I read about Bardwell Brewery/Bardwell Brewing Co. more than a year ago. There was some plans for a new brewery in Central Drakensberg. Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised when I found their new website. Today I got a letter (well an e-mail to be more precise) from Brad Hall telling me a lot of interesting facts about them.
The man behind the brewery is Bardwell Henry Patrick Hall (Bardy for short). A man with the good combination of dreams, ambition and great skills. Three years of hard work is finally paying off. His son Brad (the one who wrote me the letter) has helped out with a lot of the paperwork. He told me that the process of getting a license has been somewhat of a struggle but they are on the way and the license problems should be sorted out in the next few weeks.
Bardwell Brewing Company is currently located close to the Wits End Mountain Resort but Brad wrote that “we have decide to move the brewery this year from the Witsend site to our small farm, which is down the road, on route to Drak Sun. We have a great venture ahead of us but also a great concept.”
The concept is really interesting. They use an artesian well as water source (fresh berg water from 120m underground). They plan to be 100% off the grid by deploying solar, gas and water turbines to generate energy, heat and lighting. Another interesting thing is the use of shipping containers. At least one container will be set in the nearby dam water and used as cold storage (yes, the containers are water tight).
First beer out is called Rusty Gun Bitter Ale: “A reasonably complex beer with a multitude of malts and mashed in at 68 C to leave loads of residual sugars for the mouth feel. The black malt adds a somewhat slightly burnt flavour that bonds well and compliments by speciality malts.”
Why not go to the Central Drakensberg for holidays? They have a brewery there!
Location: Off the R600, Cathkin park, Champagne Valley, Central Drakensberg
Zimbabwe is taking its first steps towards a new and hopefully vibrant beer scene. Maybe it is to early to state that but that was my first thought when I heard about Sarungano Brewing in Harare. You have to start sometime and somewhere. Now is always a good time to start and why not in Harare! Bespoke Brewers at the Beer Engine in Jameson Hotel has been the one and only craft brewer for years. Sarungano launched their first beers in September 2013.
From their website: “Sarungano” in Shona is the vernacular title for Story teller. They would gather people around and weave spellbinding stories that would entertain, inform and educate the gatherings. A name we found fitting for our brewery as we attempt to achieve similar feats of the Sarunganos of old. Except our narrative is done by our brews. What else would lubricate the tongue better! We believe the best, funniest, saddest, emotional, inspirational and somewhat bizarre stories are told whilst sharing a good beer amongst friends, family and the occasional stranger. And yes the freeloader has his use as well. So come share in our beer narrative.
Just Brewing Co is one of the new craft breweries in South Africa. If you are going to the Huddle Park Beer Fest you are able to taste their Just Chocolate Coffee Stout, Just Porter or Just Pale Ale. If you are not you could visit them in Boksburg.
From their website: Just Brewing Company started in January 2014. We are a family owned and run brewery based in Boksburg. We focus on keeping our brewing practices community friendly, donating our spent grain to community projects like the Boksburg Bokkie Park. Our focus is on producing good quality beer that people can enjoy drinking any time. We don’t filter any of our beer or add any additives. Our beer is bottle conditioned and is best enjoyed chilled.
Ceder Brew is the first brewery located in the heart of the Cederberg. The brewery is situated on the Nieuwoudt family farm and has a really interesting head brewer.
From their website: For Dr Melanie Nieuwoudt her doctoral studies on beer brewing are much more than just an academic matter. She will be putting the knowledge she has gained over the past four years into practice by opening a micro-brewery in the Cederberg on the Nieuwoudt family farm, Krom Rivier.
Dr Nieuwoudt is one of 18 graduates of the Faculty of AgriSciences at Stellenbosch University who receives her doctorate on 24 April. Findings from her PhD studies in food science now makes it possible for brewers to consistently, make a beer with a stable foam head as well as a longer shelf life.
I am not sure if they have opened to the public yet but if and/or when they do you will be able to enjoy a Chubby Head Stout or Catfish Ale.
Bespoke Brewers at the Harare Beer Engine is one of only two Craft Breweries in Zimbabwe (not counting Shabeens and home-brewers). Situated just a couple of blocks away from the Harare Central station it is the perfect stop when in the Zimbabwean capital.
Opening up in 1997 they are one of the oldest craft breweries in southern Africa. Peter Triggs (owner and brewer) tells me that “We’re recovering from a lost decade since we opened in 1997, but we’re slowly getting there again.”
They have five different beers on tap. Sold in the Harare Beer Engine at one US dollar 330ml glass. The capacity is fairly high with nine fermenting tanka (á 800 liters).
They describe their beers:
Sabie Brewing Company is a new brewery that is going to open in Sabie, Mpumalanga. Sabie is a small town inbetween the Hops Hollow Brew Pub in Longtom Pass and the soon to open Mountain Stream Brewery up in Graskop. The brewery is situated in one of the oldest buildings in Sabie, the H.T. Glynn House build in 1921.
I let you know more when I know more!
Location: 41-43 Main Street/Road, Sabie (H.T. Glynn House)
Phone: 083-627 4188
Swagga Breweries is a new brewery in the south-west part of Johannesburg or more correctly in Alrode, Alberton. They have the first 2000 litres brewing at the moment (an Irish Red Ale and a Belgium Blonde). They need to do a couple of test runs before they hit the market so keep your eyes and ears open.
From their website: “Swagga is about representing yourself in a way that demands respect in everything you do.”
“Update: 21/05/2014 “We are fully operational now, bottling plant is also up and running. We are currently producing the Swagga Red, Swagga Blonde, Swagga IPA and the Swagga Porter is almost ready for kegging”