Mitchell’s has introduced fresh packaging designs for its familiar beers, known for the stories behind their names; Forester’s Lager, Bosun’s Pale Ale, Milk & Honey Ale, 90 Shilling Ale, Raven Stout, and Old Wobbly Strong Lager.
Mitchell's craft beer announces new brand design
Hein Swart, managing director of Mitchell’s Brewery, says the first beer he ever tasted was from Mitchell’s when he was on holiday in Knysna as a young man, “long before craft beer was even a thing.”
Swart’s first taste later led him to join South African Breweries and achieve the status of SAB Master. “It’s given me the experience, knowledge, and know-how to take a brand like Mitchell’s, who has a craft brewing history of more than thirty years, to drive it forward, commercially," he says.
Apart from the brand-new packaging design, there has also been an investment in optimising quality, consistency, and production processes at the sub-20 000 hectolitres per annum (HLPA) brewery in the heart of Knysna. A fermentation tank farm extended with additional fermentation vessels to ensure reliable supply.
International brew master, Jörg Finkeldey, who consults to the production team at Mitchell’s, says, “The range continues to remain true to original ingredients, and we’re constantly refining processes to ensure the best brew across our entire range.”
The ability to source high-quality ingredients locally remains core to Mitchell’s philosophy. “We’re in the prime Southern Cape agricultural region where hops are cultivated, so we have access to the finest raw ingredients on our doorstep. We only use 100% natural ingredients, which are locally sourced, using original recipes and a unique brewing process, resulting in full-bodied, thirst quenching flavours for our discerning clientele,” says Finkeldey.
With a permanent staff complement that has been at the brewery for the past 15 to 18 years, and nurtured in the skill of craft beer production, Swart adds, “getting craft beer right is part science and part art; it takes a high level of commitment from everyone at the brewery, and we’re very fortunate to have such a long-standing and dedicated team of people involved with the local community.”
For more information: www.mitchellsbrewing.com. Alternatively, connect with them on Facebook.
When I walked into the Sedgefield Craft Brewery at Sedgefield's Scarab Village, I noticed that Tony Hunter (its popular local brew master) was pouring over a book entitled 'Brewing Engineering: Great Beer Through Applied Science.'
Beer making is certainly something of a science. That said, each brewer ends up mastering the alchemy of ingredients to suit his own tastes and that of his particular beer loving audience. So while craft breweries around the country are coming up with all sorts of weird and wacky beer flavours, Tony is admittedly old school, and he likes to keep things pure and simple. It is very clear that he must be doing something right if the long queues and buzzing beer garden during the Saturday Market are a benchmark for success.
Tony started hand-crafting beer as a hobby in the 80's. He was in fact an IT specialist by profession. He jokingly told me that, “the first batches my friends and I made were really awful but we all convinced ourselves otherwise and drank it anyway. The quality of available ingredients was extremely poor, too, so it was no easy feat back in those days to make a good brew”.
Today things are very different. He has such a great variety of sophisticated ingredients from which to choose and in the process he has since fined tuned his brewing skills over the course of many years. The business has grown so much since opening its doors that they have now extended the space and have also created a rustic outdoor beer garden called the Hop Garden.
They brew a range of custom ales, ranging from a simple refreshing summer-style blonde to a deep copper well-hopped complex IPA. They also make an Irish Red Ale, an American Pale Ale and just recently they have added a Weiss beer to their offerings, which has been a huge hit.
On Saturdays the Hop Garden is buzzing with both locals and visitors enjoying a couple of cold ones. There are also really delicious platters for sale in the Hop Garden, all of which perfectly complement the beer that is served. There are Ploughman's Platters, German Wurst Platters, Pulled Pork on a crispy bun and home-made German Pretzels.
So all you hop heads out there - head down the Sedgefield Craft Brewery and enjoy our lekker local brew. (Beer tasting is free of charge)
Your visit to Knysna isn’t complete until you have quaffed our town’s finest craft beers. Since opening their doors in 2012, the owners of Red Bridge Brewing Co., Darren Berry and Chris Marsicano have been exploring the boundaries of artisanal brewing with much success. Their beers are so jam-packed with flavour that in a few short years they now have nurtured a devoted following from local craft beer fundis.