VandeStreek bier is a Dutch brewery based in Utrecht founded by Ronald and Sander van de Streek . It started as a hobby besides their office job, but quickly spiralled out of control and transformed into a full time job, a production brewery and 20+ employees. Jorik Dames is VandeStreek's International Sales Manager and we get to know a little more about him and the company's incredible non-alcoholic beers.

CZ: Hi Jorik, what is your role at VandeStreek?
JD: I have been working for vandeStreek bier since 2016, when it was just a barn full of beer and two brothers, Ronald and Sander. For my International Hospitality Management studies, I had to perform an internship of ten months, but since the Hotel industry was not really my cup of tea and craft beers were coming up all over the country I had to convince my university that a barn full of beer and two brothers was a Bachelor-worthy internship. With a lot of hassle it worked out, and soon after the 10 months we had our own production brewery in Utrecht. From all-rounder as the first employee, my path in the company was: sales Netherlands, Sales Utrecht and now actively managing and exporting VandeStreek bier to 20 countries worldwide.

CZ: Why does Vandestreek brew alcohol free beer?
JD: Our Playground non-alcoholic IPA started as a one-off special in a range of innovative beers. During a time of family expansions at the homes of Sander and Ronald, they asked themselves why nobody was using American hops in low-alcohol beers. That's when we started looking for the best ingredients and brewing techniques and took some lessons from our German colleagues. We came up with an entirely new recipe with a unique yeast that hardly converts sugars into alcohol, special malts to provide body, combined with the finest American hops.

CZ: Do you still drink alcohol?
JD: Yes, I still enjoy drinking beers with alcohol, but mainly during the weekend or at special events. Football matches, concerts and festivals - I love to drink a nice glass of craft beer.

CZ: How do you see non-alcoholic beers fitting into people's lives?
Non alcoholic beers are low in calories, low in sugar and more healthy for you than soda drinks. It’s a perfect drink if you are the designated driver. No one drinks five cokes or ice teas, so it’s a great alternative if you have to drive. We drink it at the office every day and during the week it is a great substitute for alcoholic beverages. It's great to see a large improvement in the non-alcoholic segment. The beers that are now widely available have amazing flavours and hop aromas, and if you close your eyes and drink a Playground, you don’t miss the alcohol at all.

CZ: Do you have any other favourite non alc craft beers?
DJ: I love to switch between our Playground, Fun House and our Grapefruit IPA, however I do love a non-alcoholic pilsner from time to time.

CZ:  At what times/which occasions do you choose to drink non-alcoholic beers?
DJ: I love beer! I could drink it every day, however that would not be very beneficial for my health. That’s why I choose to drink non alcoholic beers during the week so I can enjoy some with alcohol on the weekend. When I have to drive, it’s very dangerous, illegal and simply unacceptable to drink, so that is a perfect moment to pick up a non alcoholic beer.