The One Thing You Need To Drink In Amsterdam Is Beer
Aside from an abundance of canals and bicycles, Amsterdam seems like your average city.
But if you accidentally stroll into the wrong type of cafe or venture down the wrong cobblestone street, you'll quickly discover you're not in Kansas anymore.
From cannabis-filled coffee shops to windows lined with lingerie-clad women -- this charming city is like a fantasy land where you can indulge in a variety of vices without a care in the world.
If your guilty pleasure happens to be beer, I have some good news for you.
While Amsterdam's weed and sex tend to garner most tourists' attention, this beautiful city is also home to some of the world's best beer.
That's right. Amsterdam happens to be the birthplace of Heineken, making this spot the perfect escape for all those who prefer their star-studded sips with sides of adventure.
If there's one thing I love just as much as enjoying an ice cold beer, it's experiencing new cultures and getting the scoop on the history behind each new place I encounter along the way.
So when Heineken invited me to visit its headquarters in Amsterdam to learn about how it all began and see what goes on behind the scenes, I was obviously more than excited.
After spending a couple days in this city, you'll find those green bottles are more than just the beverages of choice among Amsterdam's residents.
Beer is something deeply engrained in the culture of this city, and if you ask me, every serious beer drinker needs to pay homage to his or her beloved hops by visiting this place at least once in his or her lifetime.
Take a look at the pictures below to see why Amsterdam should be on your beer bucket list.
Everywhere you go, you'll find beer -- especially Heineken. But then again, that shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. Heineken's long legacy all started here in Amsterdam, so this beer tends to be the beverage of choice among Dutch people.
Amsterdam has an awesome bar scene. Here, you'll find everything from low-key pubs to mysterious speakeasies, nightclubs and everything in between. There's even a swanky bar called Freddy paying homage to Heineken's deeply rooted heritage. However, unlike most cities, you'll find most people turning up with beer instead of the typical cocktails.
If you're looking for a more adventurous place to get buzzed, there are tons of boat tours offering beer, along with some amazing views of the canals.
You can see where Amsterdam's beer obsession all began by taking a tour of the Heineken Experience. They'll show you the original brewery, give you a crash course on the beer making process and even give you samples of what the beer tastes like during different stages of the brewing evolution.
If you like your sips with sides of history, this place will also give you the scoop on the story hiding behind that signature red star. Heineken's history in Amsterdam goes all the way back to 1873, and the company saved enough artifacts over the years to fill a museum. In fact, Heineken was even nice enough to open up its secret archives and give us a rare glimpse of some priceless family heirlooms.
This is also the perfect place to embrace your inner beer snob. In addition to getting a crash course on Heineken's history and beer culture, the Heineken Experience will teach you how to master the perfect pour just like a true beer connoisseur. Trust me, it's not as easy as it looks.
You can also see how much the beer-making process changed over the years by visiting the brewery currently in use. Apparently, the secret to making really great beer is keeping it simple -- Heineken hasn't strayed away from the original recipe of water, malted barley and hops.
Plus, you can experience the taste of freshly brewed beer. Heineken's Master Brewer, Willem van Waesberghe, was nice enough to let us try some beer waiting to be bottled, and I have to say, it was hands down the best beer I ever had in my life.