Category Archives: Monthly Mixed Case

Nick-Bush

Coconuts, peanut butter beer and winter underground festivals: Meet the man behind Drifter

Our brewer of the month for May is none other than Drifter Brewing Company, with Nick Bush at the hoppy helm. We caught up with him on an island under a palm tree to chat about what inspires his beer brewing technique and his beer drinking ethos. Well, not quite, but drinking these beers that’s where you’ll feel you are.

Drifting-brewing-company

Ships’ wheels, maps, compasses, coconuts…Would you call yourself a Craft Beer Pirate?

Maybe more like a C​raft Beer Captain!​

Nick-Bush

You clearly love the ocean, any plans to feature it in a beer?

​​I’ve tasted a couple of beers that were made with ​ocean​ water, and they were interesting but ​salty! So ​I’ve never thought about ​brewing a beer with ocean water​ – or at least not on a commercial scale​. I do however have bottles of a small batch of Belgian triple ageing inside a shipwreck on the Atlantic seabed about 40m deep. So I guess you could say I’m using the ocean ​to develop a​ beer​!​

Your coconut ale has pretty much a cult following. Did you develop the recipe in a hammock, with some reggae in the background?

​Mozambique is the main reason for trying out this beer. I used to head up to that tropical paradise a couple times a year. There are so many coconut trees everywhere and ​I love coconut and ​I love beer, ​so ​why not try them together! The ​actual ​recipe development happened in Cape Town though.

What tunes are playing while you’re brewing?

We’ve got a record player so we usually spin vinyls throughout the day. Our favourite record in ​the collection currently is from The Drifters (aptly named) who play fun, soulful 60s music. Otherwise, Kenneth (who helps at the brewery) puts on his upbeat Malawian music.

If you were stuck on a desert island with a case of coconut ale, what would be your last meal?

Tacos! With freshly speared Kingfish and lots of coriander, lime and salsa.​

Your other beer is a lager, tell us a bit about it. Does it pair well with biltong and droewors?

What doesn’t pair well with biltong and droewors?! ​Though this may be biased, the Legend Lager is my favourite beer right now. It’s light yet still very flavourful and great with a snack like biltong.

Drifter-Nick-Bush

Do you remember your first beer? Was there one beer that changed your life?

I wouldn’t say one beer changed my life, but one trip did…to Portland, Oregon. I visited my other half, Anna, in December of 2012 and she signed us up to volunteer at a Winter Ale Festival. This is a festival where ​each brewery can only submit one specialty beer to have on tap. They were all unique porters, stouts, sours and barrel-aged brews and not a single one was under 7% ABV. It just blew my mind how different the beer scene was from South Africa. Breweries were pushing the limits and not afraid to take chances. I’m not going to lie, some of the beers at that festival weren’t my favourite, but they were interesting! I think it’s important as a brewery to make two types of beers: ones for everyday easy drinking that appeal to the masses, and ones that push people out of their comfort zones. We often get people who say, “I don’t normally like IPAs but I like yours.” We need to keep reminding people that these beer categories are so vast and to not immediately discard a certain style after trying one particular beer.

They say behind every good man, is a good… beer! And in this case a good woman. You two make a great team!

​Whew, what would I do without my Anna Banana?! She works a full time job during the day and then does work for Drifter in the evenings and on weekends, and truly is the reason the brewery has gained momentum in this past year. We make a great team because our skill sets really complement each other. This isn’t our first rodeo though! In 2014, we worked on a boat together as captain and stewardess.

You guys were responsible for Cape Town’s most popular underground beer festival (literally, a parking lot) Woodstock Winter Fest. Any plans to top that in 2016?

Haha! That was such a great day! The Woodstock Winter Beer Festival was actually inspired by the one in Oregon we volunteered at. Most breweries in South Africa do light beers and lagers and we wanted to have a festival that featured the dark and delicious brews that we all like to experiment with. Little did we know, how many people would also dig this! This year has proven to be a crazy busy one and our friends at Riot recently hosted the Woodstock Autumn Festival, so we will bring back the winter one again in 2017! In the meantime, we are focusing on smaller events at the brewery. We just did a Mussel and Beer Banquet and we’re looking at another similar event in June. And we will be doing our annual Santa Brewery Crawl in December.

