A visit to...Gebrouwen door Vrouwen
When we first spoke to Gebrouwen door Vrouwen, "Brewed by Women" in 2017, the duo were looking for an office space. When we spoke to them again in 2019, they had already moved to a larger location, a bar in the heart of Amsterdam, and this is where and we agreed to meet!
The story of Gebrouwen door Vrouwen goes something - as they say ironically - like a boy's book. Do and Tessel started brewing beer in 2013 in a small kitchen. The sisters started their journey brewing beers from home, just 20 litres at first, next to the piles of laundry. When hospitality entrepreneurs started to show interest, things suddenly went fast.
In 2016, Do and Tessel quit their jobs to go full time working on Gebrouwen door Vrouwen. Initiallt they hsd a private office in Amsterdam and not much later they had to be moved to a larger location. the team was no longer just the two sisters. At the office there is also a shed, because their brewing demands are now far greater than the 20 liters they started with, the beers are distributed throughout the Netherlands.
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Sisters are doing it for themselves!
That´s enough about the office, back to the beer. Sisters Do and Tessel, both natives of Amsterdam, have been brewing beer since 2013. They began by brewing batches of 20 litres and pouring the beer into flip-cap bottles, which they served at parties or gave to friends as gifts. Some of the bottles found their way to two bar owners. They were impressed by the beer and so, all of a sudden, what was once a hobby was now a much more serious endeavour. In 2016, Do and Tessel decided to quit their jobs and dive head first into Gebrouwen door Vrouwen.
Do and Tessel like to use lots of herbs, malt and wheat in their brews. All their experiments are done at home, after which they send their recipes to be brewed on a larger scale at a well-known craft brewery in the south of the Netherlands. Someday they will have their own brewery, you can be sure of that.
Bloesem Blond contains lots of elderflower, which is a very bitter plant.
Tessel and Do consider Bloesem Blond to be their most unique beer because it packs the most punch. “There’s lots of elderflower in the beer. During the brewing process we have retained as much sugar in the beer as possible, making it a sweet beer. The dried elderflower that we add at the end of the boiling process gives the beer its bitterness. Elderflower is actually a very bitter plant but most people don’t realise this because it’s always used in sweet cordials.”
Fun with beer
Gebrouwen door Vrouwen has received lots of attention from the media. They were guests on the show Leven in de Brouwerij (Life in the Brewery) on NPO 2 with Patrick Stoof and Kasper van Kooten and have appeared in publications such as Elsevier, De Telegraaf, Haarlems Dagblad and on TV programmes such as RTL Boulevard and Straten van Amsterdam (Streets of Amsterdam) on channel AT5.
Events: tasting beer and meeting people
What the sisters love most is to be in a bar or at a festival, chatting to others about their beers and offering samples. Their favourite festivals are the Amsterdam Beer Festival held during the Hotel Night event in the garage of the Conscious Hotel and the Nijmegen Beer Festival held in Valkhof Park in the summer.
There they have the opportunity to taste beers from other brewers. Their favourite beers from other brewers are Funky Falcon by Two Chefs Brewing (“a refreshing beer that smells great”) and Waterwolf by HOOP Brewery. “A fruity saison. Great in the summer months. It’s brewed with juniper berries!” Their final recommendation is Oedipus Thai Thai. Do: “A herbal Tripel with peppers and lemongrass. It’s always exciting to see how spicy the beer will be. The batches vary in spiciness depending on the type and amount of peppers used.”
It’s clear that Gebrouwen door Vrouwen’s number one mission is to create great tasting beers and to, more importantly, have lots of fun brewing and drinking. So far, they have done just that. Cheers!