This week we’re catching up with Darryl De Necker, the one who makes our cans look pretty while somehow fitting in all those lengthy and witty beer names. You can even learn the history of our brewery if you have a look under the labels. He’s the reason why you can find our beers all over the world and is the man behind the brand that brings life and colour to our beer library.
There are different reasons why people move to Sweden, and why they stay. In Darryl’s case, he stayed here for love. He moved to Gothenburg in 2007,moving away from the town that he calls home in South Africa, Cape Town. If you ask him how long he has been living in Sweden, his answer will be “too long”. It’s actually 13 years, 7 months and 26 days, not that he is counting or anything…
So Darryl, what have you learnt the most from starting a brewery that makes many, many different beers?
I knew from the start our brewery concept was going to be homebrewing into big brewing, meaning we were going to brew new beers all the time. As we weren’t doing it full time at that point, everything had to be done fast.
So, all of our beers were named after exactly what it was; Black Ale Chilli, our first beer, was a Black Ale and it had chilli in it. Bobek Citra is a Pale Ale that has Bobek and Citra hops in it, all because we didn’t have the time to come up with beer names. The label design process was similar, so as the designer, I made one colour per style of beer.
After going full time with the brewery, we had more time to sit with it and think about more creative names, more design, how we are going to take over the world and our branding for the future.
You’ve been key in developing partnerships for Beerbliotek in Sweden & all over the world, how do collaborations help further the brand?
Collaborations for us as a brewery are very important because it’s how we learn from other people, and it’s how we can share our knowledge with other people and then in turn, make the Craft Beer industry much better.
When we’re brewing at another brewery, it’s time for us to look at how they do things; how they treat their water, or even how they treat their staff. It also gives us an opportunity to meet their distributors in their country. When it’s their turn to come to our brewery to brew with us, it’s time for them to let us share our knowledge with them, and how we make our beer. And then becoming friends.
What do you think is the future for Craft Beer?
Funnily enough, all of our staff have answered this question in the exact same way. It’s going back to traditional styles. I love a low ABV Porter or a low ABV Stout. Something that is easy to drink, and not necessarily something that I want to talk about, but is still a really good quality product that has been made properly by people who have cared for it. It’s sometimes about just having something to drink while with your friends, or reading a good book.
So, going back to old styles and old school beers is what the Craft Beer industry is doing. And if they’re not, they should be doing it because we’re doing it as a brewery.
When you’re not dreaming about beer, what are you dreaming about?
This is a loaded question, you know that I dream a lot!
I draw and I read a lot for my own pleasure and development. So, beer has never dominated my life, or my dreams.
I care about it, but luckily I don’t have to care about the beer in the can. Because I have business partners and staff here who care about it, so I don’t have to. It works both ways, as much as I care about the design, the brewers don’t have to care about it. When we let our staff do what they do best, I can relax about it. So, in my world I am dreaming about colour, design, and simply focussing on that.
What are you currently dreaming about?
My dream is to show us off as a company for Design, Marketing and the people, to show that we’re not just a brewery. We’re very recognisable, with a lot of tongue and cheek, but we are a part of the community too. Our Tap Room is a place where people can come to have a beer with their kids, hang out, and have a good time. It’s a home away from home. I am trying to incorporate that into our branding.