Dutch Bargain: why craft beers need colorful cans

The rebranding of Dutch Bargain as an excuse for cracking all the knowledge of creative brewing

"Everything was ready: the new designs and a bulky order for blank cans and sleeves. But then the email bell rang and it was your message presenting your designed printed cans. We put all our projects on hold and started the process that brought us here with our core range rebranded and into Nomoq's cans". 

The brewery powered by the Zeeland sun

Can you imagine close to the moon I was when I heard these words? Well, not even closer than when I flipped in my hands a Pacific Haze, the New England IPA of Dutch Bargain. "It is not only beautiful to see but also astonishing to touch" - it is still Thibo, the brewmaster – "yes, we are quite happy to have chosen you as partners".

I have to be sincere, this is not a classic day at the office. I mean, I am quite lucky to go visit our customers directly where the magic happens, at their breweries, where love, passion, professionality and personal taste mix up together to become delicious drinks, but every time that all this pops in front of my eyes I can't keep up with myself talking and absorbing all the good vibes of our hosts.

Dutch Bargain we said: a brewery from south of the Nederlands, Groede Zeeland. A little sea village, usually known as a sunny place perfect for summer vacation: "Let alone a rainy day like today, usually in the good season people love to hang out here after being at the beach all day and it is very sunny. That's why the brewery building is southern exposed and the roof sees plenty of solar panels: the sun here is so intense that we can supply our brewhouse, our canning line, and the whole kitchen with solar energy". 

Here at Dutch Bargain sustainability is quite of a  focus, another good reason to leave plastic sleeves behind and go for digitally printed cans. "I started my project with Dutch Bargain a few years ago" – this is Marc, another of the founders – "because we got a restaurant and we found a brewhouse inside then we decided to produce beers with it and do it with our menu in mind. When more and more people sought interest in our drinks, we decided to scale it up. Now the Dutch Bargain brand is quite well established, so I moved a bit the focus on another project: a circular farm where we produce all the food we cook at the restaurant and the taproom". 

Collabs: creative brewing

A full shot of creativity, nothing to say. But let's get back to the brewery, where Thibo gives me a good tour: "This is the small brewery" - Thibo talks to me while brewing a cold IPA and the smell is so good and intense – "we produce all our core range at a contracting brewery while here we focus only on the seasonals, special projects and collaborations. Here inside I give myself space to be creative". Creativity and beer, that's a nice concept. "I am from Belgium, I was educated there and kicked off my brewer career in a huge Belgian industrial brewery. I am happy of having started in this way, so now I know exactly how a balanced beer should taste, but I am also happy of having joined a small Dutch brewery because here things move faster and you have space to innovate and put your own style into new challenges". Experimenting, of course, but also collaborate, the topic of the collaboration is really big into the craft world "We usually meet at events, we chat, we exchange techniques and, of course, tons of opinions" – still Thibo, whose last collab was with Big Belly Brewery for a Bourbon BA Imperial Cherry Sour – "well, when we click we just decide to go for a collab: we brew together and we launch it to our customers. That's what I love the most about the craft scene: we are just a bunch of enthusiasts getting excited around a new project".

Fresh beers: it's not only about colors

Creativity, enthusiasm, and a passion for quality products: "In this brewery, we kept everything quite small but high tech, so we can make the most out of our production but still with the biggest quality possible. Take the centrifuge for example" – a real protagonist of the brewery, you can hear this machine operating loudly from miles away – "we got it to move faster in the production so that our IPA can always be fresh and tasty. And also the canning line is quite small so we can serve perfectly this space and the quick and consistent production of seasonal beer".

I have to be completely sincere: before meeting people like Thibo, for me, the reason all these craft beers looked super colorful was just obscure. Why put all this effort into the package of a beer that finally is just a beer? Well, this is not the case anymore, any of these beers is a unity of factors that only a vast plethora of colors can define.

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