Hein Swart, managing director of Mitchell’s Brewery, says the first beer he ever tasted was from Mitchell’s when he was on holiday in Knysna as a young man, “long before craft beer was even a thing.”
Swart’s first taste later led him to join South African Breweries and achieve the status of SAB Master. “It’s given me the experience, knowledge, and know-how to take a brand like Mitchell’s, who has a craft brewing history of more than thirty years, to drive it forward, commercially," he says.
Apart from the brand-new packaging design, there has also been an investment in optimising quality, consistency, and production processes at the sub-20 000 hectolitres per annum (HLPA) brewery in the heart of Knysna. A fermentation tank farm extended with additional fermentation vessels to ensure reliable supply.
International brew master, Jörg Finkeldey, who consults to the production team at Mitchell’s, says, “The range continues to remain true to original ingredients, and we’re constantly refining processes to ensure the best brew across our entire range.”
The ability to source high-quality ingredients locally remains core to Mitchell’s philosophy. “We’re in the prime Southern Cape agricultural region where hops are cultivated, so we have access to the finest raw ingredients on our doorstep. We only use 100% natural ingredients, which are locally sourced, using original recipes and a unique brewing process, resulting in full-bodied, thirst quenching flavours for our discerning clientele,” says Finkeldey.
With a permanent staff complement that has been at the brewery for the past 15 to 18 years, and nurtured in the skill of craft beer production, Swart adds, “getting craft beer right is part science and part art; it takes a high level of commitment from everyone at the brewery, and we’re very fortunate to have such a long-standing and dedicated team of people involved with the local community.”
For more information: www.mitchellsbrewing.com
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