First sales - Apollo IPA

We really thought the day we would actually sell beer would never come. Finally the day of being able to sell beer actually arrived…

On Friday 1 November we sold two cases of beer to Roeland Liquors and another to our neighboring burger joint - The NOB (No Ordinary Burger). The latter sale was actually quite by accident. While we were waiting for the mash rest at the brewery we were enjoying some of the best burgers in town when we started discussing beer with the owners of The NOB. Five minutes later they bought a case. Three cases of beer in total is not much, but it is on par with what we are planning to do… Taking it slow.

A little bit more about the beer that is available…
The first beer we put up for sale is Gallows Hill Apollo IPA. It is not a beer for the feint of heart! Quite frankly we would not really be surprised if a few people do not to like the beer.
It is a seriously hoppy and bitter American IPA. At 6.6% ABV and a calculated bittering of around 87 IBU it is a in-your-face kind of beer. Liberals amounts of Apollo, CTZ (Columbus / Tomahawk / Zeus), Centennial & Cascade make up the kettle and dry hop additions.

Hopefully Apollo IPA sales are fairly good… Next up we will release an American Pale Ale and soon after that probably a session IPA. Watch this space, Facebook & Twitter for more details…

The coming week will be a long one for a couple of small breweries (actually for 10 of them, including Gallows Hill Brewing Co.) while they wait for the winners to be announced in the inaugural SA Craft Beer Championship on Friday… We’ve got our fingers crossed for the beers we’ve entered.

Errata - National Geographic Traveller - Issue 14, pg 11 - “Europe’s Great Beer Burgs”

The latest National Geographic Traveller contains a great article on beer travelling.
It is great to have more focus on beer - in particular, craft beer - in magazines and other printed media.

We were lucky to get a mention in the side bar…

Unfortunately there are two factual errors in the article and we think it is necessary to put the correct facts out there and give credit where credit is due.

Firstly, Gallows Hill Brewing Co. won the 2011 National Home Brewing Competition (SANHC) with one of our small experimental Black Ale batches.
Our Black Ale is a Cascadian Dark Ale - also commonly referred to as a Black IPA.

Secondly, we did not brew a Coffee Stout as mentioned in the article. The 2012 Southyeasters Summer festival actually had two competitions.
The first being the normal people’s choice competition where kit / extract beers and all grain brews are rated by the festival goers.
The second being the new Wolfgang Koedel Cup. For this competition certain guidelines are prescribed for the beers entered and the judging is done by a panel of “experts”.
We won the Wolfgang Cup with a small batch Octoberfest inspired ale.
The people’s choice winner was the UCT Brewing Team with a Strawberry Witbier and the runner up was Masters Brown & May Brewers with a Coffee Stout

One of the big first steps… Brewing venue

It seems as if the pieces of the brewing puzzle is finally starting to fall into place….

Before getting into the detail, we need to mention one thing:
At the beginning of the year we instigated the start of a brewing competition called the Wolfgang Cup at the Southyeasters Home Brewing Club. It is named after Wolfgang Koedel the master brewer of the late Paulaner Brauhaus. His ample contributions to the smaller brewers in Cape Town deserves some recognition. The inaugural competion was held at the Southyeasters Summer Festival held at the SAB Newlands Brewery.
The idea is simple… Some guidelines regarding beer style and/or ingredients are set and brewers are challenged to brew accordingly and compete. This forces people out of their brewing comfort zones and expands the knowledge of brewing. Furthermore it serves as rapid prototyping. 10-15 guys brewing the same beers help provided a large sample for discussions and trouble shooting.

Well… We won the inaugural competition with one of our small batch brews!

The rules were simple. Only the following malts were allowed - Pale, Munich & Wheat. Perle hops plus one brewer’s choice hop were to be used and the brewer was free to choose any yeast strain.
(There was also a extract competition… Not too clued up on the rules for that, as we are not extract or kit brewers)

Apart from winning small competitions the pieces are starting to come together.

As of yesterday it is 99.99% confirmed that we have secured a brewery venue in an up-and-coming part of Cape Town. This is the catalyst we have been waiting for and kicks a lot of exciting new developments into motion…

For now the plan is to get the following sorted:

A myriad of adminsitrative details & issues need to be resolved or finalized.

Our pilot brew plant needs some tweaking as it will have to perform well during the interim and will be used for years to come for testing, small & special batches.

Final design, detailing and manufacture of our proper brew house can be put in a higher gear…

More planning and research need to go into raw materials, additional equipment and reliable sources for all of these need to be secured.

Above all, more recipe development can now be tackled in earnest… There are so many hop varieties and combinations we still need to experiment with!

So… In the meantime watch this space for updates…