Chatting beer with Newlands Spring Brewing Co.

This weekend sees the return of the annual Hermanus Craft Beer Festival, taking place on Friday the 22nd at the Hermanus Cricket Grounds.

Whether you’re a local looking for some weekend fun or just visiting, make sure to swing by for a beer from all the breweries at the festival, paired with some tunes by the likes of Francois van Coke, Rumswinger, and more.

We spoke to Newlands Spring Brewing Co. ahead of the festival to hear what lies ahead.

MT: For how long have you been brewing, and how did it all start?

NS: 39 years. It started with a homebrew kit from whites chemist in 1978 in the kitchen

MT: Any type of formal training in brewing science or art? If not, how did you learn the craft?

NS: I have a masters degree in malting and brewing science from the university of Birmingham, and an MBrew from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling in the UK.

MT: What’s the average day in the life of a brewer like?

NS: Its pretty busy, you need to plan before, take in raw materials, do the brew itself which is 8 hours then monitor the fermentations, filter the beer and pack into keg or bottle.

MT: What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

NS: Interacting with people and doing things as a team

MT: What about the brewing process do you enjoy most, and why?

NS: Sensory evaluation of what you have created – ie tasting. This then feeds back into the brewing cycle

MT: What are your favourite styles?

NS: For a lager – Munich Helles, Ales Session IPA’s and NEIPA.

MT: Can you give a hint if anything new might be coming from your brewery at the festival?

NS: We’ve recently launch our NSBCo Tribute Lager

MT: What’s the strangest ingredient you’ve ever put in beer?

NS: At home I’ve experimented with blending a home-brewed orange infused kombucha with beer. It came out really well!

MT: If you had to pick a favorite beer from the brewery and offer it to a stranger, which one would it be and why?

NS: Passionate blond, its our best seller and offers a showcase of the Southern passion hop with a solid malt backbone

MT: If you could sit down with anyone (living or dead) and have a beer, who would it be and why? What would be the first question you would ask them?

NS: Mick Stewart my mentor. He loved beer but passed away before craft beer was on the map. I would ask him what his opinions are on craft beer in general.

MT: If you were omnipotent, what would you change (first) to improve our beer universe?

NS: Quality and especially consistency would be a big theme.

MT: Any advice for those aspiring (kitchen/homebrew) future pro brewers out there?

NS: Get involved with your homebrew club. Make connections in the industry and above all, follow your passion.

Well, there you have it. Make sure you catch Newlands Spring Brewing Co. at the Hermanus Craft Beer Festival on the 22nd of December. Check out the Facebook event for announcements and info, and get your tickets here.