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  • Writer's pictureThe Forever Africa Team

MBco's unique way of Brewing makes waves all the way across the Ocean in the World Atlas of Beer

Updated: Nov 2, 2020

If Mountain Brewing Company isn’t your favourite craft beer by now, here’s why it should be…

Brew Master PG Groenewald brewed the first batch of Cape Kraken in his garage back in 2015, which won him a gold medal. He knew then what needed to be done. He had to share his beer with the world. In 2015, Mountain Brewing Company released their award-winning craft beer to the world. To date, MBco has 11 Gold and Silver medals between their thirst-quenching and braai-starting craft beer range.

However, what sets them apart? Is it the natural spring-water of the Klipbokkop Mountain range? The refusal to place preservatives in the beer? The extreme attention to detail that is fused in every brew? Well, most would say all of the above, but according to craft beer expert Tim Webb it is mainly the fact that Brewmaster PG can stick with his judgement on the flavours that he combines to create something extraordinarily unique. According to Tim, making a craft beer stand out is no easy task.

Tim Webb has now written the third edition of the World Atlas of Beer’ which provides the beer lover with an astonishing guide from all across the globe- “The World Atlas of Beer takes you from the Bock beers of Germany to the Trappist beers of Belgium, the complex bitters and stouts of Britain to the cutting-edge brews of North America”.

It started back in 2011 when Webb was approached by Octopus, the publishing company responsible for the World Atlas of Wine. “I said no when asked to write one on beer as it is way too difficult,” he says amusingly. They came back and asked why, so I said it was, “because I would have to be nice to all these large companies that I don’t think are very good for the beer world, and that is against my religion. The great beers come from small breweries”. Tim then realised that they wanted to do this book on beer around the small/craft beer industry. “I thought that was utterly amazing.The work needed for such a book was still extremely immense, so Tim thought of his friend Stephen Beaumont, together they created the masterpiece, ‘World Atlas of Beer'”.

South Africa is typical for one kind of beer producer, in the sense of that in 2012, it only got two paragraphs. Then graduated to a page, and now in the 2020 edition, it has a full two pages and shares a third. “That kind of reflects what the beer scene is like. It is one of the most extraordinary, but also one of the bumpiest in the world”.

A lot of brewers are creating the same or similar tasting brews, but to create something memorable and to give it the ability to stand out is no easy task. Mbco has managed to deliver a unique expression throughout their entire range.

Mountain Brewing, near Worcester in the Western Cape, makes perhaps the most distinctive range of ales in South Africa, at its state-of-the-art brewery 3km up a dirt track in the Klipbokkop Mountain Reserve”.

In an interview, Tim humorously recalls how he met and tasted Mbco’s craft beer when he came over to South Africa 3 years ago. He had mis-booked a place in Hermanus, “I thought I had got this fabulous small hotel, and it turned out I wasn’t getting a fabulous small hotel…”. Feeling generally miserable,

PG had bought me a green hopped English IPA, it was only the second time he had done it, it was amazing. It took me straight back to the beers I had in Worcestershire hop growing area 20 years ago. It had this very English hop aroma and absolutely perfectly balanced British tasting beer”.
I sat there in the South African summer, drinking this virtually perfect English beer that had only just been made, for the second time, and I thought, oh. This is talented. He then put another in front of me, and that was also great! He came up with this extraordinary combination of Belgium yeast and put in a German brewing method. I thought to myself- this guy has potential”.

A bit about Tim

"I had always had a double life. I had a very busy day job as a psychiatrist in the National Health Service over here, but before I did that, I had joined the Campaign for Real Ale. I then became a national executive, ran the national beer festival for a couple of years, and started the publishing company where I wrote a few things for it. Then all of a sudden, my medical career became a lot more prominent and I needed to duck out.

How did you make a return to the beer world?

The thing that actually swung it was my daughter. Who, after I turned down the book for a second time, said how many people actually retire and then get offered their dream job? And that was when I knew that even though it was a commitment, it had to be done”.

Craft beer is now in about 125 countries, and at least 100 have a pretty decent brewery culture. “This edition we really pleased with as we had a chance to cover an even greater ground in the industry.

Want to know more about the rest of MBco’s range?

Here are just a few unique pieces the Brewmaster has instore this season

This lager is primed with natural unfiltered fynbos honey, giving it a gentle honey aroma and creamy head. It is laagered for 3 months that delivers a crisp and refreshing taste. If you are a newbie to craft beer, this one will have you head over heels for the industry in no time!

The brewery starter- The Cape Kraken, a Belgium Amber Ale

It is love at first sight with her impeccable golden amber colour, delivering a thirst-quenching biscuit malty taste. This old-style beer is caressed exactly like a larger for 2 weeks, not only winning a gold medal in 2015 for her taste but also one in 2018 for the labelling! This is really a full package.

Madala’s Gold- a Belgian Golden Strong

Three different hops are harmonised in this double-award winning beer and synchronised into a blissful Belgium speciality. These three different hops release aromas such as bubble-gum, banana, and candy floss. Amalgamating into a complex subtle flavour.

Support local this festive season by drinking a unique and multiple award-winning craft beer. Mountain Brewing Company, a Superior Taste Worth Sharing.

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