The Heineken Experience: The Amsterdam Brewery Tourists Love to Visit (2023)


The Heineken Experience: The Amsterdam Brewery Tourists Love to Visit (1)

As the days crept up, I still had no idea what to expect from this trip to Amsterdam. It was only 2 weeks earlier that I found out I was going and the first time I’d heard about “Draught University” and The Heineken Experience we were about to embark on. Attracting more than 1 million visitors every year and the 4th largest tourist attraction in the Netherland’s capital city, I knew this wouldn’t be your usual run-of-the-mill brewery tour.

Heineken: Amsterdam’s Beer

From the second you touch down in Amsterdam, the Heineken brand is prevalent throughout the city where it all started. After all, it is the only attraction that gets you free beers with admission 😉 Now that I’ve been, I feel like you can’t visit Amsterdam and not do the Heineken Experience tour, whether you’re a beer lover or not.

Before we get into the experience, I’d like to shed light on the biggest lesson I learned on this trip and my new found respect for pouring a beer. Most brands don’t talk about this, but it’s all that Heineken lives, breathes and instills in everyone who serves it. A perfect pour does in fact make a huge difference in the overall enjoyment of the beer. And Heineken is committed to educating bartenders around the world through their Draught University training on pouring the perfect pint so it’s consistently delivered without compromise no matter where you are.

We were lucky enough to experience Heineken’s Draught University training from a Draught Master and learn their 5-Star Serve program. The five steps – rinse, pour, skim, check, serve – should come out ice-cold with a full foam head resting on the shoulders of the red Heineken star to seal the flavors in, and a healthy stream of bubbles showing proper carbonation. So the next time you’re at a bar ordering a Heineken, look out for these steps. Because you deserve, no you demand the visual appeal and quality taste that comes with the perfect pour.

How to Pour the Perfect Pint

I never knew the importance of pouring a beer properly and if I’m being honest, I thought the ‘two finger foam’ thing was just a universal rule of thumb. It turns out there’s a little more to it than that. Warning: you may turn into a bit of a beer snob after seeing this.

Pouring the perfect Heineken Beer

1. Rinse – This will effect the taste and texture if you don’t rinse your glass thoroughly.

(Video) Heineken Experience (Amsterdam) Tour & Review with The Legend

2. Pour – Takes real focus with the perfect tilt and timing to get exactly the right amount of foam.

3. Skim – Crucial in order to get rid of excess bubbles and additional oxygen entering the beer.

4. Check – Make sure the foam forms a nice crown (or head) above the rim.

5. Serve – Time it and serve with a smile making sure the foam rises to the shoulders of the star.

So this is how you’re Heineken should look no matter where you order it in the world. This might sound a bit extra, but don’t be afraid to let your bartender know if you’re not happy with the pour. In fact, Heineken encourages it!

What to Expect at The VIP Heineken Experience

There are a few ways to enjoy the Heineken experience. We opted for the VIP Tour, because well.. why not. This will run you about USD $60. There’s also the self-guided option (about USD $21-23) which is pretty self-explanatory. If you want to experience it with a little extra swagthough, I recommend VIP. Here you’ll get a Heineken expert guide, 5 premium beer pairings with cheese and their proprietary bread (made from the beer yeast) along with your own customized Heineken bottle.

(Video) The Heineken Experience Amsterdam

There are a few different options and add-ons – one that includes a boat ride and another that offers a visit to the Johan Cruijff ArenA – the largest football stadium in the Netherlands and home to their National Football team. You can view all the Heineken tour packages here.

As someone in media, I have a great appreciation for brands that market themselves well and then deliver on those promises. The Heineken Experience definitely exceeded any and all my expectations. It’s a brewery tour, attraction and interactive experience executed extremely well.

The Original Heineken Brewery

But in 1867, it all started on the banks of a canal just off the Amstel River, when Gerard Adriaan Heineken built his first brewery for production. It would be expanded again and again, remaining in operation until 1988, and every drop of Heineken beer ever exported to the U.S. was made here until production moved to a new state-of-the-art brewery on the outskirts of the city.

