Bert Van Hecke, malt baker and brewmaster of B.O.M. Brewery in Roeselare, Belgium, is keen to emphasise that he malts his own grains and makes his own barrels from Belgian oak for his line of Triporteur beers. Ceci n’est pas une brasserie, the Beer Idiots might say.
How does Van Hecke do it? As Beer Idiot Dieter Proost found out, he is a happy gypsy brewer, using the facilities of other brewers for personally making beers that feature his malts, while controlling the process from the malting stage. He also treats Belgian oak so it can be used for ageing his beers, part of a unique strategy for a craft beer maker.
As a brewing engineer Van Hecke completed an internship at Orval and at Rodenbach. He worked at Boon brewery as a cellar master and at Sint Bernardus as a brewmaster.
He also spent time at breweries in Fort Collins and Brooklyn in the US, in Suzhou (China) and in Galati (Romania).
Van Hecke was also designing brewing operations for others, notably Celis Brewery in Austin, Texas and Franschhoek, South Africa, where he used his “BOM BREW”.
As part of BOM, he runs a consultancy on designing and building breweries. He decided to do it differently. He did not want to go the traditional route of the home brewer to craft brewer with his own brewing operations.
Van Hecke was inspired by the traditional way of creating specialty malts and how Rodenbach used to prepare their own malt.
He remodeled a coffee roaster to create his own special malts for each beer in his line-up. He uses the fresh malt for brewing beer within two days.
The Triporteur beers are the backbone of his line-up and he also has a range of one off beers, which he markets as Special Roast Series.