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About us

Tommie Sjef is a beer blendery from Den Helder, the Netherlands. We make wild ales which are fermented and aged in wooden barrels. All our beers are fermented using our own wild yeast and bacteria culture. This gives the beer, after extensive ageing — 1,5 up to 4 years — in oak barrels, its typical slightly sour taste, and eccentric aromas.

A bottle of Tommie Sjef often contains a blend of beers originating from a selection of barrels, differing in age. Every barrel develops differently, each showing its unique characteristics. It is the art of blending to add balance, depth and joy.

Tommie Sjef Koenen, owner

The journey from wild to cultured is a high road but the destination occasionally disappoints. Pungent piquant cheeses are more tempting than packets of processed purity. Sourdough bread is more satisfying than sliced. Wild microflora creates much more vivid aromas and flavours than cultured yeasts. Wild beer is live music versus recorded sound. Spontaneous fermentation erupts, bubbles and blows like an improvised solo: a Django Reinhard riff, a taste of Toots Thielemans and much more. It’s bebop versus baroque.

Michael Jackson,
beer connoisseur