Meet MBco’s Real Madala | A Father’s Day Interview

If you grow it slow enough and grow the market with you, it can be a success!

Seeing as though Father’s Day was on its way, I thought it would be a great idea to have a sit down with Gerhard Groenewald, Father of PG, MBco’s brewmaster and the real Golden Madala of Mountain Brewing Co.

Q. Would it be correct to say that in South Africa you are a bit of a 4×4 guru?

A. I think you can say that I’ve been around the mountain a couple of times and through my travels, I have been fortunate to visit and experience some of the most scenic and interesting spots.

Q. This is definitely some tough & extreme driving and I am sure you enjoyed a cold one afterwards, what used to be your go-to beer? 

A. Pilsner Urquell used to be my go-to beer.

Q. You are also involved with conservation efforts, and I have seen you in photos with baby baboons? Tell us a bit more about that.

A. I love all animals, but have a very special relationship since childhood with baboons and seeing that they are considered vermin in South Africa, with a policy of “kill on site”, I try and rehabilitate small baboons and unite them with a troop, one at a time.

Q. Since opening the brewery, how has your taste for beer changed?

A. I am more exposed to different styles of beer and love the variety.  I love the more hoppy beers.

Q. A Dad always has good advice for his kids, so when PG decided he wanted to become a brewer, what were your thoughts as a Dad and what advice did you offer?

A. Out of all the ideas and schemes over the years, beer brewing seemed more viable.  After tasting his first beer, still in kit form, I immediately saw a business opportunity that could enhance Klipbokkop’s business.  My advice to PG has always been, take baby steps and keep up the quality.  Do not dream of becoming the next beer on every shelf.

Q. When MBco had its official opening, I remember you brewed a mighty Stout, are there any other brews since that you have been proud of?

A. Not really, even though I am a quick learner and it’s fun, brewing is not for me.

Q. You have been very ‘Hands-On’ with the construction of the brewery, is there any future plans for the brewery?

A. Yes, we are in the process of constructing a building, to have space for more experimental types of brew, like Vat Brewing.

Q. Mountain Brewing has grown substantially since opening, did you ever think the brand would grow like this? 

A. In all honesty no, but with all the medals and praise for PG’s beer from the marketplace, the growth came exponentially.

Q. Both you and PG obviously have a vision for the Brand and Brewery, where would you like to see MBco in 2 years time?

A. A small brewery with high-quality beers, where people can order in advance for their seasonal beer or speciality beer. The Trappist way.

Q. Of all the beers types that PG has and currently brews which is your favourite?

A. PG has been brewing a very tasty English IPA, then there is Cape Kraken, but Copper Dawn has become a favourite as well.

Q. Obviously Mountain Brewing Co. strives to brew the highest quality beer, and that has shown in medals but what else can you say MBco can be seriously proud of?

A. We have strived to incorporate the local community through recycling of bottles, wooden crates made by the handicapped and using local packaging rather than importing cheaper products.  This has been a success story on its own for MBco, creating work and supporting the handicapped. We are proud of that.

Q. Lastly, I think it’s really outstanding how you have been involved with your son’s choice to do what he loves. What advice can you give to other Fathers out there with their children who have, what seems at first, an outlandish dream?

A. If you have a market for the idea, it can work.  If you grow it slow enough and grow the market with you, it can be a success.

 

Fynbos Ale | The new seasonal beer with A Kiss Of Mother Nature!

We are proud to show off a truly proudly South African Beer

It’s been in the making for quite a while now, but because of Mothers Day we felt it the perfect time to show off out latest seasonal beer. Simply named Fynbos Ale. Fynbos Ale was inspired by PG to brew something absolutely local, and experimenting with some of the rich variety of over 9000+ species of Fynbos in the Klibokkop Nature reserve. He picked a single species to make this rich floral beer with notes of Litchi, Turkish Delight and finally a Lemony Zest twang. It’s fresh and will have you savouring what is definitely a truly South African Kiss Of Mother Nature. Fynbos will be seasonal, and you beer lovers can expect the official release at the end of winter.

 

The Mother Behind The Scenes At MBco

My only request was:  please keep this small, manageable and do it as a hobby!

and Celebrating Mothers Day I thought I would catch Elmarie Groenewald our Brewmaster’s mother, and chat about beer, PGs first brew and something exciting we are releasing on Mothers Day.

Q: First and foremost, did you drink beer before MBco? Way back I used to do a shandy or Radler, and normally the taste of craft beer was just too bitter

A: Way back I used to drink a Shandy or Radler, and normally the taste of craft beer was just too bitter for my liking.

Q: What other relaxing beverage do you enjoy?

A: Seriously – I am a sissy drinker so rather skip this question…  Gin and Appletiser?

Me: I don’t know there Elmarie, it’s a pretty suave and tasty drink and given me a hangover.

Q: Now a mother always supports her children in whatever they do, what were your initial thoughts when PG told you he wanted to brew beer?