You guys clearly aren’t scared to experiment a little (peanut butter, margarita ​ topped beer). Any new surprises on the cards?

We are taking a trip to Oregon and Alaska in June and we’ll be doing a lot of small batch experiment brewing with friends there, so we should have some more fun stuff coming up! We also want to bring back an old recipe for a ginger infused weiss beer as well as a Berliner weiss. The peanut butter porter will make a come back again for the Woodstock Winter Beer Festival, as well as our smoked porter. Stay tuned!

Last, what would you like the people to get from your beers in the Monthly Mixed Case?

We want people to see the two examples of our beers that I was talking about earlier. The Legend Lager is the easy drinking beer that appeals to the masses and the Stranded Coconut is the one that may stretch some people’s comfort zones. Both are delicious so we mainly just want people to enjoy them!

We have also just launched our own mixed four-pack which is called our Explorer Pack, for people to explore our range of beers. This includes The Cape Town Blonde, Legend Lager, Scallywag IPA and Stranded Coconut. More to come on this!

Thanks for the chat.

To get a taste of Drifter craft beer, get your hand’s on our Mixed Case this month or get a case of Drifter to stock up the bar fridge.

article_banner_interviewwithtwookes-

Two Okes walk into a bar and tell Beer Country their story

The month of April sees the legend brewing team Two Okes Brewery taking centre stage in our Monthly Mixed Case. We tracked them down to a local bar and got to know them a bit better.

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The Bokke have just beaten the All Blacks and Schalk Burger walks into the brewery, what beer do you give him?

Our Stout, definitely. Nothing like downing something all black, after downing the All Blacks!

Beer and braai is the best pairing out there. What’s on your fire this weekend and what are you drinking?

A kudu potjie with our Irish Ale is awesome, but sometimes we keep things simple and delicious. A great quality T-Bone with our Pale Ale. The hops lift the braai spices to a whole new level.

Tell us where this all began. Was it a case of… Two okes walk into a bar, and leave with a brewery?

On Heritage Day 2013, over a braai and a home-brewed beer, the idea was hatched for a Real Beer Brewery: No compromise on Quality or Taste!  That is how a man with a love for brewing, and a man with the love of beer came together and said “yes” to produce real beer.

Do you remember your very first beer, and was there one beer that changed your life?

My first beer was on the family farm, standing next to the braai with the men. That was a rite of passage for sure. Then much later, on our honeymoon in Knysna, we bumped into Lex Mitchell and his “Milk & Honey” ale changed it all for me. It was like nothing I had ever tasted and it didn’t give me gout, huge bonus!

I guess the best beer I’ve ever had would have to be Smithwick’s Irish Red Ale. It convinced me to come back and really look into making our own real beers – it’s the inspiration for our Two Okes Irish Ale.

What makes your pale ale truly South African?

From the malt, to the yeast, to all the hops… It’s all local, and local is lekker!

What is the Two Okes beer philosophy?

To make real beers with natural ingredients, the natural way.

At League of Beers, we are all about being craft smart. Give us three quick things that every new craft drinker should know?

  • Drink what you like, not what the market tells you.
  • Always support local first.
  • Try a new beer at every opportunity.

Any wild stories from setting up the brewery that you can share?

Beside receiving all the installation instructions in Mandarin, I would say it was while I was cutting into the floor to put in our drains. I hit the office main power supply to our entire industrial complex. Well, sparks and flames, and thank God I was wearing rubberised Wellingtons!

What is your top tip for the guys and gals that are starting out?

Make beer you are passionate about first and foremost. There are enough “macro” styled craft beers out there already.

What tunes are playing while you’re brewing?

Rock music all the way! Pretty sure a Stout taste better with a bit of Def Leppard or Aerosmith behind it…

What would you like the guys and gals to get from your beers?

