The brewing team
The brewing team of Vrijstaat Vanmol consists of Erwin Vanmol and Jan Panneels. Both have a passion for authentic Belgian beers and enjoy experimenting with new brews.
The brewing team
Learn more about Erwin Vanmol and Jan Panneels, the brewing team of Vrijstaat Vanmol. The brewery was founded in 2016 after a highly successful crowdfunding campaign that allowed Erwin to raise enough money to brew 2,500 liters of beer. The great interest in Erwin and Jan’s beers led to the development of even more delicious, craft beers.
Erwin Vanmol (°1967) is a cartoonist who has already worked for many media organizations. Numerous companies such as ING, Nestlé, Swissport and Microsoft Benelux have also already relied on his services.
In the spring of 2016, he dreamed of bringing his first beer onto the market. He launched a crowdfunding to finance the project. The response was tremendous. Barely 18 hours later, he had raised necessary funds for his first brew. A few weeks later, the deed of incorporation of Vrijstaat Vanmol Brewing appeared in the Belgian Official Gazette.
Jan Panneels (°2001) studies Business Administration at the University in Antwerp.
Shortly after Erwin founded Vrijstaat Vanmol, Jan decided to give him a hand during brewing. It didn’t stop there. A few months later, Jan also set up a crowdfunding to produce his own beer. The national media picked up on the news, as the then 15-year-old student was basically “too young to drink his own beer”. The campaign became a huge success. Shortly thereafter, Jan decided to invest his savings and the profits he had made from the sale of his first brew in the brewery. Thus he became a co-owner of the brewery and officially the country’s youngest professional brewer ever.
Cartoonist Erwin Vanmol has a dream. He wants to brew 2,500 liters of “Gronckel Blond” and launches a crowdfunding campaign. It becomes an instant success. The initial goal of 5,000 euros is reached in less than 18 hours. He establishes the company Vrijstaat Vanmol Brewing and the 139 crowdfunders have been allowed to call themselves “Citizens of the Vrijstaat” ever since.
A few months later, the Gronckel Tripel is added to Vrijstaat Vanmol’s assortment.
Jan Panneels, Erwin’s brewing assistant, wants to make a balanced beer that is low in alcohol yet rich in flavor. He, too, is launching a crowdfunding campaign. Within a week, the 15-year-old collects enough funds to brew 16 hectoliters of Janimal.
Jan invests the profits from the Janimal crowdfunding and his savings in the microbrewery. The 16-year-old becomes Erwin’s associate and officially the country’s youngest professional brewer ever.
With the introduction of the Quadrupel, the Gronckel family is complete.
Erwin and Jan head to Norway on a research expedition. There they are taught the secrets of Scandinavian farmhouse brewing.
During the lockdown, the hospitality industry had to close its doors and sales almost fell to a halt. Erwin and Jan experiment extensively with the knowledge they gained in Norway the year before. They develop an entirely new beer style: Belgian Raw Ale. Together with brewery Alvinne, they market Nørse Man.