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Local brewers get two awards in African Beer Cup

The 1000 Hills Brewing Company presented local beer as they scooped two awards in Africa's biggest beer competition.

LOCAL brewers, the KZN’s 1000 Hills Brewing Company in Botha’s Hill, took two bronze medals in the African Beer Cup, which is the biggest beer competition in Africa. The competition saw 271 beers entered from 16 different African countries with a total of 62 medals awarded in 32 categories.

KZN’s 1000 Hills Brewing company was awarded with a bronze medal for their Umgeni Steam, a California Common, and The FES, an English barley wine.

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The competition has a stringent judging process with all beers judged twice, and according to the organisers, winning a medal is extremely prestigious, with a maximum of three medals awarded per category. Only beers reaching certain threshold scores are eligible for medals.

Competition director and co-founder Lucy Corne said the African Beer Cup uses the American Beer Judge Certification Programme guidelines in their judging process.

“However, the beer scene across Africa has developed beyond following global beer trends, and we’re now setting some trends of our own. This year, to reflect what is happening in craft beer around the continent, we introduced a new category to showcase beers that use traditional African brewing grains, including sorghum, millet and fonio.”

Romina Gaggero-Delicio, who is a partner and financial manager, commended the growth of the beer industry.

“The craft beer industry in Africa is still in its infant stages, and the fact that the African Beer Cup has grown to 16 participating countries, with 15 awards going to breweries outside of South Africa, is testament to the fact that we can expect a lot of growth in our continent and will see a lot of exciting beers coming from the rest of Africa in the future,” he said.

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Charlene Louw, CEO of the Beer Association of South Africa, said, “BASA [the Beer Association of South Africa] not only values the African Beer Cup as a mark of quality and excellence but also as an annual reminder of the huge potential African beers have when it comes to tourism. Our continent’s beers are world-class and offer taste experiences to all types of visitors.”

Soul Barrel Brewery, a microbrewery based in the Cape Winelands, took the title of Best Beer in Africa with their Ale of Origin, a wild-fermented ale using all South African ingredients.

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