In 2008, it was completely rebuilt as the interactive Heineken Experience – now open 365 days a year.And in 1991, it opened it’s doors to tourist from all over the world to share in their brand and experience Heineken like no where else in the world.

I’ll take you through the highlights of the experience so you can get a first hand look at what to expect when you book your VIP Tour.

(Video) Amsterdam - Heniken Beer experince tour

When you first enter, you’re tour guide will greet your group and give you the full rundown of what to look forward to. Every Heineken team member you’ll meet is enthusiastic about the brand and they were proud to work there.

You’ll start the tour seeing fun interactive visuals of the history, the build-out and various components of the brewing process. All the visuals and special effects really give you a sense of how it was back in the day and you can just feel the ol’ school vibes. Makes for great photo opps too!

The VIP Tour lasts about 2.5 hrs, but I would plan for about 3 hrs so you’re not rushing through anything. The brewhouse below is where the magic happened and Heineken was actually the first brewery to house four large copper boilers in order to meet their high demand. The original ones they used are still here.

Inside the ‘boiler room’, you will learn about the history, the making of the beer, the ingredients and also try something called “Wort”. Wort is the liquid extracted from grains during the mash process, concentrating the sugars that will then be fermented into alcohol. It’s quite sweet and taste a lot better than it sounds.

The Heineken founders were big believers in innovation and entrepreneurship and constantly strived to improve the brand and quality of the product.

You’ll also get to check out the original stable where they housed their own horses and buggies that were used to deliver beer to the local bars around town. They still have beautiful show horses here that are now used for special events.

(Video) The Heineken Experience Amsterdam 2018

During the VIP tour, you’ll get to enjoy a 5-beer pairing in a secret hidden bar inside the Heineken brewery. Before that, you’ll be going through the immersive and interactive ‘theme park-style’ ride that loads you and guests into “bar” capsules filled with 360-degree video screens, including all floors and ceilings, for an intense audio and visual engrossment. You’re essentially going through the bottling process first hand.

The last area of the tour is the sports sponsorship section. Here you’ll have plenty of chances for selfies at the array of photo booths, virtual reality sports games and the various sports partnership activations they have with rugby, soccer, Formula One racing, etc..

And alas, it’s now time for your well earned Heineken beers at the Best ‘Dam Bar. You walk into this chill, ambient bar that feels like a night club where you have no idea what time it is. It’s got a great vibe and your chance to socialize with other guests over beers and take some final pics before heading out through the massive gift shop.

Normally I’m not a gift shop kind of guy, but this place had a ton of very cool and quirky items that are worth checking out – especially for all you souvenir lovers.

So, Was the Heineken Experience Worth It?

All in all, it was a very fun and unique experience. Not like any other brewery tour I’ve been on. It gave me a good understanding of the brand and the history, while being very interactive. There was never a dull moment during the experience and always something fun and interactive to do with so many opportunities for photos. If you’re going to take a trip to Amsterdam, then this is a must try experience to add to your itinerary.

For more information, check out theHeineken Experience website.

I’d love to hear from you or if you want any insider tips, feel free to reach out to me on social –InstagramorLinkedin.

Photos taken on Google Pixel 3 – the perfect phone to snap pics while traveling.
Outfits byGotstyle– my go to place for clothing.

A huge thanks to the Heineken Team for educating us on the perfect pour and showing us such a great time in Amsterdam, allowing me to share The Heineken Experiencewith you.

(Video) The HEINEKEN Experience (Amsterdam) 2019 Tour


What happens at the Heineken Experience? ›

The Heineken Experience

Today, the historical building serves as a venue where you can learn all about our Heineken® heritage, the brewing process, our sometimes crazy innovations, our sponsorings and the story behind the star. You'll also learn about the best way to taste and enjoy your Heineken® beer.

How long does it take to do the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam? ›

On average, the self-guided tour takes about 2 hours.

Does I Amsterdam card include Heineken Experience? ›

TIP: The I Amsterdam Card is the only tourist pass that can be used for the VIP Heineken tour, saving you 25% off admission (over €14!)