A taste experience, followed by the satisfaction that you’re drinking a beer that’s been made by this Oke just for you, the other Oke, or Gal!

You are in the Mixed Case with a few international heavy hitters. How do you reckon local craft is standing up on the international stage?

I reckon we are starting to square up nicely, even though we are still very young, and the USA still occupies much of the lime-light. It would be great to see our own “ZAR” craft beer identity out there, but I don’t think we are there just yet. Watch this space…

Got an crazy plans up your sleeve that you can share with us?

Hmmm, there is always something brewing in the back of my mind but let’s keep those just there for now…

Thanks Okes! To get a taste of this delicious local craft, head on over to get this month’s mixed case or explore a case from Two Okes. While you’re at it, sign up to our newsletter so you never miss out on the latest brewers on the block.

vedett-blond-tasting-notes

Tasting League crib notes: Vedett Extra Blond

This full yet refreshing, premium pilsner has been lagered for one month, resulting in a perfect balance between fruity hoppiness and a smooth malt backbone.

vedett-blond-tasting-notes

The tasting experience

Appearance: Straw gold with fine bubbles and a pearly white head.
Aroma:  Pleasant hoppiness with slight malt in the background.
Flavour & finish: Subtle fruitiness and vanilla from the hops give way to a well-balanced malt finish. It’s crisp, dry, effervescent and smooth.

Quick fire facts

  • It has 5.2% ABV.
  • Hops used are Saaz, Styrian Golding and Hallertau Magnum.
  • It has a penguin as a mascot.

Overall thoughts

This may well be proof that blondes really do have more fun. A great summertime session beer that doesn’t take itself too seriously and delivers on it’s promise.

#TastingLeague handle

@belgianbeercom

@vedett

Food pairing suggestion

A big pot of fresh black mussels, cooked in beer, with beer on the side. Some lemongrass, fresh lime and coconut milk would put this over the top. Don’t forget the chilli.

Where to drink

After a day at the beach, picking mussels off the rocks.

Get your hands on some Vedett Extra Blond premium pilsner right here, delivered free to your door.

Join our TastingLeague on Twitter or Instagram by sharing your tasting notes with us and you can win R1000 in beer. Check out the TastingLeague rules and get tasting.

fullers-honey-dew-tasting-notes

Tasting League crib notes: Fuller’s Honey Dew Organic Ale

These days we like knowing exactly what is going into our beer, and with this one, everything down to the last drop is 100% organic. With its sunshine colour and sweet, zesty profile, this is an organic full of love beer, even for those who don’t like beer.

fullers-honey-dew-tasting-notes

The tasting experience

Appearance: Honey and straw, crystal clear, with a warm-white head.
Aroma: Lager-like with honey, melon and slight citrus from the First Gold hops.
Flavour & finish: Honey, followed by medium malts and some zesty orange from the yeast. Sweet and clean, with low bitterness, medium carbonation and a dry finish.

Quick fire facts

  • 5% ABV
  • The organic honey used comes from Brazil.
  • Winner of the World’s Best Honey Beer 2008 (Beers of the World).

Overall thoughts

Best served chilled, this refreshing beer with a zesty edge is a great way to start the afternoon. It really is sunshine in a bottle. Simple as that.

#TastingLeague handle

@LondonPrideZA

Food pairing suggestion

Summertime meals for a summertime beer. Fresh, zesty salads with a little Thai inspiration are fantastic. Just make sure you are dining somewhere chilled and sunny.

Where to drink

Barefoot, on the grass at Kirstenbosch Gardens waiting for the gates to open at the Jeremy Loops concert, sponsored by Greenpop.

Get your hands on a case of Fuller’s Honey Dew Organic Ale here, delivered free to your door.

Join our TastingLeague on Twitter or Instagram by sharing your tasting notes with us and you can win R1000 in beer. Check out the TastingLeague rules and get tasting.

