Back when Smitshoek was studying, De Smitse was a dimly lit hole-in-the-wall café with mustard yellow walls and a hardwood floor that reeked of old beer tucked beneath the Mandeville building. Since then, the café has come a long way, trading its old home for a modern version of the classic Dutch brown café. Now just two years after settling into its new home in the Hatta building, the café is serving up its own Smitse Tripel crafted by Smitshoek and Krommenhoek.
“Normally you go to De Smitse to drink a beer, so it was very funny for me to be on the other side of things and deliver beer to them,” said Smitshoek, who works in a law firm during the week. “When they first asked us to make them a beer, we were just doing it as a hobby, experimenting with different ingredients in a 60-liter pan. We were happy to make something for them, but as a law student I knew that we would first need to register as a business, get permits, and do a whole bunch of other stuff before we could sell them beer.”
After gathering the necessary paperwork, the two struck a partnership with a brewery owned operating out of Blue City, the abandoned waterpark-turned-innovation center for sustainability. What began as a hobby was quickly becoming something bigger, and suddenly the pair were sitting around a table wondering what to call their new brewery. Eventually they landed on the name Brouwerij Tureluur.
“Tureluur is actually a type of bird,” said Krommenhoek, who studied in Utrecht and works as a physiotherapist. “We thought it was a funny name because when you drink a lot of beers, you become tureluurs (dizzy).”
“De Smitse wanted a tripel with a taste that is easy to remember,” said Krommehoek. “They especially wanted it to include rosemary spice, which isn’t something you usually put in beer because it has a natural, heavy taste. The rosemary, along with the juniper berries and orange we put in there is what makes the beer unique. It tastes like nothing you’ve drank before.”
“Some people will love it and some people won’t, but that’s how it is when you make a special beer.” added Smitshoek. “Our goal is to make a special beer that appeals to a special target group, so if someone says ‘this isn’t my taste’, that’s fine. In some ways that’s actually a compliment because it shows we made something unique.”
How do students like it?
Smitshoek and Krommenhoek were experts in talking up their new creation, but whether or not it will become a staple of De Smitse selection is up to the students. That’s why EM took a trip to De Smitse to buy a few lucky students a free round. Here’s what they thought of the new Smitse ‘Campagnon’ Tripel.
Yannis Muller (Masters in Business Information Management)
“The taste is rich. It envelops my mouth and keeps developing. Tastewise it’s definitely a strong one. Even as I talk now the taste is still in my mouth. I really like it and I think for me, De Smitse having its own beer only heightens my personal attachment to this place. It’s a game-changer for them.”
Maya Cordahi (Masters in Finance and Investment)
“It’s bitter and sweet at the same time. Actually, it tastes kind of like a candy. Actually I don’t think bitter is the right word. I think it tastes sour. I like it, but this is definitely a taste you have to get used to because it’s not something you commonly taste when you drink a beer. Would I get it again? Yeah, I would get it again for sure.”
Tobias Sinding (Bachelor’s in Communication and Media)
“I think they aimed high but came up a bit short. And that’s kind of what happens when you aim high. For me, it’s a bit too sour and fruity, and the smell is crazy. Take a Tripel Karmeliet—it’s sweet, it’s nice, it entices you to drink some more. I’m not really getting that from this beer right now but maybe if I drink a few more that will help.”