I stumbled onto a copy of Original Gravity in my laptop bag this morning.
O/G is a great (free) magazine on non-glossy, newspaper distributed in the UK.
Read a copy of Issue 14 here…
According to the survey, there are an estimated 1.2 million homebrewers in the United States, two-thirds of whom began brewing in 2005 or later.
“The homebrewing community is in every corner of the country and highly engaged in this hobby,” said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association.
“From the amount of money spent on supplies to the sheer number of homebrewers, it’s clear this is a growing trend and people are incredibly interested in learning about and making their own brews at home.”
We just had to look back through our posts… It has been more than a year since we secured our brewery building and commenced the arduous process of setting up a registered company and obtaining a brewing license.
Getting a propery company, bank accounts and other business items sorted was pretty straight forward. Obtaining a liquor license in our new prohibitionist country was a different story altogether. Strictly speaking - if you read the law properly - it is a fairly simple process: provide the information they ask and comply with the stipulations of the law… Easy !!
This is where you hit one of those “in theory, but not in practice” situations. A bit more than a year ago this process took roughly 6 months. Lately, due to various reasons we do not really wish to elaborate on, it takes anything from 9 months (if you are lucky) to a year. A theoretical 6 month hurdle is really a 9 month or longer dragged out, frustrating affair…
At least that is behind us now… Our brewing and liquor sales licenses were approved and we are good to go!
While our liquor lawyer was jumping through hoops to get the paperwork in place we sorted out a few things around the brewery. Most of it with the help of our usual, very good contractor.
Our walk in cooler box and fermentation chamber were installed at the end of 2012.
Half of the concrete floors in the production area was ripped out and replaced with new sturdy floors and proper drainage.
The future tap room, small office area, ablutions and kitchen were also given some much needed attention.
Slowly but surely we are sorting out the remainder of the tap room as well as the production side of the brewery.
We have decided to take it slow and steady. Rushing into things without proper planning and experimentation is not worth it. So please watch this space for updates…
South Africa Adds Beer to the Wine List
By: By SANDRA MacGREGOR
Extract from The New York Times
Read the full article at : http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/travel/south-africa-adds-beer-to-the-wine-list.html
“THE nose is floral with a touch of citrus on the finish,” said Eric van Heerden as he sniffed from a glass.
We were in the middle of South African wine country, but there wasn’t a vineyard in sight. Surrounded by miles of fallow fields and factories in the industrial area of Somerset West, outside Cape Town, we were instead at a tasting bar in an unassuming, ramshackle building that houses Triggerfish Brewing, one of the newest and brightest developments in South Africa’s craft beer scene.
“Now try this one,” continued Mr. van Heerden, the owner and brewmaster at Triggerfish, as he poured us a sample of his Hammerhead IPA. “This is like my Roman Red on steroids,” referring to his brewery’s hearty amber ale. Judging by the enthusiasm of some of my fellow tasters, a similar injection of vitality is just what the beer industry in South Africa has recently been getting from these specialist brewers.
“We always had great wine here but there was a dearth of what I like to call boutique beers,” said Tadious Bohwasi, a sampler from Cape Town, “but lately the craft brew industry here is booming.” Mr. van Heerden agreed: “Beer drinkers here are finally ready to try something different. It’s time to start stretching the envelope for beer in South Africa.”
Firmly established among oenophiles as one of the world’s top wine producers, until recently South Africa was not likewise held in esteem by beer aficionados. It wasn’t that the country didn’t produce beer - indeed, South Africa is home to South African Breweries Limited, a subsidiary of SABMiller, the world’s second largest beer producer - but rather that the mass-produced brew was regarded by connoisseurs as having as much in common with quality beer as boxed wine does with Bordeaux.
Though the country’s first - and still extremely popular - microbrewery, Mitchell’s, came on the scene in the early 1980s, for the next two decades the craft brew scene in South Africa was relatively stagnant, in large part thanks to SAB’s firmly established market share and affordability. But brewmasters are now doing their best to make up for lost time. In the past few years, microbreweries from across the country - Boston, Napier, Jack Black, Clarens, Triggerfish, Darling, Brewers & Union, Birkenhead, Saggy Stone, Robson’s, Drayman’s - have established themselves as among South Africa’s top purveyors. Even the big boys at SAB have begun to try their hands at microbrewing, producing special, limited-run craft brews for local beer festivals.
And South Africans’ thirst for craft brews shows no signs of being slaked anytime soon. Over the next year or so the number of independent breweries in the country will nearly double, with the establishment of labels like Devil’s Peak, Royal Mzansi, Valley Brewery and Gallows Hill.
Indeed, beer has long roots in the region, predating even wine. The first commercial beer in what is now South Africa was brewed in Newlands, just outside Cape Town on the banks of the Liesbeek River in 1658 (wine production didn’t begin until a year later); one of SAB’s breweries still sits at this auspicious spot.
The proliferation of boutique breweries has fostered several beer festivals in recent years: the Cape Town Festival of Beer (capetownfestivalofbeer.co.za), We Love Real Beer Festival (facebook.com/weloverealbeer), and the Clarens Craft Beer Festival (clarensbeerfestival.co.za)….
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