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BeerFreakChick: a place of her own

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Video: Dinka Sarkozi talks about her dreams for BeerFreakChick, the craft beer bottleshop she launched last year in Ghent, Belgium.

She loves sabering, is a beer freak, comes from Hungary, and has been living in Ghent for 10 years. We are of course talking about Dinka, the chick behind BeerFreakChick with an awesome Instagram account.

Ghent has a cosy craft beer scene with bars like Bar Beenhouwer, Brouwbar and Dok Brewing Company. What it did lack was a bottle shop to buy a variety of beers on the go or for home.

That is what Dinka was thinking as well! She saw the opportunity to start BeerFreakChick bottle shop.

In the name of love

Dinka moved from Hungary to Ghent nine years ago in the name of love. She had met a Belgian in Budapest. Unfortunately the relationship didn’t last long, but she fell in love with Ghent and stayed. Before moving to Belgium, she had worked as a bartender.

“After I finished high school I started to work as a bartender and I did that for about almost 15 years,” she said. “Later I became a dog groomer. I had my own business back in Hungary.”

In Ghent she started working at Dok Brewing Company. In the meantime she loved volunteering at beer festivals, and she still does! Volunteering increased her knowledge of the craft beer world and expanded her network in the community.

“One thing is for sure, I will be at all the craft beer festivals as a volunteer. This is how I learnt everything about the craft, the beers, people. To me, that’s the most important part – you have to be there to stay updated and relevant.” 

The bottleshop, which opened last year, is located in Dok Zuid, which is near Dok Brewing.  The store is located at a former letter press printer. It is possible to sit in the back to drink your beer.

Knife fun

As for the sabering (often used to open champagne bottles) – she learned how to do so from a friend at a beer festival.

“I know how to sabre bottles,” she said. “The knives are for my collection of sabre tools. I even have a legit sword.”

She chooses her wares with care taking her cues from the experience of talking with brewers, tasting beers and discussing them with other drinkers.

“Beer is not an exact science, everyone has a different taste,” Dinka said. “I find it important to cater for everyone’s needs. Of course, I know the market by now, so that helps a lot. Luckily I have a very good relationship with most of my suppliers. if I’m in doubt about a brewery or a beer, they are happy to help me out. Sometimes it’s just a gut feeling to be honest. It’s the first time I’m doing this, so I don’t have all the answers, sometimes I’m just winging it, but that makes this whole journey so exciting!!”

She adds that she considers the shop as only the beginning of her journey.

“Yes, it was my dream, and yes, I made it but I have so much bigger plans,” she said. “I want to start organising events as soon as possible such as tastings and food pairings. To me, this is so much more than a shop. I want to create a community here. I am very proud of what I have achieved so far, but there’s always room for improvement.”

 

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