How long does the Heineken tour last? ›

The guided Heineken Experience tour takes you on a 90-minute tour through the old brewery in the heart of Amsterdam, including an exclusive behind the scenes look. After the tour there is time to enjoy a private beer tasting consisting of five selected premium beers with matching Dutch cheeses.

What is Heineken marketing strategy? ›

We aim to drive superior growth with greater focus on the needs of consumers and customers. We are focused on premiumisation and innovation, extending beer into non-alcoholic, flavoured and less bitter variants, moving beyond beer with cider and hard seltzers, and driving a more digital route-to-consumer.

What makes Heineken so special? ›

Four ingredients are at the heart of Heineken®s success: malted barley, water, hops and the unique A-yeast. Discovered in 1886, this yeast is responsible for the fresh, pure taste of Heineken®.

How old do you have to be to go to the Heineken Experience? ›

What is the minimum age requirement to enter the Heineken Experience? You must be 18 or older to enter the Heineken Experience. Minors accompanied by an adult are also not allowed inside the Experience.

Do you need to pre book Heineken Experience? ›

After being shown how to pour the perfect Heineken beer you will be able to enjoy two free Heinekens so you can fully appreciate why 500,000 people visit the brewery every year. Before visiting you must pre-book your tour's time slot, which you'll need your unique Amsterdam Pass number to do.

How long does it take to brew Heineken from start to finish? ›

28 days of patient lagering

We take 28 days to brew Heineken®. To get the perfectly balanced taste, refreshing clarity and beautiful golden-yellow color. Quality takes time, it's worth it.

Is it worth buying I am Amsterdam card? ›

Honestly, if you want to limit yourself to a few select attractions while in Amsterdam, the I amsterdam card is probably not a good value. If you are a fast paced sightseer though and want to see as much of Amsterdam's museums/attractions as possible, this card is really worth considering.

Is the Heineken Experience free? ›

The regular admission price at the entrance is €21,-. However, if you book your tickets online you get skip-the-line tickets, which can save you up a lot of time as the Heineken Experience is a popular attraction. In the end, you don't want to waste your valuable time in Amsterdam in a queue.

How much does the Amsterdam City Card cost? ›

The “I Amsterdam” card includes the free and unlimited use of public transportation. This is comparable to the single-day ticket offered by the GVB, which is currently priced at €21 for a 72-hour time-frame (as of 2023). The “I Amsterdam” card with a validity of 72h (3 days) costs €110.

Is the Heineken Experience open all year? ›

The Heineken Experience is open all year-round, just like the city of Amsterdam! Monday through Thursday from 10:30 to 19:30 (last entry at 17:30). Friday through Sunday from 10:30 to 21:00 (last entry at 19:00).

What alcohol percentage is Heineken? ›

Heineken Lager Beer (Dutch: Heineken Pilsener), or simply Heineken (pronounced [ˈɦɛinəkə(n)]) is a pale lager beer with 5% alcohol by volume produced by the Dutch brewing company Heineken N.V. Heineken beer is sold in a green bottle with a red star.

How long is the Guinness tour? ›

HOW LONG DOES THE GUINNESS STOREHOUSE TOUR TAKE? We recommend allowing at least 90 minutes to explore with the self-guided experience.

What are 3 sales strategies? ›

Sales Strategies
  • Increase online sales through social media.
  • Become a thought leader.
  • Prioritize inbound sales calls as hot leads.
  • Properly research and qualify prospects.
  • Implement a free trial.
  • Don't shy from cold calling.
  • Offer a demonstration of the product.
  • Provide a personalized, clear end result.
Dec 20, 2022

What is target market strategy example? ›

Targeting a specific group of customers based on their purchasing behaviors can be an effective strategy for growing sales. For example, a business might decide to target customers who leave items in an online shopping cart for a period of time before buying a product.

What are the 4 main marketing strategies? ›

(Marketing mix explained) The four Ps are product, price, place, and promotion. They are an example of a “marketing mix,” or the combined tools and methodologies used by marketers to achieve their marketing objectives.

Why do people love Heineken? ›

The quality of the product makes this brand so successful. Indeed, the beer like Gerard Adriaan Heineken wanted is made with special components and conditions. They use “Yeast A” which gives a special taste to the beer.

