Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Heineken Experience

Sorry for the delay in my posts about Amsterdam, but I have shit to do and just haven't gotten around to it. Also, I spent the weekend in Dunkerque for a huge "carnival," but I will post about that later.

Anyway, while in Amsterdam, we thought it would be a great idea to go to the Heineken Experience even though I'm honestly not a huge fan of the famous Dutch beer.  But hey, I'll always take an opportunity to drink during the day. My advice - save yourself some money, suck up your pride, and get hammered in a local bar in the middle of the day.  They will most definitely sell Heineken as well... the same beer you pay quadruple to drink inside the "Experience."

Yes, technically you are paying for the museum (I just cringed while writing that), but there's really nothing worth paying for inside.  I had thought we were going to the brewery and that it would be awesome to see the actual beer being made.  But no, they do not make the beer there.  They do however have all the equipment to brew Heineken on the premise, but it's just for display.  I was pretty disappointed, but at least I got some cool pictures out of the deal.

After you see all of the useless contraptions with which any reasonable person would brew beer, you make your way through room after room of glorified advertisements for Heineken.  The Experience did succeed in making most of the "information" interactive, but at the end you felt more or less brainwashed to drink Heineken.  A better approach, in my opinion, would be to have ten rooms each dedicated to a different drinking game.  I would buy Heineken for the rest of my life if I could play endless rounds of beer pong and flip cup.  Then they could even throw in a few authentic Dutch drinking games as well, and that way I could at least say I learned something.

At the end of all the Heineken propaganda, you finally get to drink your two beers.  However, they fail to mention when you're buying your tickets that these beers are only 33 cL, but it was the middle of the day, so maybe it was for the best.  You also get to taste test a beer in the middle of the Experience, but it's practically child-sized.  Still, a nice surprise.  The bar where you drank your two Heinekens was actually really cool - the walls were huge TV screens that displayed different cityscapes.  For five minutes, you were in New York, then you were in Tokyo, and then Moscow.

All and all, the Heineken Experience was fun, but definitely not worth the 18 Euro admission.  Amsterdam has so many better things to offer than this tourist trap, and your time is better spent wandering the canals or going to the markets.  If you want a true Heineken experience, go to your local pub, order as many beers as it takes to get piss drunk, and at least try to meet some Dutch people.  Even if you make a complete ass out of yourself, you'll have a much better experience, not to mention a much better story to tell.