UTCA Brews, a collection of friends who regularly come together to make great beers. We operate from our own build brewery in Utrecht. Most of the beers that we produce are IPA, Sours and Stouts. All of these variants provide us with numerous opportunities to experiment with different flavours.
Niels (aka Zissa) and Sjors (aka Bommel) started early 2019 on a 30 liter Easybrew in Sjors’ backyard. They quickly realised this new hobby had a lot of potential. Just before the pandemic hit in 2020, they started talking with Brouwerij Eleven to help with the brewing process in their brewery. Mostly to gain knowledge and experience about the process, but also to get to know the people in this field of work. Share their passion and be inspired by them.
Then things escalated quickly.
Already talking about expanding their volume in the beginning of 2020, they decided to go for a new, more permanent setup at Niels’ place. It wasn’t just about volume; they also wanted to have (more) control of the process. So they decided not to go on a vacation, but build a new installation called a HERMS. Because of their background in IT and being gifted with just 2 left hands between the both of them, they built it from scratch, using a Raspbarry Pi running Brewblox. This meant they could control the HERMS from their phones and PC, change temperatures, switching pumps on and off and so on.
After a Radler period, Niels and Sjors introduced another friend, Tim (aka Bunnik), to different beer styles which fuelled his beer loving flame. Tim’s passion for food, cooking and cleaning would prove a great contribution to the 2-man brewing team. They joined the IBU group (Ik Brouw in Utrecht, a group of home brewers), learned more, and kept on experimenting/fermenting.
Fast forward another year, they kept building on their brew kit. Modifying old fridges for controlled fermenting, new fermentation tanks, welding extra supports on the mash screen; work just never stopped. They started dreaming, went to the chamber of commerce, and booked their first slot for brewing big at Brouwerij Eleven.