Heineken: Amsterdam's favorite brewery

Photo by joeppoulssen
Photo by joeppoulssen

Heineken: Amsterdam's favorite brewery

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

The history of the world’s most international brewer began with Gerard Adriaan Heineken’s purchase of the Haystack Brewery as it was known in Dutch back in 1864. What started out as a local beer brewed in Amsterdam is today a global icon that’s sold in 192 countries. The brand’s green bottle and red star are among its most recognizable features.

No matter where on this planet you buy a Heineken, its taste should be the same. Brewers around the world are obliged to send samples back to the Netherlands for inspection and quality control. The homogeny in taste can be attributed to the Heineken A-yeast. The recipe used to brew the beer back in 1873 is the same one they’re using today.

Brewery visit

One of Amsterdam’s most popular tourist experiences is a visit to “The Heineken Experience.” By means of a 1.5-hour self-guided tour through the premises of the original brewery, visitors learn all about the brand through interactive and oftentimes quirky exhibits.

Photo by: Itsanan Sampuntarat - Heineken Brewery

The tour concludes with the chance to indulge in two fresh pours on the famous Dutch brand or to try your own hand at pulling the perfect pint.

The cost of the tour is Adults pay 21 euros adults when paid for on the spot or 18 euros when purchased online. Children ages 11 and under enter for free. The facility’s address is Stadhouderskade 78, 1072 AE Amsterdam. As this facility can get crowded, a visit in off-peak hours or times of  the year could well prove more rewarding.

Beers to try

More than 200 regional and local brands make up part of the Heineken family. Among their other brands that are well known internationally are Amstel, Desperados, Sol, Tiger and Birra Moretti. Strongbow and Bulmers ciders also make up part of the company’s line. Affligem is a commercially brewed beer with a historical connection to an abbey of the same name in Belgium. For a treat around the holiday season, be on the lookout for its highly rated Noël Christmas beer, full of dark fruity sweetness and spice.


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