Calling all beer lovers! We are gearing up to start brewing, grafting and drafting with our students soon to arrive. What better way to start the new year with some beer cheer and fun facts? Beer production is a revered practice around the world, but was in fact around for quite some time. As craft beer brewers, we not only share drinks but knowledge and appreciation for this fine invention. Grab a seat, pour over the amazing facts from brewers past as we delve into our history books on the importance of beer.
Beer production lends itself to many milestones in human history. Aside from being a coveted beverage of many, it links to the development of civilization, currency, health and nutrition, and even intertwined with religious ties. If you don’t believe us, read up on the health benefits of beer. You can thank us later.
There are many findings to suggest that the discovery of beer populated many places over. Evidence traces beer back to grain harvesting of cereals to as early as 10,000 B.C. During this time, nomadic civilizations slowly developed into agrarian societies, settling and domesticating lands and lifestyles. Along with this, more grains like wheat, rice, barley and maize came to light, as well as their ability to ferment. Developing and refining this process in turn simultaneously assisted with new agricultural practices and technologies (oh, the wonder of beer).
Beverages of an alcoholic nature, however, link back to two different societies. In China, about 9,000 years ago, an alcoholic drink documented to contain rice, honey and fruit possibly found its way from middle eastern origins. Actual beer production is most likely claimed by Sumerians in 1800 B.C. from ancient Mesopotamia, or current day southern Iraq. Beer was so important to their society, they even had a goddess of beer, Ninkasi. Not only were recipes a part of oral rituals, but beer featured as a nutrient-rich drink (and most likely safer for consumption than animal-tainted waterways.
Beer features later again in Egyptian civilization, but as currency. Those working alongside the Nile river received payment in drinks rations. Then, beer was more than a recreational beverage, but a nutritious drink that children, peasants and the almighty pharaohs consumed on a daily basis. Not to put it lightly, but beer very well may just be the foundation of the great pyramids.
Beer reappears again in religious practice again in the sixth century CE. Though monks lived lives devoted to God and goodwill, they too partook in beer production. History may have deemed this time the Middle Ages, but for beer, it was the dawn of a new era. Living in remote monasteries and required to live off of their own work, Christian monks discovered the benefits of hops as a preservative. Years later, these breweries still operate and celebrate their monastic beginnings and refined processes.
Many centuries later, beer remains enjoyed all over the world. Whether in larger commercial companies or smaller businesses, beer production is constantly going through innovation and reimagining of flavours, ingredients and techniques. Especially for the brewers in the craft beer industry, it is an ever-evolving practice which in turn developed its own culture.
We hope you enjoyed brushing up on your beer production knowledge. To extend your lesson (and get extra credit) visit us for a craft beer lesson and tour. For information on the 1000 Hills Brewing Company, contact us.
It’s official! We’ve got some new roomies. After secret plots and unforeseen delays, Pietermaritzburg-based companies Clockwork Brewhouse and Doctrine Brewing have joined us. Three local brands working out of one craft beer brewery — it’s a dream come true. With Clockwork’s Euro-trip inspired selection and Doctrine’s bespoke flavours featuring alongside our tasty class of brews — The Graduate, The FES, The Dean, The Quarterback, The Cheerleader and The Rebel — there’s no better place to spend your weekends.
Established in 2014, Clockhouse Brewhouse bases its belief that beer should be an experience, not just a beverage. To make this vision possible, the company forges its identity through focusing on the love of brewing. They experiment with new approaches and styles to continue the quest for quality over quantity. Owner/Brewer Megan Gemmell will be bringing in five more names to the tap room.
We are doubly delighted with this partnership as Megan will not only serve as a resident brewer, but a lecturer! She will be teaching our advanced program students their beer and brewing course. We are quite proud that we are the only culinary school in South Africa that integrates brewing into our unique curriculum. We are sure her presence will be most beneficial to our students (and our taste buds).
Doctrine Brewing prides itself on showcasing under-represented styles and flavours. Owner/Brewer Dion van Huyssteen operates Doctrine Brewing while searching for interesting combinations. As such, they enjoy producing both high and low alcohol beer with novel flavour profiles to create a unique taste experience. Their trademark taste centres on the belief that quality ingredients are non-negotiable. The doctrine they live by? “If you try to please everyone, you’ll end up exciting no one”. We praise you marching to the beat of your own (beer) drum.
Doctrine Brewing brings along their four masterfully crafted and aptly-named beers to our tap room.
While the new companies add to our exciting tasting trifecta, they will remain autonomous in keeping their own identity. These joint forces will mean even more exciting beers and experiences on the horizon for all our beer beginners and boffins. Together, the three breweries will share our new equipment and tap room. This will be the first time for both bottle-based breweries to have a tap room to showcase their beers. And we couldn’t be happier to share our heart and home with these crafty creatives.
We look forward to welcoming and hosting you alongside our new brewers in arms. Come and visit us with our revamped tap room brimming with new experiences and memories. Cheers to that!
Our restaurant and craft beer brewery are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 8:30AM to 4PM. For bookings, hop over to our contact page.