Thursday the 17th of August saw the annual Brewer’s Retreat (An African Hops and MBco Initiative) held at Mountain Brewing on the Klipbokkop Nature Reserve outside of Worcester. African Hops clients were invited to join the event which had brewers from all over the Cape area joining.
Even though it is a night off for the brewers, it is also a great way for them to get together, chat about what they doing and get feedback from other brewers around the Cape area.
The evening started off with everyone getting to enjoy a Session IPA that was brewed the year before with a collaboration from Mark, PG and Phil (Simply Hops). Once they had finished brewing the beer thoughts were ‘Either this is going to be amazing or if not, we just won’t talk about it”, but the beer was a success, with many surprised this had been maturing for a year now. From the outside tasting this beer, my thoughts were that these talented individuals really can make something special when getting together on a project, and it’s exciting.
The evening was spent with the breweries sharing tastes of current recipes, beers that are yet to come, beer that is being tested. IPAs, Pilsners, Dunkels and Ales, 5% ABV to 8% ABVs being thrown into tasting glasses. Nods, smiles of excitement and conversation starters. Temperatures, hops and whirl pooling, these are all the technical things that the consumer may not take into account when drinking their fine beer, but these are things that are so crucial when producing top quality beers. There is a science behind all this brewing, and by these brewers getting together it means that a community within the breweries is growing, and this can only have a positive outcome, a bright future in the quality of beer the South African consumer will be drinking.
At the end of the evening when Phil (With over 20 years of experience of beer around the world) gifted everyone with a taster of a Nectarine Goose Sour, he went on to say that even though the South African brewer is constantly striving to reach international levels, the local beer is growing in standard and with beers like Ukhamba’s Sorghum Saison and MBco’s Fynbos Ale it is exciting to see breweries are already brewing beer that is unique to South Africa.
The beer market in South Africa has seen some major changes over the past 4 years, and has seen loads of breweries opening up and giving the beer consumer a new world of Craft Beers and introducing them to Beer from around the world. What is the importance of such a small event though? Well, it just goes to show that the breweries involved are not just resting on their laurels that what they are producing is good beer for the consumer, but instead taking it serious to improve on the quality of the beer being produced in the region.
Mountain Brewing and African Hops and the other breweries hope that this will continue being an ongoing annual event, and have more breweries getting involved from around the country.