Craft Geek Talks about Craft Passion
Craft Geek is one of the busiest and passionate craft beer tasters in Gauteng and her experience reaches into years of tasting and collecting new craft beers in and around Johannesburg, all around her goal to taste every beer in the world!
WE wanted to get a new look on craft beer in Gauteng and touch the tone of the current craft beer community. We asked Craft Geek, why she is so passionate about craft beer and her feelings toward craft in Gauteng right now:
What’s your favourite beer right now? “I have so many favourite beers, and I think I have a favourite beer per style, I don’t think that I can just pick one out of them all. I do tend to enjoy the And Union Brews, the Fridays and the Sundays are always my go to, but I really enjoy a Steph Weiss now and then, but a lot of the time, it’s more about the brewery than about the beer.”
“Mad Giant and, SMACK Republic are doing some great things right now with summer on its way, SMACK Republic’s Maboneng Maverick, their Saison beer, is really up there too and the Agar White Dog Saison, what a beer!”
Building relationships with so many craft breweries right now, we’ve noticed some brewing and style trends, “I think everyone is doing craft beer now, it’s fun, but I don’t think everyone is doing it well. I think most brewers though are starting out with an IPA and then moving to Stouts and Ales, these seem to be the easiest to make for the starter brewers”.
“It feels like a new brewery is opening every day, and I can’t keep up, having said that, not every brewer is making good beer, but I think as long as it’s on style and it tastes like beer, then: Meh, we’ll drink it, there isn’t many trying to push the envelope just yet”.
“If you enjoy it, then drink it”
When it comes to beer tasting, what do you look out for when tasting a beer, for us, it’s about the creativity and complexity of flavours and how inventive the brewer is being about their beer, “For me, the first thing needs to be if the beer is on style, I like to understand what style we’re going for is, what is it meant to taste like, it doesn’t need to always be that way at all, but it’s a good measuring point to tell whether a beer is on point or not, and whether I personally enjoy it, but it’s very subjective”.
The craft beer community right now is very interesting, you have brewers that are all competing against each other, and then tasters and fans and drinkers, when looking at the community right now of craft beer, are we seeing growth or maturity?
“Right now, I feel craft is still a bit of novelty, it’s still a part of a sub-culture, it’s more about people wanting to fit in right now with the trend rather than just enjoying it, that is changing slowly, but we’re not there just yet. Either it’s going to get to a point where beer is beer regardless of where it’s from, or it’s going to be its own separate category, I’m hoping for the former”.
What makes normal commercial beer different to craft beer breweries? “They stand out, craft beer makes an effort to be different with their marketing and pop out on a shelf over their commercial cousins.”
Home Brewing and Wort Hogs
Looking at the difference between craft brewers and home brewers started a whole new conversation, “Let me tell you, being a part of Wort Hogs for a few months, the most interesting beers I’ve tasted are the from Home Brewers, they’re not on the shelves, and I think that’s because the batches are much smaller, and the community is much more open to doing crazy and wacky things, instead of selling them as a public product! Think Beetroot infused stout! It’s essentially a red velvet cake beer!”
“As a home brewer, you can do what you want, it may not always be commercially viable, but that’s not the point, the point is making something new and amazing!”
The Wort Hogs community is an interesting group of Home Brewers and Craft Brewers that meet every other month and exchange ideas and share new recipes and give each other help. To find out more, they have a really passionate Facebook page where you can get more information.
First Time Beer Tasters
What about the ladies, sure a lot of them don’t always enjoy beer, “You need to start tasting beer, just start drinking it, and what matches your old tastes like your preferred Wine or Cider, what matches those flavours and go from there, you won’t know unless you try”.
Something we’ve been asked in the past is why do we like beer and craft beer over other drinks, “I have always loved beer, I’ve always been a beer drinker since Is started drinking, I have always wanted to taste what’s going on. It started with a Gilroy’s Serious beer, and the passion just kept going. The fact that there is a hundred kinds of beers and styles and flavours, you can never get board.
Craft beer is fast becoming a refreshing alternative to the commercially produced common place beer. Developing the community around craft beer and adding value to people who are new to these beer tastes and want to start their own craft beer adventure is a part of what we do!
Tweet us your favourite craft beers! We’d love a trip down memory lane.
Also published on Medium.