Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Heineken Experience

From the moment one first steps foot in the Netherlands, there's never any doubt that the "King of Beers" here is Heineken. Its roots are in Amsterdam, where in December 1863 Gerard Adriaan Heineken bought an old brewery in town and started the Heineken company. Like any good global beer brand in today's age, Heineken has a very nice propaganda experience in one of their original brewery buildings. It's entitled The Heineken Experience.

The experience was a mix of historical information, old brewery equipment, multimedia presentations, and beer drinking. Below you see Laura getting a good look at the inside of a "copper," which is where wort (the liquid that results from mixing barley and water) is boiled with hops.

Another cool part of the visit was the Brew You Ride, in which you see the brewing process from the beer's vantage point. This was less of a ride than a cool multimedia movie that participants watch from a shaker platform. So today Laura and I have been roasted, boiled, fermented, bottled, and poured. At the end of the ride, we emerged from a Heineken box on a warm, sunny beach somewhere that I'm guessing was not the Netherlands.

Maybe the coolest things - from a technology perspective, anyway - were the tables at the Heineken bar. They were digital screens that produced virtual coasters whenever a beer was set down. Better yet, the entire room gave a 360° view of several selected cityscapes and the tables displayed accompanying world maps. The map was interactive, but it would only respond to the Heineken glasses being placed in the right spots. Below you see the table and virtual coasters. Very cool.

The rest of our pictures from the Amsterdam outing can be found here.

Posted by Matt

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