Innovation is taking into consideration the heritage of the country in which you brew and trying to add something new, says Breandán Kearney, co-founder of Siphon Brewing, Damme, Belgium.
Add quality and bring new ideas to the table, without forgetting where you are located, is part of Siphon’s DNA founded by Jan Callewaert, Franklin Verdonck and Breandán Kearney. It is based in the West Flemish village of Damme, at the Siphon Restaurant, which has been run by Callewaert family since 1902 and is now operated by Jan.
Siphon’s motto is aptly ‘Old World meets New World’, capturing the combination of classic Belgian styles with international styles. Since it started in 2017, the brewery has been awarded Ratebeer’s ‘Best New Brewery in Belgium’ for 2017.
The brewery in a converted sheep shed has a steam-heated three-kettle 5 hl brewhouse with a monthly maximum production capacity of 55 hl or about 270 kegs.
At the Leuven Innovation Beer Festival 2019 Kearney brought:
- Lieve, Belgian Kölsch-Style, 4.5%: inspired by the top fermented but lagered hybrid beers produced around Cologne but has a firmer bitterness (Citra and Mandarina Bavaria) and more pronounced ester profile.
- Damme Nation, Belgian IPA, 7%: An amber malt profile, with caramelised notes of Belgian special B malts and classic American hop varieties from the Yakima Valley (Amarillo, Cascade and Citra).
- Cassandra, Oyster Stout, 7%: Coffee-like roasted grains meld with earthy European hops. Oyster shells are added at the end to provide a subtle touch of minerals.
- Cendre, Black India Saison, 6.5%: A blend of styles from a variety of countries, with the chocolate malt character of a British stout, the seductive melon and pine profile of an American IPA and the drying citrus qualities of a Belgianv saison.
- Tronk, Vanilla Orange Quadrupel, 10%: Orange zest and vanilla pods were added after fermentation, in cold conditioning tanks, one week before bottling.
- 1902, Honey Lavender Tripel, 8.5%: A classic Belgian style -a golden Tripel- but with a twist of honey and lavender.
See the other fantastic Beer Idiots interviews at Leuven Innovation Beer Festival 2019
- André Janssens of Brouwerij Hof ten Dormaal, Belgium
- Pekka Kääriäinen of Bryggeri Helsinki and Lammin Saht, Finland
- Philippe Minne of Brasserie Minne, Belgium.
- Patrik Hellström of Bryggverket brewery, Sweden.
- Casper Vorting and Gitte Holmboe own Bøgedal Brew in Vejle, Denmark.
- Julien Bretheau of À Tue-Tête, Switzerland.
- Iacopo Lenci, brewmaster and owner of Birrificio Brùton, Italy
- Pim Zomerdijk of Brouwerij De Moersleutel, the Netherlands.
- Paul Herbert of UK-based Kent Brewery.
- David Cohen of Dancing Camel Brewery, Israel.
- Robin Barden of Edge Brewing, Barcelona, Spain.
- Breandán Kearney of Siphon Brewing, Damme, Belgium.
- Stephen McGirr of Wicked Weed Brewing, Asheville, North Carolina, USA.
- Vasyl Mikulin of Varvar Brew, Kyiv, Ukraine has been mixing his experimental beers.
- Botond Prischetzky, brand manager at Monyo Brewing, Budapest, Hungary
- Pia Morgenroth, founder of G’Bräu, Berlin, Germany.