Employee interview – Meet Sylvie Van Zandycke
Oct 30, 2020
Meet Sylvie Van Zandycke our Director of Sales and Marketing at Lallemand Brewing. Originally from Belgium, she is now living in the United States. Working at Lallemand since 2004, Sylvie tells us her thoughts on the industry, beer, and trends.
What’s your all-time favorite beer style?
I prefer sour beers; I find them very refreshing, and I love cooking with sour beers. My favorite type is Lambic, and it comes from a specific region outside of Brussels called Pajottenland. It’s a unique region that only has the bacteria and yeast that you need to produce this type of beer. That’s why it’s famous around this area. This region also has a lot of old medieval castles, and Lambic beer is just part of its whole history. To me, beer is the perfect combination of history, science, and enjoyment. Those are the three things that I love about the industry. I would have to say Cantillon is my favorite Lambic beer, it’s super sour.
Where do you think the industry is headed stylistically? What will be the next “hot” trend?
I believe we will see a lot more talk about hop/yeast interactions, what we call biotransformation. This chemical process in which yeast cell enzymes release hop components to produce different flavors and aromas. Creativity and distinction in beer really interest me. I think we have a lot to learn with science about biotransformation. Although there is much research already done on it, we need to gain a greater understanding. It does make sense to mix specific yeast with certain hops to create something really unique.
What’s your Lallemand story?
I originally joined Lallemand in 2004 as a scientist. I was the project manager for the genetic identification lab at the Biotechnology Research Institute in Montreal, Canada where Lallemand has some of their research labs. In 2011, I left Lallemand to take on a new challenge with a brewing enzyme company called DSM. For five years I learned a lot about biotechnology, international sales, and key account management. I was delighted to return to yeast and Lallemand in 2016, with a fantastic team in place.
We are continuously growing, and things have been moving super-fast. It’s a fascinating market, and it’s an inspiring business to be part of.