Two sisters from Amsterdam, Do and Tessel de Heij, turned their kitchen experiments with hops, herbs, malt, and wheat into a business—Gebrouwen door Vrouwen, which translates to “Brewed by Women.” Currently, they are gypsy brewers. They travel from one brick and mortar brewery to another to make their own beer, paying for the use of the space and equipment.
Since their founding in 2015, their products are enjoyed throughout the Netherlands. Over 600 Dutch cafes and restaurants have Gebrouwen door Vrouwen on the menu. The sisters have also expanded their reach to China, Bonaire, an island off the coast of Venezuela, and eventually Singapore.
Do and Tessel are thirsty to push their brand to a whole new level. They are currently in the middle of making their own brew pub. They’ve purchased a location in the Oud West area of Amsterdam. This up and coming location boasts diversity, full of quaint cafes and a charming neighborhood feel. If you’re interested in investing in this female-run business, read more on their crowdfunding venture. As of now, they are on track to open their doors March 1, 2019.
In the immediate future, Do and Tessel are at Troost Brewery, working on a beer called Zonnig Zeewit, made with seaweed from Zeeboerderij Ijmond. This foundation grows seaweed in the North Sea in efforts to clean up the ocean. Gebrouwen door Vrouwen will donate 10 cents for each bottle they sell of the new seaweed beer to the foundation.
Even with the major advancements Do and Tessel have made since the start of the company only 4 years ago, they are still looking toward the future. In the next 5 years, they hope to build the most sustainable brewery in Europe. To stay up to date with Gebrouwen door Vrouwen, follow their spunky, girl-powered instagram account here.
Advice from Brewer Tessel de Heij to Starting Your Own Beer Company:
- Just start brewing and you will be motivated by all the positive reactions from the people around you!
- Write everything down very carefully.
- Clean Clean Clean! One bacteria can destroy your beer.
- It is important to be able to share your successes and failures, so bring at least 1 partner into your business.
- The people you hire are your most important asset.
- It is really, really hard work, so you HAVE to like what you do, otherwise you won’t be able to keep going.
“It is really nice to be an all women company in the beer industry, we get a lot of attention and positive feedback. People really like the ‘girl power’ vibe that comes with the brand.” –Tessel de Heij, co-founder and brewer at Gebrouwen door Vrouwen
“The beer industry has been booming the last years. Many craft breweries have developed and put themselves in the market. The industry, however, is still a man’s world. In Amsterdam we are still the only woman’s beer brand (as far as I know). In the country there are a few more women who started their own beer brand.” -Fenna van Strien of Gebrouwen door Vrouwen