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The Heineken Experience

It was nice morning, and we up for something a little more
dynamic than loafing around coffee shops all day. So we decided
to visit the Heineken Brewery for the tour. Or should I say,
the Heineken Temple.
We entered the vestibule of the brewery catherdral, and
saw that the new totally self-directed digitized tour was 7.50
euro.
You walk through sort of a museum showing how they brewed
and barrelled beer in the "├Âude" days. Photos of rooms
with hundreds and hundreds of wooden kegs being unloaded. The
Dutch must really love their beer. Other exhibits show artifacts
of common implements used in the old brewing process. Photos
of Herr Heineken are there of course, the patron saint.
It is all presented in a manner of, well, sanctity. Sanctity
of the Heineken religon. One is made to feel the Heineken ethic
is sacred, and of course, above all ohers.
The fun part starts when you enter a little mini theatre
and stand there holding on to rails as a large video takes you
through a modern Heineken bottling process. You become that Heineken
bottle. You hear the background industrial process noises, then
suddenly, the rail and platform you are standing on jostle, making
you feel what the bottle feels. That was a lot of fun, and we
got a kick out of that.
There is another similar theatre which simulates what it
feels like to be driving the horsedrawn Heineken beer delivery
wagon through the streets of Amsterdam. Yes, you also are jostled
as the horses take the wagon over a bumpy bridge. It felt very
real... The only thing that was missing was the smell of horse
sweat.
And when you get your ticket, they give you coupons for
free beers... up to 3 each. Yes, Heineken beers do indeed seem
to taste better in Amsterdam. And they give you a small gift,
too.
As we walked out of the Brewery towards the Katsu coffee
shop near Abert Cuyp, I couldn't help thinking about that ""Heineken
Experience"". The fact that we had paid $7.50 each
for the privilage of attending an interesting and fun exhibit,
which in essence was nothing more than marketing promotion for
Heineken beir, and when all was aid and done made us feel good
about it. Ah, those clever Dutch businessmen.
Afternoon at the Katsu found the place filled with locals...
this seems to be the prefered hangout for the longhaired types
and middle aged Dutchies. The weed menu was extensive and had
some good names.... Kali Mist, Neville's Haze, etc. You could
tell this was a local place... all the weed descriptions on the
menu were all in Dutch. A comfortable feeling just hanging out
there, and I was pleased to see a couple of dogs in the shop.
Dogs in a coffee shop are always a good sign.
That evening we finally made it to the Noon Coffee Shop.
But one very angry Dutch guy was lividly shouting at a cop in
a car going by the shop. And the place was packed. A sign from
the gods that this was no our day for the Noon.
Then off to Dampkring for some Kali Mist... as usual, jammed,
no seats. Then to Siberie for a nice pleasant smoke. Some RLD
recon, then a surprisingly ok meal at an Italian resterant on
the top of Damrack. One always enters any reserant on the tourist
oriented Damrak with low expectations.
An after dinner smoke at De Kuil coffee shop... always a
warm pleasant pace to hang. Max the cat was back.. hadn't seen
him for a year or so. He emerged from the rear of the


DB, the hotel sounded pretty cool. How much? What's its name? And do they have an email address or website. Headed back in a couple of weeks.
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