We did an interview with Mitchell’s Brewery ahead of Capital Craft, check it out.
1) Mitchell’s has been around for a good couple years – can you give us a quick history lessonon how to brewery got to where it is now?
Mitchell’s started in 1983 by Lex Mitchell who previously brewed for SAB. The breweries location and the quality of the beers played a great part in its early success as Knysna quickly became popular for its local oysters and beer. A brand takes a while to develop and now Mitchell’s, South Africa’s original craft brewery, is known and enjoyed throughout South Africa.
2) Brewing has been a family business for you; do you think that it is that “family” passion that has made the Brewery the second largest in South Africa?
Dave McRae, our current brewmaster, joined the brewery in 1985. He has been involved for 29 years and that is a great part of the success story of Mitchell’s, in the early days his family was a lot more involved but the family principles remained and with the business ethics of the shareholders the passion for brewing great beers is more than ever.
3) There are a number of different brews in your catalogue – which brew do you get most excited about producing?
We get equally excited brewing all our brews. The 90 Shilling is just a bit more special because the cinnamon and malt smell goes through the entire brewery and everyone works up an appetite.
4) Craft Beer and home brewing has become really popular in South Africa over the last couple months, can you give us some brew master tips on creating the perfect brew?
Temperature, temperature, temperature. Everything from mashing to fermentation you need consistent temperature to get consistency in your beers.
5) Recently you just launched a brand new cider – how is making ciders different to let’s say an Ale or a Pilsner?
Our Cider was produced by another brewery for us but the demand was too great for production so we discontinued until we can find another brewery to supply for us.
6) Congratulations on the new brewery! How has it been working in a new, better environment?
The new brewery is still in its final stages of construction but is open for the public to come and see how the final pieces of the puzzle is put together and we now have a lagoon side beer garden where anyone can come and experience the beers that made Knysna famous.
7) People can also go on tours and tastings at the new brewery – what are some of the things you cover in the tour?
We cover the whole brewing process from Malt into Mill till when the beer is kegged or bottled or sometimes drank from the tanks whilst walking through the brewery with them showing the equipment, tanks and machines and explaining their functions. Thereafter we have them taste all the brews and explain their origin with a bit of history of Knysna.
8) You guys were down at the Jozi Craft Beer Festival earlier in May – What was your highlight of the fest?
We unfortunately did not participate due to changes within our company structure. All the other years the highlights have been to experience the craft revolution and how it grows and meet new passionate brewers and all round beer people.
9) If people want to get in touch with you regarding orders or just general questions, what is the best way for them to do it?
By email to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 044 382 4685
10) Finally, we can’t let you go without telling us what is your favourite drinking game and drinking song?
Beerpong, a great favourite in the Garden Route and song is “Roll out the Barrel”, the beer anthem.