Voice of America (Washington, DC)

South African Craft Brewers Share Their Secrets

(Page 4 of 4)

Corne, who visited microbreweries across South Africa for her book, said there are several "hidden gems" in the country's rapidly expanding specialty beer market.

"Lex Mitchell at the Bridge Street Brewery [in Port Elizabeth] has a wonderful chocolate stout, which really sticks in my head," she recalled. "Then there's another guy [Chris Heaton] in the Eastern Cape [Province] at the Emerald Vale Brewery. He had this really rudimentary, basically a home-brewing, system. You look at this and it's all insulated with silver tape and you're thinking, 'God, this is not going to be good... ' And it was such a good, clean beer!"

Corne added, "He shipped some of his beer to Cape Town for my group of beer snob friends to taste and everyone was wowed by this beer."

Like the writer, van Tonder is convinced that brewers in South Africa "aren't even close to reaching their potential" in terms of creating new beer styles and flavors.

"I don't believe craft beer brewers here have even touched on what we are capable of," he said. "In South Africa we have yet to discover the treasure trove of herbs in the African veld that we haven't even started [making beer] with. There are plenty of fruits and herbs and flora out there that could really set our beer apart from all others available in the world."

Then, van Tonder said, people around the globe could "taste and share" in South Africa's craft beer boom.

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