Brewing a ton of beer varieties meant we had enough to save and then share at all kinds of events. Since the beginning, we have pro-actively sought out art and music festivals, food markets and even organized our own events to share our brews. Sharing our beer is a way to bring people together to enjoy food, good conversation and other cultural activities. Involving and collecting feedback from a diverse range friends, enthusiasts and casual beer drinkers makes for better beer and is crucial to our approach.
Attending festivals has proven to be an important space for spreading the word about craft beer and its diversity. We have taken this time with others to explain the brewing process and discuss the ins and outs of our beers in detail. Everywhere we’ve gone we seek to spark awe and curiosity, while also learning something along the way. With our brew kit always by our side, we have performed brewing demonstrations at the weirdest locations: beaches, public parks and festivals. After all, who could be more fun than an already intoxicated audience?
Mannenliefde is more than our first brew, it’s a statement! Mannenliefde is a brew with a mission to change the way people think about and drink beer. Thinking of today’s major commercial beers evokes images of macho men sitting on a couch watching football with other guys. The idea that beer is for men – particularly sports-loving men – and wine and cocktails are for women is a myth perpetuated by the big brands. But why does this depiction of beer as masculinity persist? Don’t women enjoy beer? And what’s up with all these gender stereotypes?
Mannenliefde was developed to poke fun at and dismantle this kind of stereotyping – both of people and their preferred tastes. Instead, this beer’s name expresses the complete opposite: a super soft, vulnerable guy who is full of love. Why? We want to show that beer is for everyone, and that it is all about flavor and personal choice.
In 2013, we took a leap forward by trying to establish our first ‘serious’ location in the heart Amsterdam. We wanted to begin our first brewpub in a 180m2 space that would allow us to brew professional quantities without sacrificing our spirit of experimentation. By serving our beers on site, we aimed to strengthen our brand and flavor profiles by gaining instantaneous feedback from our patrons.
Given the scope of the project, and the aim to include our avid fans and supporters, crowdfunding was decided upon as the way to go. The response to our campaign was utterly overwhelming… In just 1.5 months we raised a staggering €100.000 from 266 investors! These investors are our true believers and ambassadors. Want to know more about our crowdfunding campaign? Check out the movie.
Unfortunately, after 1.5 years of working hard to obtain funds and permits, our plans fell through. As most start-ups come to encounter, unexpected bureaucratic regulations made it impossible to realize our brewpub. But that didn’t stop us! Despite this set back, we didn’t lose faith and have kept working to realize our goal of becoming professional brewers with our own physical brewery.
To keep up with our customers’ thirsty demand, over the past year and a half we have focused on the art and craft of brewing by renting production capacity at other breweries. This has worked out well, and provided us the means and momentum to finally move into a bigger production space. In early 2015, we found our latest home in a 900m2 building on the Gedempt Hamerkanaal 85. It’s a beautiful space in the northern part of Amsterdam where we are busy building the production facility, taproom and creative melting pot of our dreams!
Using the brewing equipment we originally purchased for the brewpub, production in our new location began last April. Given the time that has passed, we found the equipment we already had to be too small to match a growing demand. Therefore, with the purchase of a 25 HL brewery from our friends at Magic Rock, we will be up and running at full steam by early 2016.
As we’ve expanded our production facilities we’ve also welcomed: a new forklift, a bigger truck, and most importantly our new, adopted mother: Tristan. Tristan is our fifth partner and fits perfectly with our founding four. Although he’s nearly as wild as the rest of us, he helps keep us focused and ensures the alignment of our business strategy with our dream to brew the best beers possible. From time to time he also reminds us to close our zippers. Look at Alex, he’s so happy driving his new toy!