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Siphon: looking for home

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Mathias De Stecker and Franklin Verdonck have taken full control of Siphon Brewing in Damme, Belgium and are now looking for a new home, preferably in nearby Bruges, where they hope to open a brewpub. 

Siphon started in 2016, as a side project of a famous restaurant of the same name, where the brewery is still located in a former sheep shed. The brewer was founded by Verdonck, Jan Callewaert, whose family owns the restaurant, and Breandán Kearney. 

The microbrewery produces a saison for the restaurant, but soon outgrew local fame for its brews, to become coveted across Belgium and internationally.

“We brew classic Belgian styles with a twist, as well as international styles not common in Belgium,” Verdonck said in the interview with the Beer Idiots.

The Callewaert family has decided to focus more on its restaurant, which is famous for its eel dish, where Siphon took its logo. Kearney has dropped out to concentrate on beer journalism. He runs Belgian Smaak.

De Stecker, who is originally from Bruges, joined more than two years ago after meeting Verdonck in London at a beer festival.

Mathias De Stecker and Franklin Verdonck

 

With all the changes, the microbrewery has almost doubled in capacity to produce 650 hl a year before Covid-19 hit the world. 

Verdonck, an electrotechnical engineer, describes himself as a foodie, and grew up just across the Dutch border in Sluis. He studied brewing in Ghent and holds a certificate as a technician in fermentation processes. De Stecker previously worked in the hotel, restaurant and café sector as well as with De Ranke mainly in marketing.

With the brewery under their charge they hope to create a brewpub somewhere else, modelling themselves something like Dok Brewing in Ghent. To cope with the reduced demand during Covid, they opened a webshop in March this year.

They will also focus more on a main line up of about 7 beers, with Damme Nation as their flagship beer. Meanwhile they continue the hunt for a new place for the brewery.

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