Is Heineken the most popular beer in the world? ›


Although its popularity can rise and fall depending on where you are in the world, it has consistently remained in the top spot overall for beer drinkers, Dutch or not. This alcoholic beverage has an ABV of 5.0%, and its calorie count is 148 per bottle.

What is Heineken unique selling point? ›

Four of the five points on Heineken's iconic star represent the core ingredients used to make the beer: malted barley, water, hops and Heineken's unique A-yeast, a strain used exclusively by the brand. Oh, and the fifth point on the red star? It symbolises the 'unknown magic' of brewing – sounds mysterious, doesn't it?

Where is the Heineken code? ›

Find the code on the underside of your bottle cap. @a6997a8f3570462 Dial *120*222# and follow the prompts. You'll be asked to enter your code.

Where is Heineken from? ›

The story of HEINEKEN really began on February 15, 1864, when Gerard Adriaan Heineken took over the Haystack brewery in Amsterdam. Just 22 years old, Gerard had little brewing experience, but he had plenty of courage, self-confidence and entrepreneurial spirit.

How large is Heineken? ›

With an annual beer production of 24.14 billion litres in 2019, and global revenues of 23.894 billion euro in 2019, Heineken N.V. is the number one brewer in Europe and one of the largest brewers by volume in the world. Heineken's Dutch breweries are located in Zoeterwoude, 's-Hertogenbosch and Wijlre.

How do I enter Heineken competition? ›

WIN big when you buy Heineken®

Buy any 2 x Heineken® or 2 x Heineken® 0.0 from any outlet, dial *120*300# and follow the prompts to enter. Promotion runs 15 November 2021 - 31 December 2021.

How long does it take to go through the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam? ›

How much time should I spend at the Van Gogh Museum? Depending on how much time you spend on each exhibit, the visit can take anything between 1 hour to 2 hours. On average, visitors spend 1 hour and 15 minutes to properly explore the permanent exhibit.

How long is the Anne Frank House tour? ›

Visit to the museum

How long can I stay in the museum? You can take all the time you need for your visit. Only your starting time (= your time slot) is set. On average, a visit takes an hour.

What are Heineken 3 main ingredients? ›

Also known as Heineken Pilsener Made with 3 ingredients, and they're all natural: Barley, Hops and water. Yeast is an important part of the brewing process, but it's not an ingredient!

How long does it take to feel 1 beer? ›

It takes 30 minutes to feel the effects of alcohol.

It may take an hour to metabolize a drink, but it takes approximately thirty minutes before you feel alcohol's effects. This is a good gauge for pacing yourself. Drinking more than one drink every 30 minutes means you are probably drinking too much, too fast.

What are the 3 ingredients in Heineken beer? ›

Our Heineken® lager contains just three main ingredients: barley, hops and water. When our A-yeast is added, this is when Heineken® magically transforms into the brew we all know and love.

Is it better to use cash or card in Amsterdam? ›

Credit cards are widely accepted too, though in some small shops or hotels, there might an extra charge (2-6%) if you pay by a credit card, passport may be required. Generally, the most preferred payment method is Euro cash with the banknotes up to 50 Euro bill.

Which Amsterdam travel card is best? ›

The cheapest way to travel around Amsterdam is walking but if you need to get somewhere fast, the use of an OV chip card is the answer. Being used on trams, buses and metros, the OV chip card (OV-chipkaart) is the easiest way to pay for all your travel about town.

What does I Amsterdam card include? ›

The I amsterdam City Card offers a unique way to explore Amsterdam. You get access to all major highlights and more than 70 museums, city-wide public transport, a canal cruise and bicycle rent.

How much does Heineken cost in Amsterdam? ›

Ticket prices & discounts
0 – 11Free
12 – 17€14.50
MuseumkaartNot valid
I Amsterdam City CardFree

Is Heineken expensive? ›

Is Heineken Expensive? Heineken is one of the more expensive brands in the U.S., selling for an average of more than $30 per case. The price reflects the high quality and reputation of the brand. Heineken is a premium beer, and its price reflects that.

