GETTING TO KNOW OUR BEER
Brewing great-tasting beer of the highest quality is our passion. It is the start and the end of who we are and we are proud & privileged to have some of the most talented and experienced brewers in South Africa, ensuring that only the finest beer is enjoyed from every expertly crafted keg, can or bottle. Jointly, our brewers at Newlands Brewery have more than 150 years of brewing experience. Read all about them in THE BREWERS section.
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
Brewing our beers requires patience and care with a standard brewing time of around 3 weeks, which covers the brewing processes of mashing, fermentation and maturation.
INSIDE OUR BEERS
At Newlands Brewery (and at The South African Breweries Limited) we do not brew with additives. Stated on our labels we brew using only water, malt, maize, and hops – which is pulled together through the action of brewer's yeast, which is not included as an ingredient on the label as it is removed during the process of filtration.
The barley, maize and hops that we use for brewing are certified as non-GMO, which means that they are not genetically modified in any way. We pay a handsome premium for this privilege!
We are blessed at Newlands Brewery to own (for more than a 150 years already!) the rights to two fresh water springs, the Newlands Spring and the Kommetjie Spring, which we draw upon for the brewing of our award-winning beers.
Malt, technically speaking, is barley processed through the natural malting process, a process that mimics the germination of the barley seed in the field, under controlled conditions. We use both pale and roasted malts in various quantities, as required, to achieve the particular style of beer we are brewing.
Our hops are produced in the Southern Cape of South Africa and are mostly pelleted hop cones, without any further processing. Hop processing for Castle Lite for example, consists of drying the de-stemmed and de-leafed hops from the field, finely milling them and then pelletising them at a cool 55 degrees Celsius to prevent damage to the bittering and aroma elements of the hops. These "Type 90" hops as they are called (90% hop cone material and 10% bitterness principle) are then vacuum-packed for freshness, stored cold and sent to the brewery.
At Newlands Brewery (and at The South African Breweries Limited), we use maize syrup, rather than raw maize grits, and this syrup is made to the correct sugar spectrum required for the beer being brewed. In this process the maize is de-germed, soaked and then milled to form a maize starch slurry, similar to cooking pap on the stove. Enzymes, which are biological catalysts, are then used to break down the maize starches to simple sugars (in the same processes that the natural Malt enzymes break down the starch in the barley to produce fermentable sugar in the brewing process), and it is these sugars that the yeast converts to alcohol and CO2 during fermentation.
At Newlands Brewery (and at the South African Breweries Limited) we do not use foaming agents to create great foam (aka "head") on our beers. We achieve some of the best foam finishes in the world, achieved through the selection of and brewing with high quality malts, and through exacting brewing practices and standards.
Beer is naturally carbonated at the end of fermentation, with CO2 and alcohol being the main byproducts of fermentation. The amount of CO2 that remains in the beer however differs from brand to brand depending on the amount of sugar fermented and alcohol produced, but is normally lower than the requisite levels that we see in packaged product. During the active fermentation process excess CO2 is vented from the fermenting vessel, collected and purified to exceptionally high standards to remove some of the beer flavours that may be present. This recovered CO2 is then used to "dust" the filtered beer to achieve the levels for specific beer specifications. Because brewing is a natural biological process, the levels of CO2 remaining in the beer at the end of fermentation may vary slightly and by adding the brewery-recovered pure CO2, it allows us to produce a consistent product all the time, with the correct level of carbonation.
AND WHEN WE'RE DONE?
Used or "spent hops" as they are known are removed from the wort during the whirlpool clarification stage of the brewhouse. The spent hops are collected and added to the spent grains, which are the malt husks left behind in the lautertun, and sold off to local cattle farmers as feed, as it is a rich source of roughage and nutrition.