I lived in Newlands for many years, and sometimes when the wind was blowing just right you could smell the malty taste of the boiling beer, but I have never actually visited the brewery.
The fermentors – 5 stories high, and 2 tons of yeast added per fermentor – my fermentor at home is just 20L
This week they kindly took myself, my wife and a few friends on a tour of the brewery, and it was the most fantastic evening. We thought it would be a quick tour & tasting, but we asked so many questions and were enjoying the tasting so much that we ended up spending most of the evening at the brewery.
The plant is a very slick operation and almost runs itself. The automation is staggering. Just one person overseas the brewhouse, and about 10 people look after the entire bottling line.
They told us that some of the bottles that leave the brewery have a turnaround time of 3 days. Yes in just 3 days some of the empties are returned – ready to be filled for the next batch.
They have a small onsite microbrewery which can make about 2000l of beer at a time. Compare this to my little brewery which can just make about 20l at a time! Personally I think that the beer from the microbrewery is the most interesting, they do an ale, a blond ale and a weiss (wheat) beer. All of which are fantastic.
Post-tour beer tasting
If you want to visit the brewery you can book yourself on a tour. It just costs R80, and that includes a beer tasting and 2 beers in the pub afterwards. Highly recommended!