I’m bringing you an interesting Q&A this week because today, I’m introducing you to Dewald Goosen, the brewmaster at Tuk Tuk Brew, a microbrewery that’s doing very exciting things in South Africa’s Cape Winelands.
We visited Tuk Tuk Brew during our visit to the Leeu Estates – a gorgeous luxury hotel and wine estate on the edge of Franschhoek.
The Leeu Collection own this 250-litre capacity microbrewery and it was a real surprise to find a craft beer scene right in the middle of the winelands! And let me tell you, Tuk Tuk Brew is well worth a visit. Check out this piece on great places to eat and drink in Franschhoek to find out more about what they do.
A bit about Dewald…
Dewald started out as a home brewer, before eventually becoming the head brewer at Woodstock Brewery in Cape Town, becoming experienced in both micro and 3,000-litre brewing plants. After that, he was the senior brewer at CBC (Cape Brewing Company), based in the Paarl region of the winelands. Tuk Tuk then partnered with this award-winning brewery and the rest, as they say, is history.
I found it really interesting talking to Dewald. He gave us a tour of the micrbrewery, explained the (very scientific) ins and outs of brewing and told us a bit about his plans to make beer as special as champagne, Yes, that’s right, this innovative brewmaster plans to get away from the concept of drinking beer in copious amounts and in 2018, he hopes to unveil a ‘sipping beer’.
You heard it here first.
Time for that Q&A…
Are people surprised to find a craft brewery in the middle of the winelands?
People are definitely surprised to find us here, but at the same time very welcoming to the concept. The clientele is very rounded in the sense that we get a lot of locals who are frequenting the venue but also a lot of international and national visitors as Franschhoek is a very popular destination due to its undeniable charm and beauty.
How are you changing perceptions about beer?
Personally, I am trying to promote the idea that beer can be equally as complex as wine or distilled liquors. I feel that all the brewers in the country are aiming to give the consumer a deeper understanding of this glorious beverage. People need to understand the possible faults in beer and we have to get rid of the idea of “it’s a craft beer, it’s supposed to look, taste and smell [a certain way]”.
In the winelands, it’s all about wine pairing – do you think that beer and food pairing is a thing?
Absolutely! I have attended many beer and food pairings in the past and most certainly will attend many more in the future.
Can you offer a few examples of the more unusual ingredients you experiment with and some of the custom batches you’ve created?
In the past I have experimented with ingredients such as ginger, chocolate, various fruits and also spices. Currently at Tuk Tuk my focus has been placed on mastering the four core ingredients in beer (Water, Malted grains, Hops and Yeast) and manipulating these four to get the results that I wish to achieve. I feel it’s important to get a good base before trying to go in that direction.
On the Tuk Tuk website, you claim that you’re a ‘very nice little brewery on steroids’ – can you explain this?!
The system may be small and manual but in terms of design and functionality it is first class. It was designed and constructed by Kaspar Schulz, a Bamberg based brewing equipment manufacturer that has been producing brewhouses since 1677! I am extremely fortunate to have such a great plant to brew on.
So you want to launch more ‘premium’ beers onto the market? Tell me more…
I’m very interested in styles of beer that are not often seen on the market, whether it be a sour style of beer or a massive velvety Imperial stout and so I want to experiment more with the sipping styles of beer. Beers that spark the imagination with a complexity of flavour and aroma.
My first attempt at such a style of beer is a English style Barleywine. It was brewed on the 12th of November 2016 and placed into barrels on the 1st of December 2016. The plan was to barrel the beer until the 1st of December 2017 and then bottle it and let it lay in the bottle for an additional 7 months until its release in July 2018. At 12% ,alcohol by volume, it will need this amount of time to mellow out and become the beautiful beast that I envisioned when I dreamt it up.
What’s your favourite beer?
That is not an easy one. It is completely dependent on the situation. There is truly a beer for every occasion and so I couldn’t give any answer other than……I love beer! All beer! Well, all well brewed, clean beer!
Thanks to Dewald for taking the time out to talk to us for this interview. Oh and by the way, I have a piece coming out in Foodism magazine soon on the food and drink of the Cape Winelands, so keep your eyes peeled for that over the summer. And if you’re looking to commission a story on the food and drink in the Cape Winelands, feel free to get in touch here.