Getting to know: HappyFace Beers


The flags are resolute in making a declaration.  Badass Brewing!  Badass the brewing may be, and the beers may be fuelled by megawatts of power, but there’s little attitude suggestive of a badass in all-round nice-guy, Rob Zwaan, brewer at HappyFace Beers.  Standing literally head and shoulders above everybody else — save for brother Ed, perhaps; in charge of beer distribution and promotion — Rob is a larger then life presence at national beer and metal events, whether professionally attending or personally attending as an enthusiastic lover of beers and music.

Heavy music is, therefore, the life and soul of HappyFace Beers, and it is the glue that binds together the four head honchos: Rob, Ed, Manfred Van Zadelhoff (marketing) and Patrick Karssen (business), who work together with a network of friends and associates to make the HappyFace Beer brand instantly recognisable.

Much like the rhythm section in a band, the beers themselves are solid, timeless classics that are dependable and tight, forming a solid backbone that underpins other activities.  And if HappyFace Beers were a band, there is seemingly a dedicated audience of followers, too, judging by the number of T-shirts in attendance at a beer or metal festival at which HappyFace Beers are in great demand.

If KISS has its Army, Motörhead had its Motörheadbangers, and Slipknot has its Maggots, what, I wonder, is the HappyFace Beers fanbase nickname?

Speaking of Motörhead, if the spirit of Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister could be bottled, it would surely be a HappyFace Beer.  In fact, the Jack Daniels-infused BOMBER “LEMMY” beer was a Special Edition brew for the Lemmy Memorial last year, and it proudly displays both Joe Petagno’s “Snaggletooth” design that the band used for 40-years and the eponymous name of their seminal third album.

HappyFace Beers has its own snaggle-toothed logo, too, which adorns each of its beers is various guises, surrounded by the accoutrements of brewing on the heavy side: 2-row malt, chocolate, hops, an inverted pentagram and the number of the beast, plus the inevitable blurred-vision.  Replacing the HappyFace Beers logo on some Special Edition beers is the symbol or logo of the various Dutch metal bands for which the beers are exclusively brewed.

HappyFace Beers has a full calendar for 2018, with numerous beer festivals and an equal number of metal festivals to attend, so if you’re at one or the other — or both — look-out for HappyFace Beers, although they’re very hard to miss.