At Wafilin, our employees enjoy sharing a beer on a Friday afternoon from time to time. Sometimes, this opens up the opportunity for enjoying a self-brewed beer from Thomas. And these beers always taste like more. It’s time to discover more about this hobby, which has become more than just a past-time activity, of one of Wafilin’s valued employees.
When asked about his hobby of beer brewing, Thomas immediately gets excited. It is very clear that he has passion for technology, both on the working floor and at home.
Thomas is one of the Technical Sales Engineers working for Wafilin and has joined the company immediately after his graduation. He had been working as an intern for Wafilin before, where he was working on an R&D project involving dairy filtration with Jos van Dalfsen, R&D manager at Wafilin.
Thomas started dabbling in beer brewing during his study Food Technology at Van Hall Larenstein. His brother, who followed a similar study, convinced him to try it out at home. The two brothers started looking online for equipment that they could use in their brewing efforts. “This mostly consisted of small kettles and repurposed kitchen furniture”, Thomas adds. The beer brewing process was slowly upgraded over time, as new parts kept getting added in order to be able to produce more beer.
From that point forward, Thomas and his brother have been brewing a beer together, approximately 6 times per year. Over the years they have been improving their brewing process at home, using ingredients bought at specialized stores for homebrewing.
For Thomas, it is very easy to explain why he enjoys brewing so much: “I find the technology behind the process very interesting. The fact that every difference in the brewing process, no matter how small, can alter the taste and type of the beer means that there are endless possibilities for experimenting with different parts, conditions, and ingredients”. Thomas also finds it fascinating to be able to create an end-product through different ingredients and processes. An end product that Thomas thoroughly enjoys.
The reasons why Thomas loves brewing beer also apply to why he enjoys his work at Wafilin so much. “I really like the process-technological side of the job. My work at Wafilin allows me to design and build a system from the scratch, from a design on paper to completing an installation for the customer on-site, which will bring added value to their factory”. Another part of the job that really draws Thomas in is the fact that Wafilin’s installations can be used to turn resources into an end product, similarly to how the ingredients such as grain and water can be turned into beer.
Thomas’ skills were also being put to good use by Wafilin during Aquatech a couple of years ago. The Water Alliance organized a mini beer-tasting contest- using water from a special source. A couple of companies that attended the exhibition took part in this competition. As mentioned before, Thomas had worked on a project for milk concentration on farm-level with Jos during his internship, where water was separated from raw milk. Jos and Thomas decided that this beer would be perfect to bring to Aquatech so that Wafilin’s relations could taste this unique product. The reactions were very positive according to Thomas “Our beer was the first one that was sold out at the bar”.
Thomas’s passion for brewing also relates to his Big Five for Life: “One of my most important values in life is friendship. I have always brewed together with my brother, and now my brother-in-law has also joined us in this process”. Brewing also relates to his desire to constantly keep developing himself, because “because in brewing you are constantly working on improving the process and product”. Finally, variety is also an important value for Thomas; this can be seen from the fact that, outside of brewing, Thomas has a large variety of other hobbies.
Unfortunately for the Wafilin crew, they will have to wait a while before they will be enjoying Thomas’ beer again: “I can only brew beer if the weather is warm enough, which means that I will likely be starting again come spring next year”.
Planning on visiting Wafilin anytime soon? Make sure you book your appointment on a Friday afternoon, as you might get the chance to taste one of Thomas’ special beers.