A: I thought oh no, not another scheme, but with his dad being an avid beer drinker and seeing him so enthusiastic about it, I was reserving my opinion.  My only request was:  please keep this small, manageable and do it as a hobby! HaHa!

Q: With that, what was his first beer like? And if it was bad did you say it tastes amazing?

A: It was bitter, as expected, but with an interesting mixture of aromas that kept me tasting and tasting….

Q: Do you find you drink a bit more beer now that the family is in the beer industry?

A: Yes, I think I am starting to understand a little bit better and testing the new batches, I can also contribute from a female’s perspective.

Q: How long have you have been involved with Klipbokkop?

A: Since the beginning when we did not even have an entrance or a small track going up the mountain.

Q: Beer and Food make such a great combination, where do you get your inspiration from when pairing the two? 

A: I trust PG’s experience and food preferences and we all have a say in the latest taste sensation developed in the kitchen.

Q: MBco is releasing another seasonal beer on Mothers Day, what are your thoughts on the beer?

A: Very exciting times and I am sure this beer will take it far, hopefully internationally.  What I love about it is the way PG made use of our fragrant fynbos and its unique character.  I am so proud of him and so thankful for all that has happened since craft beer got its foothold on Klipbokkop.

Q: And you had the idea for the label. Where did the idea come from?

A: The name was actually also my idea.  We played around with how to best portray fynbos and I remembered a picture that I took of the endemic cape sugarbird on a king protea that just says ”Cape Fynbos” to me.  Truly a proudly South African product

PG’s Mother being so busy and involved with so many aspects of Klipbokkop and Mbco made me think about a definition I saw once about a mother:

Mother [Muth-er] – noun

  1. One person who does the work of twenty. For Free.

 

Meet the PG’s Right-Hand Man, Gershwin.

WE SHARE OUR SUCCESSES AND LOSSES TOGETHER.

We want you to meet Gershwin Hermanus, he is PG’s right-hand man in the brewery. We had a chat with him and asked some questions about brewing, and how it has changed his life.

Q: When did you start with PG & MBco?

A: I started with PG in 2015, but I originally joined the team in 2014 as a painter and did maintenance around Klipbokkop.

Q: What were you doing before you joined the Team? 

A: I was a cleaner at Rainbow Chicken.

Q: Since starting to brew with PG, do you look at beer differently? 

A: When I started learning about beer I was amazed at how many styles there are, and the aromas you get from the different ingredients. It’s difficult to drink normal commercial beers now, I guess we get spoiled here.

Q: A Brewmaster always has secrets in his recipes and brewing process, how much does PG share with you? 

A: A lot! , what I’ve learned so far is amazing, I also realise there is a lot to learn! There’s so much that can go wrong, and we share our successes and our losses together.

Q: What MBco beers are you in charge of brewing?

A: As we get busier, more and more we have to split up. It’s important to know the different techniques of all the recipes.  Some days you brew, bottle or filter on the same day , so its important to know all the different jobs.

Q: Do you have any of your own recipes yet?

A: Not yet, PG askes me a lot about this… when I’m ready… it will be coming soon.

Q: What message do you have for anyone that wants to get into Brewing as an occupation?

A: I just want to say it’s not just from the beginning, it’s really long hours and a brewery ask a lot! You must have the love for it, I still go to work smiling.

Q: What was your lowest point in your brewing memories.

A: Definitely there has been some bottling days where when things go wrong, it goes terribly wrong. We have also had filtering days… something happens so quick and then we have to throw away beer … always a sad day.

Q: Any highlights?

A: People don’t realise how hard it is… they just think its easy, so to see how people love and drink the beer you made makes it worth it. And of course all the awards we have won, I was so honoured to stand on the stage receiving those Medallions, we haven’t been brewing for years and people are taking notice. It just shows we’re on the right track …I can see it’s paying off.

Q: Whats your future goal at MBco?

A:  To run MBco fully in any aspect … to be able to understand and put out production fully.

Q: Anything else you would like to say?

A: I just want to also say thankyou to PG for giving me this chance, he saw the potential in me and gave me the chance I will never forget it.

 

 

12 Days of Beermas Brew Day

“The Crew Geeked Out Till Late Night”

December 2016 Mountain Brewing co took part in the Brewmistress‘ ‘12 Days of Beermas, Bonanza Beer Giveaway‘, the grand prize was a full brew day with PG at the MBco brewery, including meals and accommodation at Klipbokkop Mountain Reserve. On Saturday we were joined by the winner Brett Hutton (Beatnik Brewers), The Craft Beer Show and Lucy (The Brewmistress) for a great day of brewing.

This is what PG had to say about the days’ events.  “We had a great brew day with the crew and completely geeked out till late night for an awesome day of brewing. We brewed the seasonal Red Panda Ale, using the new Simpson malts that are well known for its rich flavour quality all the way from the Sates. Lucy the Brewmistress also joined us for the brew day and it was really lekker to have some Capetonians this side of the mountain.”

We just want to thank Brett, Lucy and The Beer Show crew for the fantastic day. Cheers.

#ShareTheTaste