Vedett-IPA-tasting-notes

Tasting League crib notes: Vedett IPA

It’s IPA, but not really from India, and not really a pale ale. This extraordinary beer perfectly combines a solid Belgian ale with four varieties of American hops. Welcome to the best of both worlds.

Vedett-IPA-tasting-notes

The tasting experience

Appearance: Slightly cloudy with a copper-amber hue.
Aroma: All tropical fruit and citrus upfront, that harmoniously combine with fresh floral and green aromas.
Flavour & finish: Punchy grapefruit and tropical fruits make way for a soft yet outspoken bitterness that builds and builds, but just leaves space for the malty caramel backbone, and a long, effervescent finish.

Quick fire facts

  • 2 of the American hops used are only for dry-hopping.
  • Only speciality malts are used.
  • It has 5.5% ABV (and is sitting at 40 IBU’s).
  • The Walrus is this beer’s mascot.

Overall thoughts

This is an IPA unlike any you have tasted before, and once you get your head around it, it’s just an incredible, modern ale inspired by one of the oldest styles on the planet. Awesome beer.

#TastingLeague

@belgianbeercom

@vedett

Food pairing suggestion

Spicy oriental dishes are great with IPA, but to really amp things up, light the fire and get some quality thick-cut Karoo lamb chops, some fresh herbs, and a sweet-spicy basting sauce.

Where to drink

Any place, any time, when you are winning and feel like something different yet familiar. Like getting the girl at your high-school reunion.

Join our TastingLeague on Twitter or Instagram by sharing your tasting notes with us and you can win R1000 in beer. Check out the TastingLeague rules and get tasting.

innis-and-gunn-original-tasting-notes

Tasting League Crib Notes: Innis & Gunn Original

These Scottish brewers will oak-age pretty much anything. With a phenomenal range of beers to choose from, we asked the master brewer, Dougal (yes, seriously) what his favourite was and without skipping a beat, he reckons it’s the Original Golden Ale that started it all as a happy mistake back in 2002.

innis-and-gunn-original-tasting-notes

The tasting experience

Appearance: Deep amber-gold and crystal clear, with an off-white head.
Aroma: Rich, roast malts with prominent oak, light vanilla and toffee, and a few bready notes from the yeast.
Flavour & finish: Malty oak, vanilla and toffee, a little butterscotch, and very light hop fruitiness. A medium-bodied ale with light carbonation, and a smooth, warm finish.

Quick fire facts

  • A hefty 6.6% ABV
  • Won Grand Gold at the Monde Selection Awards 2015 (a pretty big deal).
  • It has 5.5% ABV.

Overall thoughts

A beer unlike anything you have ever tasted before. Malty, delicious and beautifully brewed. This ale has been treated with respect, and delivers on its promise 100%.

#TastingLeague handle

@innisandgunnSA

Food pairing

Coming from the UK, Indian curries work a treat with this beer. For us though, a big, quality burger with mature cheddar and chilli-dusted onions rings is the winner!

Where to drink

In an old sawmill, if you can find one. But if not, this beer is delicious anywhere, just remember that anything oak-aged deserves to be enjoyed in a big leather wingback.

Join our TastingLeague on Twitter or Instagram by sharing your tasting notes with us and you can win R1000 in beer. Check out the TastingLeague rules and get tasting.

Monthly mixed case

The #TastingLeague Take Over: The game is changing, see the new rules

We have 2 big innovations to announce with the Tasting League, the first is that you can win more prizes more often and you will given credit across our databases; the second is that we’re handing the reins of the Tasting League over to YOU.

Monthly mixed case

First things first – Prizes

Most popular post each week will be honoured and posted on League of Beers handles and receive a spot prize R200 voucher (most likes, retweets, favourites)

Our favourite post each week will also be honoured and posted on League of Beers handles and receive a spot prize R200 voucher.

How to Win:

1. Taste the beers in the current month’s mixed case (The Tasting League /www.leagueofbeers.com/mixedcase)
2. Share your photos, thoughts, comments about your favourites on Twitter or Intsagram
3. Use these 3 tags: @TastingLeague ; @LeagueofBeers ; @(brewer)

Each week the post with the most likes, favourites, re-tweets wins, plus we also choose another winner each week from the posts we think are awesome.

