In 2012 four friends – Frits Lutgerink, Arnoud Pijpker, Marijn Kroon and Jos Schmitz – launched their first DAVO beer. They began brewing on the kitchen table but quickly shifted operations to a corner of a brewery which had room to spare. They soon grew out of this space too. By now it was clear that both Deventer and DAVO were ready for their own brewery and in 2016 more than 300 townspeople stepped in to back a crowd funding initiative to finance and set up DAVO Beer. The city brewery, with its own tasting room, shop and large beer garden, has grown to be one of the hotspots in the Deventer region.
Success rests largely on the quality of the beers. Within three years DAVO had won prizes with its Wiezenbok (silver at the Brussels Beer Challenge, category speciality beer) and its Tripel (bronze at the Dutch Beer Challenge). The beers are brewed according to DAVO’s own “three pint rule” definition – that is to say that after three pints you still have to enjoy the taste. Cool, balanced beers without odd additives such as chilli peppers. The beers are served in DAVO’s own tasting room in Deventer and also in its tasting rooms in Arnhem (2018) and Zwolle (2020).
Also at the Deventer location is the brewery. It began with two, 1000-liter brew kettles and now there are four. Even this is not enough to cater to the growing demand which is why some beers are brewed elsewhere to the DAVO recipe. The beers find their way to the hospitality sector, licensed victuallers and supermarkets in the region. DAVO is proud of a contract with Jumbo supermarkets to supply more than 400 of its stores.
Its own online store further boosts sales and has resulted in overseas orders. Online sales are growing fast and DAVO expects to sell even more beer via this channel. Also, the company is busy increasing the number of retail outlets.
Short term, DAVO is thinking of opening more tasting rooms in middle-sized towns in the east of The Netherlands. This is good for the brand experience and brand recognition. Long term, the dream is to set up a larger production brewery.
Davo Bieren | Frits Lutgerink | Arnoud Pijpker | Marijn Kroon | Jos Schmitz