- General information
Year2012 – 2015
TeamRoel Roscam Abbing, Micha Prinsen, Henning Rosenbrock, Will van Twuijver
Brouwvereniging Rotterdam (Rotterdam Homebrew Club) is the result of a project that aimed to build a beer brewery from scratch. After graduating from the Willem de Kooning Academy in 2012, Roel Roscam Abbing, Micha Prinsen and I set up this project in which we wanted to The project originally started as a means to understand and control a production process using publicly available knowledge, but changed focus over time towards the social aspects of related to brewing beer.
Alternative production and distribution
The goal of the project was not only to learn how to make great beers, but also to experiment with alternative forms of organizing production and distribution of goods. One of the earliest experiments we conducted was to fund our brewing activities through a beer subscription model. We asked people in our own environment to sponsor us. In return for their faith in our project we ‘rewarded’ their courage with a monthly delivery of our latest brews. Because of the vast amount of online information, our brewing skills improved rapidly.
DIY brewing equipment
Over time we designed various brewing installations using online information and re-using materials. Starting from a 20L manual brewing kit, the brewing machine quickly got upgraded by making use of items found in and around the household. Such as laundry machine pumps, aquarium pumps and plumbing products. Because of the existence of online platforms, there is a vast amount of know-how available online on how to build brewing equipment.
These platforms are kept alive by hobbyists who share their knowledge on a voluntary basis, which allowed us to reach a relatively high level of brewing skills in just two years: something that would not have been possible without hobbyist knowledge. As our skills and knowledge on brewing beer improved, so did our equipment. Each step in the machine’s evolution reflects the level of skills in our learning process.
Forming an association
Since 2012 craft beer gained more popularity in the Netherlands and more small commercial breweries were established in the past couple of years; rather than following the hype and setting up a commercial brewery as well, our project led to the establishment of a home brew association. The ‘Brouwvereniging Rotterdam’ is engaged in various activities in order to create a sustainable platform and to raise awareness of alternative production methods. Not having to worry about making profit gives us the liberty to undertake experiments, set up more conceptual projects, organise events, workshops and collective purchase of resources.