KZN’s top craft brewers cater to all tastes at Rosetta
THE Witness Rosetta Craft beer festival has handpicked some of the finest craft breweries available in KZN.
Last week you were introduced to the WTF brewing trio. This week, we head further out of Pietermaritzburg to the KZN Midlands and Amanzimtoti. Nottingham Road, Lions River, and Toti Breweries are all producing an extensive range of fantastic beers.
Nottingham Road Brewery is well known in KZN. Established in 1996, it is situated on the beautiful Rawdons Hotel estate. They produce a wide range of delicious beers, available on tap and in bottles and cans, offering a beer style to suit every palate. The two brewers, Thulani Memela and John Morrow, are both avid craft beer enthusiasts with a clear passion for the mighty ale. It is clear, when you talk to them, that they have a real love of brewing, and this follows through to their beers. Their Pickled Pig Porter stands out for me, with its balanced coffeechocolate flavours, and a malty richness that makes you crave the next sip. The brewery offers tours and tastings of all their beers — bookings essential. Do you need another reason to head out to the Midlands? Keep an eye out for their new brews, the Swinging Samango Mango Ale and Wobbling Wombat Fruity Ale. Lions River Brewery is the result of Ronald McClelland’s lifelong love affair with beer. Irish born, Ron was exposed to the wonder of brewing from an early age, with his father being an avid home brewer. Ron followed in his father’s footsteps, and started brewing beer as a hobby, but he soon had the locals insisting that he supply the restaurants around Lions River. And thank goodness he listened. Ron’s hobby soon expanded rather substantially when he purchased a Germanmade 500 litre system. His three adult sons (Devin, Sean and Stuart) are equally passionate about beer and assist him with all processes. Since his beer hit the market in January 2015, they have been hard pressed to keep up with the demand. With a wide selection of styles, there will be a beer, or many, that suits your style. Of particular mention is their superb Vanilla Porter. This ale is full bodied and quite sweet, which compliments the subtle vanilla in the finish. Lions River will be bringing a Brambleberry ale to the Rosetta beer fest this year, made with fresh berries picked locally. That is going to be a treat!
Toti Brewery know their hops, and it shows in their beers, focusing mainly on Americanstyle ales with their fruity aromas and flavours, and clean hoppy bitterness. Situated on the beautiful Illovo River estuary, and open seven days a week, they are currently one of the larger microbreweries in KZN, with a fermentation capacity of 4 000 litres.
Their Hopstrosity American IPA definitely rates as one of the best IPAs available in SA. It does not skimp on hops, so it is a definite choice for the hop heads out there, packed with citrus and granadilla aromas and flavours.
Besides the hoppy American ales, Toti also offer a Pilsner, a Weiss, an English Bitter and a chocolatey ale (Toti Black). The Rosetta beer fest is sure to be a tasty day with these three breweries around.
Stephanie February of The Witness said, “We are so looking forward to being a part of the second year at the festival. Each of the breweries will have their triedandtested favourites on offer, but will also be serving a limited volume of a onceoff, proudly South African, Heritage Day brew. We are expecting an amazing turnout and a happy atmosphere for families to come and enjoy the afternoon.”
LRCB Team McClelland and sons, Stuart McClelland, Sean McClelland, Devin McClelland and Ronald McClelland. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED