I’ve never been a big beer drinker but I like to have one every now and then. When I was in Amsterdam I drank more beer than usual and it was always a Heineken. There was something about the beer over there. It was colder, crisper, more delicious and always topped with a healthy foamy head.
We took a tour of the Heineken Brewery on one of our days in Amsterdam. I don’t remember learning anything ground shaking about the brewing process, but I do recall the emphasis they placed on how to pour a Heineken. They did it in such a way that every pint had a thick head of foam at the top and this wasn’t just for ascetics. The foam has a purpose – it holds in the aromatics so that your beer keeps its true flavor.
The Heineken Brewery was a lot of fun. You begin with a small glass of Heineken and the bartender explains to you how the beer is crafted and the importance of the beer head. This is also a test of patience because they ask you not to drink your beer until after they have explained the process. My beer was less than halfway gone at the end of the talk.
After the tutorial you are given free reign to explore the brewery. There is a lot of old brewery antiques laying around. They have artwork and old pictures hanging on the walls. They even have a horse! I don’t know what the horse had to do with Heineken but who doesn’t like to pet a horsey? At the end of the tour you end up in a large bar with comfy couches and large screen televisions.
The best part of the tour – was the free beer! I mean beers. Two of them. At the start of the tour we were given a green bracelet with two green buttons. Each of them is good for one free beer at the end of the tour. We exchanged our buttons for beers and sat down to enjoy the taste of a nice refreshing Heineken.