of water, yeast and barley hops, brew master Ndumiso Madlala and entrepreneur Josef Schmid, who met through a similar project, brewed up a golden amber liquid − known to beer lovers as Soweto Gold.
“Our aim was to create, brew and sell unique and distinctive regional beers. Beers that is set to usher in a new era in the South African township l i quor industry,” says Schmid.
“In an effort to establish the Soweto Gold brand we started brewing Soweto Gold – superior lager at a third party brewery in October 2013 and launched the Soweto Gold brand to the market at the Soweto Beer Festival later that year.
The majority black-owned business procured and commissioned its own micro-manufacturing plant in 2014 and moved to the Ubuntu Kraal Brewery, i n Orlando West, i n Soweto, in August 2014.
“Starting our own microbrewery took guts and great sacrifice,” says the beer e nthusiast . “Ndumiso quit his safe and secure job in corporate brewing and I left my job in hospitality. We then pooled our funds, sold off assets and raised funds to set out on our new journey.”
Although both these entrepreneurs have tasted the sweet success of their craft larger, Schmid says they have also experienced bitter challenges of a capital-intensive operation.
“Money, money, money has been our biggest barrier to growth,” he explains.
“Currently we are bleeding, we are bleeding beer and we know that it is going to take some time before we start breaking even.”
Despite the barriers to growth, MadMead Brewing Company’s brewing capacity i s expanding to produce 50 000 l i tres of beer a month by March.
Furthermore, MadMead plans to make i t s beers, which are currently only available on tap, available in retail packaging and add an additional r ange of a r t i s a n brew t o its collection.
“T h e ex p o n e n t i a l growth the craft industry is experiencing is just the beginning. Breweries are popping up, beers are getting better and the public is thirsty.”