For the ninth year in a row, SAB hosted its Annual SAB Intervarsity Beer Brewing Challenge at the SAB Cyril Ramaphosa World of Learning in Kyalami.
The challenge forms part of SAB’s efforts to assist universities in developing microbreweries that serve as valuable teaching aids for students involved in microbiology, chemical technology and engineering programmes.
Each year, students from universities around the country brew, ferment, condition and package their beers, before presenting these to a panel of independent and accredited craft beer tasters at the Beer Brewing Challenge. The challenge aims to encourage responsible beer appreciation among students and to introduce prospective SAB employees to the business. In addition to this, SAB uses the initiative to help create a culture of beer in South Africa.
The competition comprises 15 universities, all of which did their utmost to outdo the defending champions, the University of Cape Town, which claimed last year’s top spot with its Munich Dunkel.
The competing universities in 2016 included:
- University of Limpopo
- University of Potchefstroom
- University of Stellenbosch
- Cape Peninsula University of Technology
- University of KZN Westville Campus
- University of Cape Town
- Pretoria University
- University of KZN Pietermaritzburg
- Central University of Technology Free State
- Rhodes University
- University of Johannesburg
- Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
- University of Witwatersrand
- University of South African (UNISA)
- 1000 Hills Chef School
According to Petr Vesely, SAB’s chief brewer, “South Africa’s innovative and energetic tertiary student fraternity has an important part to play in our drive to build a strong culture and passion for beer in our country as there has been established in other parts of the world. It is in the halls of these institutions, where experimentation is key to academic success, that the foundation of a strong industry can be developed.
“Providing students with the expert knowledge and skills in beer brewing by means of the SAB Intervarsity Brewing Challenge, will ensure that quality is never compromised and that South African craft beer products compete with the very best in the world.”
Students’ products were judged according to the following categories: best brew, best lager, best cider, best speciality beer, best pilsener light, best winter warmer, best label design and the best spirit.
Each category, which carried a prize of between R10 000 and R25 000, was sponsored by a SAB brand. And the winners were:
- Castle best bru (overall winner): University of Cape Town (Don’t Dunkel with my Heart)
- Carling Black Label best lager: University of Cape Town (Dunkel Breaking My Heart)
- Redds best cider: University of Cape Town (Ceres Harvest Cider)
- No. 3 Fransen Street best speciality beer: University of KZN Pietermaritzburg (Southmalle Trappist Single)
- Hansa Pilsner best pilsener light: 1000 Hills Chef School
- Castle Milk Stout winter warmer: University of Cape Town (Double Agent)
- Best label design: Cape Peninsula University of Technology
- The SAB World of Beer spirit award: Central University of Technology Free State
The University of Cape Town maintained the top spot with its Dunkel Breaking My Heart. The team’s winning brew was noted by judges as having a “simple style with a clean lager flavour and the correct balance of hops. They used good brewing procedures for a style that requires precision in brewing technique.”
Congratulations to everyone who worked tirelessly to produce the very best that student beer-making has to offer. Cheers!