How do we choose our favourite of the week

  • Awesome comments
  • Interesting photos

The TastingLeague Legend Take-over

Each month a Tasting League Legend will be given the opportunity to take control of the @TastingLeague handles on Twitter and Instagram.

The Legend will converse with and handle all conversations and prizes. As opposed to waiting all month, the prizes will be given out more frequently and the winning posts will be re-posted across our handles to give credit to the work of the Tasting League members.

The Legend will be given free reign to work with all the members to turn the Tasting League into the biggest craft beer community movement ever.

Who is a Legend?

A TastingLeague Legend is someone who loves craft beer for the sake of craft beer. It is someone who takes part regularly and can benefit the Tasting League as well as their own followings by getting more involved. Each month we will select a new Legend with the help of the reigning Legend.

How to become a TastingLeague Legend

1. Drink craft beer
2. Love craft beer
3. Join the movement
4. Take part and engage in the TastingLeague
5. Spread the gospel for craft beer

Why TastingLeague Take-over

  • To give it more community control
  • To add more variety of content
  • To build Tasting League & give it a life of it’s own
  • To help build the brands of the Legends
  • To establish the Legends as experts within the craft beer community at large

Handle or Hashtag?

The # still counts, but we want to move the conversation to the handle @TastingLeague.

Why move to @TastingLeague?

  • So that we can fully engage in the conversation
  • To prevent some big corporate from hi-jacking our conversation one day
  • To enable #TastingLeague members to take more control of the movement
  • To enable TastingLeague Legends and VIP’s to more directly engage in the conversation and add their own flavour

So where to from here?

Get tasting, get posting, get involved in the movement and get winning – for the love of the good craft!

february-tasting-league-winners

#tastingleague results and winners for February

February can be a tough month for those without loved ones. You know the feeling, the loneliness, we’ve all felt it before. Whether it be from going to a braai alone or just from an inability to share mutual experiences, it’s pretty kak. Thankfully, the #TastingLeague has at least six loved ones and many more people to share them with. No more lonely braais!

(there’s even a Dead Pony included). Chantelle knows how it’s done, “Beer My Valentine”:

Beer my valentine. 💘 #beermyvalentine #bemydarling #beermance

#tastingleague #valentines #valentine

A photo posted by Chantelle Kerr (@chantskerr) on

Jokes aside, love really was in the air this month as #tastingleague has given birth to its first ever power couple: That Last Drop & The Beer Bug. Make no mistake, they are a force to be reckoned with as their love for craft beer is almost as strong as their love for each other.

My heart is yours Missy ❤️ Happy 2 months! Thanks for making me feel

so special😍 #beerbroughtustogether #beerlove #thatlastdrop #thebeerbug #tastingleague

#leagueofbeers #darlingbrew #bemydarling #bemyvalentine #love #girfriend #picnic #roses

#rosepetals #ballons #red #hearts #lovecraftbeer #candles #park #myspeciallady

A photo posted by ThatLastDrop

(@thatlastdrop) on

PST

Our new power couple weren’t the only one’s feeling the love though, we see you Shae:

In fact, Donald loved his Darling Pom Lager so much he refused to share it (bad Donald):

However, they weren’t the only one’s bringing the heat as South Africa’s hottest month gave no excuse to miss the opportunity to indulge on &Union’s SUMMER Ale.

For others though such as Dave, Feb was all about good food and even better beer. “No horsing around!”

Winners Despite the fact that Chantelle (@chantskerr) had a spot of bad luck in Feb, we think that the well deserved R1000 League of Beers voucher coming her way will probably make up for it. Well done Chantelle for leading the Twitter race.

On the Instagram front That Last Drop had an extraordinarily close race to the top of the leaderboard with his significant other, The Beer Bug. Between them they managed to garner

a whopping 5090 likes. R1000 League of Beers voucher coming your way @thatlastdrop, don’t forget to share.

