It has come to our attention that any brewery worth its beeriness has brewers with beards. Since our launch in March, our three brewers, Drew, Grant and Dave, have been decidedly lacking in the facial hair department, with only Drew making any attempt to neglect the razor up until now.
As we have entered into the month of Movember, where awkward facial hair is indeed cool again, we thought that this would be the perfect time to launch BEERDVEMBER. (see how we did that…beer > beard > beerd…*high five*).
Here’s how it will work. For the month of November, our three brewers will lock up their facial shears, and attempt to grow the greatest brewer beards in the world. Now unfortunately for our three beard virgins, thick facial hair they have not been blessed with, so this attempt at brewer beard-dom will either be an unexpected success or a rather catastrophic failure… Time will tell!
The BEFORE shots: Three Days Growth
In keeping with the general vibe of Movember and giving back, SMACK! will donate R5 of every beer sold at the brewery to charity during BEERDVEMBER to any men* that have any form of facial hair…be it MO’s or BEERD’s, all welcome!
So Jozi we call on all of you to grow your MO’s, be weird with your BEERD’s, come grab a beer and do your bit!
Win double tickets to Taste of Joburg! Wanna join SMACK! Republic Brewing Co. at the Taste of JHB at Monte Casino from 26th to 29th September? Well, then tell us how craft beer has changed your life, from your very first sip to your present day indulgence! The more creative, the better your chances…just saying. Send your story to email@example.com. Winners will be announced soon – and If you’re already going to the TOJ – you know where to get your first beer, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth beers right?
Michael Lowman – live acoustic set at SMACK! Thursday 19 September @ 7pm.
If you listen to the radio, you’ll have heard a few tracks from the ridiculously talented Michael Lowman – and as part of his “Crayon Boxes” album launch – he will be doing a live acoustic storyteller sessions at the brewery this Thursday. Michael will play upstairs at SMACK! in an intimate, storyteller-esque manner. We’re giving away a set of double tickets, so drop us a mail on firstname.lastname@example.org to claim them! It’s short notice, but then aren’t all great things done on a spur of the moment?
Then all you hop heads listen up, Jozi’s first ever IPA Day takes place at SMACK! HQ, next thursday night, 1st August, 7pm – 12pm, The Braamfontein Brawler will be slugging it out alongside 9 awesome IPAs from all over SA! Live music, food and a sh** load of hoppy India Pale Ales to drink…. Get yourself a ticket – www.webtickets.co.za
On Sunday (28th July) we’re hosting a Doodle Session for Night Of 1000 Drawings (www.1000drawings.co.za). 1000Drawings is an awesome project that runs throughout the year, and culminates in a one-night-only, massive inner-city art sale to raise funds for a deserving cause – The Night of a 1000Drawings. A doodle session is where the public pull in, and draw doodles, scribbles, graffiti, sketches, watercolour, oil paintings, anything! on A5 which is donated, and sold on the Night of a 1000Drawings. Great cause… and an even groovier event!Even if you’re not into drawing, pull in for live music and craft beer from 10am…
In the spirit of winter we are introducing a new experimental brew on tap. It’s dark, bold and illegitimate. “Illegitimate” may seem an odd way to describe the beer. That is because we have tweaked this beer somewhat from a standard dunkelweizen. (A dunkelweizen, for those not in the know, is a dark wheat beer – anyone had an Erdinger Dunkel?).
So it’s a weiss beer, so there is a considerable amount of wheat in the grain bill. To give it its dark, chocolatey and roasted notes we have added a healthy portions of munich and chocolate malt. It has been hopped with a single hop addition during the boil using our favourite spicy noble hop.
We probably should have left it there, because even ze Germans would have approved this beer. However we catastrophically overstepped the mark and introduced some roasted and ground Ethopian blended coffee beans right at the end of the boil. This rounds off this beer rather well, providing a bit of extra tartness and some delightful coffee notes on the aroma.
The end result is a beer that is too dark to style for a standard dunkel, and the coffee beans provide some additional roasted tartness not normally associated with most commercial examples. Hence we have coined it our bastardised dunkelweizen – full bodied, creamy and perfect as a night cap on a cold evening!
This beer will be available on the SMACK! taps from Sunday 7 July. Come have a taste before it runs out!
“So is your beer brewed in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot?” asks an occasional patron to our brewery.
“Thankfully NO!” is our standard reply… “It is all natural, unfiltered and unpasteurised beer so you’ll be just fine.”
We get a lot of people at the brewery asking whether our beer conforms to the German beer purity law of 1516, called the Reinheitsgebot. It is quite interesting and at times comical to discover that most of these people do not know what the law is all about, how it came into being, and why it is archaic and outdated!
So what the hell is the Reinheitsge-whatty?
The Reinheitsgebot was passed as law in Germany in 1516, and stated that only water, barley and hops can be used to brew beer. Where’s the yeast? Yeast was not discovered for another three hundred years by Louis Pasteur, so it was not on the list; brewers just combined all the ingredients together and somehow the beer fermented; we now know it was from yeast in the air.
So there you have it, according to the Reinheitsgebot, any beer brewed in with any other ingredients that are not water, barley, hops and yeast is not “pure” beer. But taking that at face value is deceptive, and in order to truly understand why “pure” beer was advocated back in the 1500s, we have to dig a bit deeper.
The Reinheitsgebot law arose due to two main factors in Germany at the time. Firstly, the beer brewing practices of that time were not particularly sanitary, and medieval brewers used some fairly unpalatable and sometimes poisonous ingredients to preserve beer in place of hops, including soot, mushrooms, and “other stuff” (cue Windhoek ads).
Secondly, and perhaps the main reason for the law, were for political reasons relating to rising food prices. In the middle ages, brewing grew from something people did at home into a legitimate industry. There was great competition between brewers and bakers for grains such as wheat and rye. This competition for ingredients, combined with the Germans’ insatiable thirst for beer, resulted in increasing food prices. Specifying the ingredients that brewers could use removed this price competition, and the rest is history…
Fast forward 500 years…
Beer has come a long way since then. Styles have evolved and boundaries have been pushedsmashed. Using adjuncts (i.e. any ingredient to add flavour and aroma that is not hops or barley) has become an accepted practice in brewing. Any beer that is brewed properly using all natural ingredients is “pure” beer. Brewers must just be honest in disclosing what goes into their beer.
While some of our beers conform to the Reinheitsgebot, most of them do not. We have also begun embarking on a new range of experimental beers, most of them using unique adjuncts, which we will be developing of the next couple of months. We will be collaborating with some flavour experts in order to get the best out of our brews. Exciting times ahead indeed!
So the next time you are sipping on one of our Maboneng Maverick Saison’s, and the citrusy aroma from the naartjie peel, or the peppery-dry finish from the crushed peppercorns is not “pure” enough for you, then rather go and drink a Windhoek. But purer beer than ours you will not find.
Our signature beer, the Maboneng Maverick, was back on our taps this month, and we’re chuffed with the positive response. The Maverick is a Saison – a Belgian style ale which we brew with wheat malt, infused with naartjie and black pepper. Another BIG beer coming your way is our new Red IPA called “The Braamfontein Brawler”. This hop bomb of an ale will be slugging it out for the 1st time at the Jozi Craft Beer Fest this Saturday 4th May at Marks Park. Come and get the brawler early on, because this beer is gonna move fast! Come and get it!
Yesterday, we bid farewell to Heather McCann’s ‘illusions’ exhibition, a NEW ARTIST is dropping this weekend (Sunday 21st April), and will be announced on wednesday. Craft Beer? Art? The City? Hell yes!