Fire burn and cauldron bubble ... While they tend to avoid eye of newt, UCT's very own brewery team has been concocting award-winning liquid confidence.
This August, the UCT team bagged the two top prizes at the annual intervarsity in Johannesburg, and had glasses raised for the Best Lager, and overall Best Beer. This was their best result to date, and the first time the team managed to pick up the best lager award said Brian Willis, a PhD candidate in the Centre for Bioprocess Engineering and one of the master brewers.
Thanks to an array of drinks they brewed in 2014, the team managed to win a category in last year's competition, too. This was for the cider category, with their "Intang-Apple Cider" finding its way to the top of the tree.
After last year's competition, SAB announced that they would provide funding for the maintenance and technical upgrades for all the universities' microbreweries, and UCT earned the maximum sum of R25 000 for a "proposal of the highest order". The brewers proposed upgrades for the modernisation of the brewery control systems and fermenter monitoring, to improve the quality and consistency of the beers.
"The upgrades on the brewery took place from Feb to July this year, and as a result we were not able to brew for most of the year, except for getting the competition beers read for the 2015 Intervarsity," reports Willis. "Even with the tight time frames and new control systems we have managed to produce three great beers and a stunning pear cider, often called a perrie. The beer categories this year were the Winter Warmer (a 7% + ABV beer), we brewed a foreign extra stout for it."
For the lager category, they made a Munich Dunkel, which is a dark lager with very strong malt and toasty aroma. Finally, for the speciality category, the competition organisers specified a Belgium Wit with a South African twist.
"We decided to make a Marula Wit beer," said Willis.
Compiled by Yusuf Omar. Photo by Michael Hammond.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Please view the republishing articles page for more information.