Well done to all #TastingLeague participants. You’ve all done brilliantly in sharing our passion for craft beer – we love you!

Here are your leaderboards for February’s #TastingLeague.

Instagram total likes

1. thatlastdrop 2553
2. thebeerbug 2537
3. craftygrammer 1395
4. hopsonhopsoff 1388
5. waynedreid 707
6. beerclubsa 514
7. thebeerbug 237
8. henrilroux 232
9. beercountrysa 99
10. geoffchisnall 51
11. etiennefouriedrums 49
12. kleurlingbierman 42
13. gerhard1321 41
14. michael_most13 23
15. russ_sprang_beer_tast 20
16. ironyandgum 20
17. rich_dawkins 16
18. simonjames777 12
19. monique_brune 11
20. half_frog 9
21. chantskerr 8
22. jurgenlauer 8
23. donovan_sa 4
24. magdelenehugo 2

Twitter total favourites and retweets

1. chantskerr 241
2. Grantyork77 168
3. wayne_cpt 159
4. BeerCountrySA 77
5. DaveStarley 77
6. donaldevans11 66
7. beerclubsa 61
8. shaeleigh911 52
9. kleurlingbier 50
10. half_frog 19
11. tortoiseMurray 4
12. craftgeekSA 3
13. boetie99 3
14. adan_IaironiaM 3
15. milliedv26 2
16. rich_dawkins 1

Here’s to the love of craft.

Tasting League crib notes: Fraser’s Folly Soutie Pilsner

Ten points to Fraser for calling his pilsner, ‘Soutie’. If you’ve never heard the term, Google it now to appreciate the fact that he’s an Englishman living in Struisbaai – funny stuff. Soutie is Fraser’s first dip into the world of pilsner and we’ve loving it.

Tasting League crib notes: Fraser's Folly Pilsner

The Tasting experience:

Appearance: Rich clear gold
Aroma: Malt, spice and biscuit
Flavour & finish: Malty and spicy with a decent bitter finish. It’s medium-bodied, smooth and dry.

Quick fire facts:

  • It’s brewed with all English malt
  • It has 4.2% ABV
  • It’s hopped with Goldings

Overall thoughts:

The Soutie lives up to its namesake, it’s an English style pilsner brewed to quench an Africa size thirst. Good thing we’re always thirsty.

#TastingLeague:

@FrasersFolly

Food pairing:

Some crusty bread and a big wedge of nutty gruyere cheese.

Where to drink:

Take a trip to Struisbaai and sip on one in the harbour while looking at the boats.

Get going on those tasting notes with a case of Fraser’s Folly Soutie Pilsner or February’s Mixed Case.

Join our TastingLeague on Twitter or Instagram by sharing your tasting notes with us and you can win R1000 in beer. Check out the TastingLeague rules and get tasting.

&union-summer-crib-notes

Tasting League crib notes: And UNION Summer Ale

Close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting on an incredible beach, watching the most epic sunset you’ve ever seen. Now imagine what that tastes like and you’re somewhere close to And UNION’s Summer Ale.

&union-summer-crib-notes

The Tasting experience:

Appearance: Hazy gold
Aroma: Spiced vanilla, tropical fruit, orange and tangerine
Flavour & finish: Vibrant fruit flavours with a touch of honey. It’s smooth, rich and very refreshing.

Quick fire facts:

  • It sits at 25 IBUs
  • It’s hopped with Hallertau
  • It has 5.5% ABV

Overall thoughts:

And Union say this is, “summer in a bottle” and we couldn’t agree more. Make some space in your fridge, we see a lot of this in your future.

#TastingLeague:

@andUnion

Food pairing:

This brew is screaming for some peri peri prawns on the braai.

Where to drink:

At your favourite sunset spot.

Get going on those tasting notes with a case of And Union Summer Ale or February’s Mixed Case.

Join our TastingLeague on Twitter or Instagram by sharing your tasting notes with us and you can win R1000 in beer. Check out the TastingLeague rules and get tasting.