KOREAN BEER KID
In summer of 2017, I had an opportunity to work at the Carnivale Brettanomyces in Amsterdam, Netherland. Truly one of a kind experience through lectures but I have met some amazing people during my short stay in summer. So when I decided to go back, I tried to plan to visit as many people as possible and Tommie Sjef Wild Ale was on top of my list. Located in the beautiful seaside city of Den Helder about an hour train ride from Amsterdam, Tommie is a young blender/student who is getting more recognition that he truly deserves. I visited him on a very typical rainy Dutch day, and the wind in this seaside town was nothing to joke about. But once I arrived to the industrial area where his current blendery is located, I was greeted by the happy smile from the one and only Tommie!
As I entered through the door, I was greeted by the sight of small blendery filled with barrels, boxes, bottles, and other equipments. Obviously, I can instantly sense that this is more of a family operation: his mom, his sister and others help him with running his business with things like helping with bottling and labeling. With increasing number of demand, Tommie seeks to expand his operation in the near future. We sat down on the table where they usually do that labeling process and brewed cups of tea to catch up.
I had the opportunity to try some of his stuff out of the barrels as we caught up. One thing that I realized is his passion for finding organic ingredients. Even though organic ingredients are more accessible in Europe than America (in my opinion), Tommie goes extensive length to find the better products for his beer. Another thing I noticed was his passion for grapes. YES, grapes! I noticed that many of his beers are fruited with different types of grapes. From the recent release of Wijnig to some of the previous releases, there are more plans to incorporate different types of grapes into his beer
Of course I also brought a bottle
NOTE: Blendery is NOT open for public.
Since he is about to graduate from the university and cannot be at the blendery full-time, the blendery is not open to the public, so I will not be posting blendery information as usual.
But check out where you can get his beer
If you are located in Europe:
Special thanks to Tommie and his hospitality.