I love brewery tours. Especially in Europe.
I’ve done quite a few, but two really stand out.
First, the Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam. It’s slick, it’s corporate. But it’s got lots of fun things. Or maybe it doesn’t…I don’t really remember.
Why don’t I remember? Because I went to the Heineken Brewery with Lee, on our whirlwind tour of Europe during Holy Week while I was in grad school and Lee was working for The Alley in Houston. Amersterdam was our first stop, and we were there for 36 hours. At no time in that 36 hours was I fully aware of what I was doing. We are so so so tired in this picture.
We’d left my London flat at 3am. By 10am we were at the Heineken Brewery, hyped up on caffeine. Thanks to the samples given at the Heineken tour, by noon we were asleep on a bench on the top floor of the Van Gough museum. At some point there was more caffeine, and this happened:
After that is was around 4 o’clock, maybe a little after…
Somewhere along the line, this happened:
The other brewery tour I remember fondly was the Carlsberg brewery in Copenhagen. I went with my cousins, Matthew, Tommy, and Alex. We were on another backpack blitz of Europe, on the way to Tommy’s law school summer course in Innsbruck. Matthew and I had done a Eurail trip together before, and I think we can both agree that it was a sign of our deep familial bond that we tried it again.
Copenhagen was our second stop after visiting the family in Stockholm/Boxholm. I personally find Copenhagen a little odd, but this was a classic brewery tour. I don’t remember how, but somehow Alex and I got separated from the boys and found ourselves in the bar at the end of the tour (a standard feature). Carlsberg is more generous than most with their samples. We got two full size beers of our choice. To consume in the 30 minutes we were allowed to stay in the bar.
Carlsberg makes Elephant Beer. Which at the time had an ABV of 12%.
I woke up on a bench just outside the brewery. I’m not certain, but I think Alex did too.
I guess my criteria for a good brewery tour is the quality of the nap you get at the end.