Does Heineken Light still exist? ›

With just 90 calories, Heineken® Light is brewed with Cascade hops and our signature Heineken A-Yeast® for the crisp, refreshing flavor, subtle bitterness, and clean finish.

Do you need cash in Amsterdam 2022? ›

Credit cards are widely accepted too, though in some small shops or hotels, there might an extra charge (2-6%) if you pay by a credit card, passport may be required. Generally, the most preferred payment method is Euro cash with the banknotes up to 50 Euro bill.

Is the Amsterdam travel ticket worth it? ›

In summary, the Amsterdam Travel Ticket can be a good value choice for those on a shorter visit needing the airport trip included. It is recommended if you are staying around Schiphol Airport, Sloterdijk or Bijlmer Arena.

Is public transport free in Amsterdam? ›

Amsterdam public transportation tickets can be used on any kind of public transports for given time duration. A simple ticket is called a 'one hour ticket', costs €3,20 and can be used for an hour as long as you don't forget to check in and out, no matter the length of your journey within an hour.

Is Heineken a good company to work for? ›

I've worked for HEINEKEN for 10 years and no two days have ever been the same. I love the people, our brands and the culture. We work in the entertainment industry and that shines through in the upbeat atmosphere at work. We have a strong focus on wellbeing and inclusion and diversity that make me proud to work here.

Was the owner of Heineken kidnapped? ›

reddy Heineken was one of Europe's richest men, who had built his family's brewery into a multi-billion dollar powerhouse. On November 9, 1983, gunmen seized him and his chauffeur outside Heineken's Amsterdam headquarters, sparking a global manhunt for the missing billionaire, his kidnappers and the $11 million ransom.

What is the competitive advantage of Heineken? ›

Heineken's patents are valuable financial resources, which is essential for the company's sustainability and competitive advantage in the market. The availability of Heineken's product in different regions ensures it to be the customers' choice.

Who is the target market of Heineken? ›

Generally speaking, Heineken's target consumer is men in the age of 20-35 years old. This is why the beer brand continues to position its products as drinks for friends, good times, and coming together. It is the approach to internationalism, in that Heineken is for everyone and excludes nobody.

How much does Heineken make a year? ›

Heineken annual revenue for 2020 was $22.52B, a 16.11% decline from 2019. Heineken annual revenue for 2019 was $26.845B, a 1.16% increase from 2018.
Compare HEINY With Other Stocks.
Heineken Annual Revenue (Millions of US $)
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Why do you want to join Heineken? ›

It's a challenging and exciting road, and with more than 70 markets and 250 brands to choose from, HEINEKEN can deliver! We offer a world of opportunities in an environment where we value purpose, innovation, diversity and sustainability!

What was the largest kidnapping ransom? ›

Historically the greatest ransom paid was that paid for Atahualpa, the last emperor of the Incas, to the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1532-3 at Cajamarca, Peru, which constituted a hall full of gold and silver, worth in modern money some $1.5 billion (£1 billion).

Who was the kidnapping of Heineken heir? ›

Freddy Heineken and his driver Ab Doderer were kidnapped in 1983 and released on a ransom of 35 million Dutch guilders (around 15,800,000 euros). The kidnappers – Cor van Hout, Willem Holleeder, Jan Boellaard, Frans Meijer, and Martin Erkamps – were eventually caught and served prison terms.

How much is the Heineken family worth? ›

She is the richest person in the Netherlands, with a net worth of $16.7 billion as of May 2021, according to the Forbes billionaires list.
Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken
EducationRijnlands Lyceum Wassenaar
Alma materLeiden University
SpouseMichel de Carvalho
2 more rows

What are 3 competitive advantage strategies? ›

Michael Porter, the famous Harvard Business School professor, identified three strategies for establishing a competitive advantage: Cost Leadership, Differentiation, and Focus (which includes both Cost Focus and Differentiation Focus)[1].

What are the 3 competitive advantages? ›

There are three main types of sustainable competitive advantage: differentiation, cost leadership, and focus advantage.

What is main competitive advantage? ›

The two main types of competitive advantages are comparative advantage and differential advantage. The term "competitive advantage" traditionally refers to the business world, but can also be applied to a country, organization, or even a person who is competing for something.


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