an incredible opportunity to have a peek at the whole production

process and history of ‘probably the best beer in the world’ from the inside.

The Place

With almost

150 years of tradition, the brand of Heineken is a familiar symbol of what many

associate with the specific taste of beer, much glorified by millions around

the world. As one of the top leaders of brewing industry, the company cares not

only for their products, but also for the addressees of these products and this

is well-reflected in opening the building of their old brewery to the public,

where upon paying an admission fee, you can truly ‘experience’ all the facets

of the green-bottled golden beverage. Moreover, the site of the Heineken

Experience is also a historic landmark for Heineken, as it is included into the

list of 845 sites of the European Route of Industrial Heritage, encompassing

many various Anchor Points present in 29 European countries, so the place

itself is quite an attraction to visit.

Inside the Heineken Experience – how Willy

Wonka would run a brewery

The best

way to describe a visit to this magical spot would be an attempt to imagine how

beer tastes, smells, feels and sounds – all at the same time. Indeed, with as

many as four levels of historical and interactive exhibits you are bound to be

riveted by all of the offered excitements. First thing you’ll probably notice

is the design of the interiors – this ultra-contemporary ‘museum’ is inserted

inside the original C. Heineken brewery from the 19th century, so

this additionally highlights the historic significance of this place. Following

the maze of corridors you’ll also get to see some truly charming old

photographs or decorations belonging to the Heineken family, as well as the

gold medal awarded to Heineken beer in 1889 in Paris at the Universal

Exhibition; since that time this medal has been reproduced in print on each

Heineken can and bottle, becoming one of the brand’s package ‘distinguishing

marks’.

Coming back

to the essence of the visit to this fabulous

place, apart from the aforesaid artifacts you will most certainly care for a

look at the magnificent brass beer tanks or a horse stable keeping horses which

draw wagons that still help deliver Heineken to selected parts of the

Netherlands – just like in the good old days.

Also, along

your route through the Heineken Experience, you’ll get to smell the ingredients

used in the process of production of Heineken beer, taste the pre-beer “wort”

in the former brew room and, finally, have a well-deserved fresh portion of

pilsner to be enjoyed in a modern tasting room and “World Bar”. Still, one of

the most exciting features of the place is the ‘Brew U’ ride during which you

can see how a bottled beer ‘feels’ in the process of making! To end the

‘journey’, you may also create a personalized beer bottle with your own name on

it! The whole Heineken Experience tour takes about one and a half hour, but if

you still want more, you should definitely check out the shop with

Heineken-logoed souvenirs – accessible without an admission ticket. Also, if

the visit whets your appetite, head to the nearby Marie Heinekenplein to get a

tasty meal in one of the local eating establishments of which there are plenty!

Additional info

The tour is

self-guided and proceeds in groups; you cannot catch up with the groups in

front of you to speed up the visit. Usually, the Heineken Experience is open Monday

till Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. with the last person admitted at 5:30

p.m.; on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays it’s open from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

with the last person admitted at 6:30 p.m. The site operates according to some

special schedule in selected parts of the year, so better check out their

website first: www.heineken.com/pl/heineken-experience.aspx

. Also, minors under 18 will be

admitted only with an adult and minors under 16 will not be served beer (regulations

of the Dutch law). If you buy your tickets online, it will cost you €16 per

each adult (remember to print the tickets, too!); tickets for minors aged 8-15

cost €14 and children under 7 are admitted free of charge. Another good feature

is that the Heineken Experience is available to visitors on wheelchairs. Free

wheelchairs are available at the reception area, but you have to pay a

returnable deposit in the amount of €100 – and it’s better to book such

wheelchair two days in advance of your planned visit. To sum up, there is no

better way to get to know the rich history, as well as all the smaller odds and

ends concerning one of the main players in the brewing industry than a visit to

this very unique place.

The Heineken

Experience is located on Stadhouderskade 78, very close to Museumplein,

Sarphatipark and Weteringschans.