I am not a huge beer drinker, but on occasion I have been known to sip a pale ale – and I love local places and people that are doing epic stuff!
Fresh from taking top honours at the recent South African National Beer Trophy Competition for its Hoenderhok Bock, Stellenbosch Brewing Company scooped the big prize at last weekend’s Cape Town Festival of Beer. Not only did the small brewery win the Best Dark Beer award for its Eike Stout, the beer also secured the Best Beer in Show trophy making it two from two.
Says an elated Bruce Collins, master brewer of the Stellenbosch Brewing Company: “We are over the moon! It has never happened before that the same brewer and brewery has won the South African National Beer Trophy and the Best of Show at the CTFOB ever, never mind in the same year.They are calling it the Grand Slam of Beer.”
The Cape Town Festival of Beer is considered the highlight of the South African beer festival calendar, with 45 of the province’s top breweries showcasing over 230 different beers, from the seasoned varieties to the more unique creations brewed exclusively for the event.
The Stellenbosch Brewing Company officially opened its doors in late 2015, but its story started much earlier. On their many travel adventures, Collins, and his wife often found themselves sampling beers from around the world. They were intrigued by the art of brewing and developing great tasting beer. After one such trip, they got involved in a friend’s brew in a basement in Karen’s native Minnesota, USA, which got them hooked on brewing interesting and flavourful beers and they spent the next six years reading, learning, researching and trying (and tasting) many different beer recipes.
“When Karen and I decided it was time to settle down, there was only one place for us, Stellenbosch. And there was only one thing I wanted to do and that was brew beer,” says Collins.
“We focus on brewing beers utilizing fresh and natural ingredients which respect the heritage of traditional styles yet we creatively brew them to suit our South African taste buds, modern lifestyles, diverse cultures, beautiful landscapes and unbeatable climate.”