Heineken International is a Dutch brewing company, founded in 1864 by Gerard Adriaan Heineken in Amsterdam. As of 2007, Heineken owns over 125 breweries in more than 70 countries and employs approximately 66,000 people. It brews and sells more than 170 international premium, regional, local and specialty beers, including Cruzcampo, Tiger Beer, Żywiec, Starobrno, Zagorka, Birra Moretti, Ochota, Murphy’s, Star and of course Heineken Pilsener.
With an annual beer production of 139.2 million hectoliters, Heineken ranks as the third largest brewer in the world after Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, based on volume. Heineken’s Dutch breweries are located in Zoeterwoude, ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Wijlre. The original brewery in Amsterdam, closed in 1988, is preserved as a museum called Heineken Experience.
Heineken organises the company into five territories which are then divided into regional operations. The regions are: Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, The Americas, Africa and the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. These territories contain 115 brewing plants in more than 65 countries, brewing local brands in addition to the Heineken brand.
The Heineken Experience is a museum about Heineken Pilsener and the Heineken brewery, based in the original brewery in Amsterdam. The building was built in 1867, and was in use as a brewery until 1988. In 1991, when part of the establishment was torn down, the Heineken Reception and Information Centre (Dutch: Heineken ontvangst- en informatiecentrum) was opened in the remaining building. In 2001 the name was changed to Heineken Experience.
The museum features “rides”, interactive exhibits, and two bars. It also gives an insight into the company’s history and brewing processes through the years. Visitors receive one small tasting glass and two full-sized glasses of Heineken beer to drink at the end of the tour, both paid for by the 16 euro entry fee.
The Experience closed for refurbishment in October 2007 and reopened December 2008.