The Uiltje Fresh & Fast project was set up with one mission in mind – getting the beer to you as quickly as possible off the canning line! We aim to deliver the beer to you within 72 hours of packaging which means you can enjoy the beer at its very best! Not quite drinking the beer from the tanks but this is as close as it gets!
What inspired us to set up this awesome system? Well, a lot of inspiration came from when our founder Robbert together with senior brewer Roel went on a trip to the US and sampled lots of different craft beers. They were not only taken aback at the amazing beers available but were amazed to see how fresh they were…some only canned two days previously! This inspired them to try and replicate this back home in Haarlem at the Uiltje nest.
As we’ve outlined above, the principle behind Fresh & Fast is simple enough – we want to get the beer as quickly as possible from the canning line to you! Now why is this so important I hear you ask? Well for IPAs especially, which as you know is our speciality, we brew with a lot of hops. Now whilst hops are quite hardy, hoppy beers should nevertheless be enjoyed as soon as possible as the aroma producing oils and acids will deteriorate with time, and this process is exacerbated with increased time and exposure to air and higher temperatures. This isn’t good for either the beer or the beer drinker!
So this leads us nicely onto the theme as to why we package our beers into cans. Cans are great for beer for a number of reasons. First of all, they don’t allow any light through, which protects our beer from being light-struck – a process which will break down our hoppy flavours and lead to some nasty skunky smells! Cans also reduce oxygen pickup, another enemy for our beer and as such helps to keep it fresh for longer. From an environmental perspective, cans are also much better in that they are made from aluminium. Aluminium can be recycled indefinitely and as it’s much lighter and stronger than glass bottles, less fuel is used during transport. This also means it’s much lighter in your rucksack when you take your cans to the beach or on a picnic! For all of these reasons, cans are better for beer, which means it’s also better for you!
So, what about the colour of our Fresh & Fast beers? Well, this really depends on the kind of Fresh & Fast beer we’ve brewed in a given week! Depending on the style, it could be anything from a light straw colour to a lovely warm orange colour. On the other hand, if the beer of that week happens to be a black IPA or a stout or a porter, it’ll be towards the end of the colour spectrum and vary from a deep copper to a deep brown, almost black colour!
And watch out if we’re doing a NEIPA! This might vary from a yellow to orange in colour but you should notice the beer is hazy and opaque. Other times we’ve been experimenting with some different ingredients (we are Uiltje after all eh?) and as such we’ve even had a Fresh & Fast beer that was pink in colour!
As we release a new Fresh & Fast beer every second week you can imagine that we’ve been able to produce a huge variety of different styles! You will find however that most of the Fresh & Fast beers are an IPA of some sort, containing lots of hoppy goodness! There are fortunately many sub styles of the IPA and as such you’ll see that the beers can be anything in the range from a West Coast IPA to the other side of the American landscape to an East Coast IPA or a NEIPA. For those who like both their malty and hoppy beers, you’ll be pleased to hear that we do sometimes brew a Black IPA. Basically, name a type of IPA and we will most likely have brewed one at some point!
Another fun fact that you should have noticed about our Fresh & Fast beers is that whilst inside the cans the beer is great, the labels on the outside are equally awesome. The beer names are usually inspired by a theme (and sometimes the hop variety is used too!). Over the past couple of years, the themes have ranged from animals, to movies, to music and TV shows! And to add the final magic touch, all the labels are hand drawn by our illustrator Gerben Valkema, bringing the cans to life with his wonderful cartoon owls!
Brewing a wide range of Fresh & Fast beers leaves us with plenty of choice when it comes to food pairing! Depending on the kind of Fresh & Fast beer you’ve got your hands on, if you’ve got something really hoppy, for instance a West Coast IPA, don’t be afraid to pair it up with salty grilled foods which will balance out the flavours. If the beer isn’t too bitter, so if you’ve got a Session IPA then something simple like a burger and fries always works a treat! Got a NEIPA that needs pairing up with? Well, the bold juicy flavours that come with a NEIPA mean you don’t need to hold back and you can pair it with spicier foods – think fajitas or perhaps a Thai green curry! For those of you with a real sweet tooth and a real citrusy kind of IPA is at hand, try pairing your beer with a lemon tart! In this case the flavours will truly complement each other!
Look carefully if you’re ever at the brewery on a Friday afternoon and you might just notice that the team often loves to enjoy that week’s Fresh & Fast addition with a cheeky borrel snack, proof that they’re also perfect for a laid-back food session!
By now we have hopefully tempted you to try one of our Fresh & Fast cans. So the question remains – how exactly do you get your hands on one of these fresh beers? Well. there are several options! The most convenient is by subscribing; this way you’ll get a box of 12 cans delivered to your doorstep every second week (within 48 hours of packaging), easy peasy lemon squeezy right?! Simply head to the Fresh & Fast page on our website and select which type of subscription you would like! If a box of 12 cans seems a little too hardcore then why not divide the box with a fellow Uiltje fan or even set up a tasting with a group of mates? If this still doesn’t entice you then you’ll be relieved to hear that our Fresh & Fast cans are available at select beer shops throughout the Netherlands. Just look out for our fridges which will ensure the beer is kept nice and chilled and more importantly, ready for you to drink – but be quick to avoid disappointment as they do tend to sell out fast! To add to the experience, be sure to check out the Fresh & Fast Spotify playlist that we’ve put together, the perfect music to listen to when you enjoy that perfectly fresh beer!