Meet the Brewery - VandeStreek Brewery
How did VandeStreek breweries come about?
The brewery was set up by my brother Sander Van De Streek and I, after we started to brew beer in 2010 in our flat in Utrecht, the Netherlands. At first, we had no intention of starting to brew commercially, but after a secret crowdfunding campaign, my brother was gifted a cheque on his birthday and he didn’t really have an option but to go all in. The first beers introduced to the public were our brews Broeders and Dark Roast and since then many others have followed including the HopArt series and our Playground IPA.
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Why did they decide to start brewing a non-alcoholic beer?
Like many people, we were always pretty disgusted at the quality of no/low alcohol beers available, certainly when we were growing up. We were also pretty bored of seeing the lager style dominate the sector, meaning even after quality started to improve, real choice for consumers was non-existent. We decided we want to change that by launching a range of low/no alcohol beers that really push boundaries when it comes to beer styles. Our Playground IPA took a lot of testing but we’re confident it showcases the much-loved qualities of the IPA style, just without the alcohol. Our most recent launch in the Playground series has been our Fruit Machine – a raspberry/blueberry sour.
What is unique about each beer?
We have always been quite experimental and adventurous in life so we like to think each beer we brew showcases our creativity. I think the Playground IPA celebrates the best things about the style, is beautifully balanced and provides a lovely mouthfeel. The Fruit Machine is as unique as it gets with the sharpness of the berries and sour tangs making it the perfect, ultra-refreshing sour sundowner
What has been the most difficult challenge for each brewery in producing a non-alcoholic beer that tastes good?
It’s not just about tasting good, it needs to smell and look the part as well. A lot can go wrong in brewing beer anyway but low/no alcohol presents additional challenges of its own. First testing takes a lot longer and is a lot more difficult. Then once you have the recipe nailed, the key challenge is ensuring consistency every time. This comes down to good practice in the brewery and great suppliers.
In your (head brewer) opinion what does the future of the non-alcoholic beer category look like?
The future is incredibly bright as consumers are showing a real desire and loyalty to the category. Even in times of the pandemic when sales of alcoholic drinks have risen, the low/no beer sector continues to flourish. I expect to see more variety when it comes to beer styles in the future and I expect to see a lot more space dedicated to these beers in retail and in pubs, bars and restaurants. Eventually, we can just talk about them as beers, whether good or bad, and the alcoholic percentage becomes secondary to everything else.
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