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A visit into the past can still be a learning experience

Our Journey

We tend to avoid commercial brewing, as we’re very independent oriented.  However, that does not stop us from appreciating some of the breweries of old that may no longer be around.  Those who’ve been bought up by larger corporations, moved to a new region, and the old brewery works left behind as a memory of great days gone by.  That is exactly the case with the Heineken Brewery of old.

Heineken?  Seriously?

Ok, so not everyone was, or is, fond of the brew.  However, the history is one that is worth mention, as is the case with many breweries outside of the United States that have long since been bought out and their original locations left to the wayside.  After all, what do you do with a brewery that suddenly is no longer brewing?  You turn it into an experience and learning tool.  Such is the Heineken Experience, which is still frequented by visitors from the world over.

Although the price of a tour has certainly jumped over the decades, this old brewery works is still a very popular destination for those interested in the history of the brewing industry.  The experience, itself, has certainly changed, but the feeling has remained.  Where you could once get a pint (or five) of the brew on a tour alongside some amazing Gouda, you now have a full floor of fermenting vats to view and a theater floor where you can create videos and add music to them.  Yes, it has indeed changed.

Why tour an ancient and shut-down brewery that has no purpose?

Perhaps the brewery is no longer useful by trade, but it still serves as a reminder of a time when brewing was about high quality and great customer service.  When touring a brewery meant you had the chance to try the brew, were given a bit extra, and really learned something about the brewing process from people who absolutely loved their craft.  Yes, that still exists in many breweries today, but the experience has changed a great deal over time and many of the old craft breweries have gone commercial, making tours a bit less appealing to those of us in the independent craft brewing circles.

The original Heineken building is still a sight to see, with an experience that you will remember.  The cost, at about 11 Euros, is not really that high, considering some museums here in the United States charge triple that for entry, and you’re still going to learn quite a bit from the lovely staff present.  Therefore, although the brew has gone commercial, and the thrill is gone, the remnants of a time when this commercial brew was still young and the brewers full of love is there to visit if you so choose.

Are there any old breweries you have visited that have since gone commercial?

We love hearing from our readers and we want to hear about the old brewery works you have visited that may have since gone commercial in another region.  While we still hold against commercial brewing in favor of our beloved craft brews, we certainly want to remember the past and where our classic brews came from.  Leave us a comment and tell us about your experiences and until then, happy tasting!

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Jul 6, 2017