WORDS Michaela Stehr
Raise a glass of craft beer to Ceder Brew, a microbrewery with a conservation strategy.
With sales of hipster craft beer exploding in South Africa, it’s novel to find a brewing company focused on raising conservation awareness while brewing fine beers.
Ceder Brew is the brainchild of sisters Tania (on the left in the photo) and Melanie, who’re part of the seventh generation of Nieuwoudts farming on Kromrivier in the Cederberg. What began as a hobby has grown into a thriving business – they produce 100 litres of beer per day – and the sisters are involved in every process, from brewing to label design.
What sets Ceder Brew beer apart is the use of the Cederberg water – locals call it soetwater – combined with malt, yeast and the highest quality hops.
The beers are named after endemic fish species to raise awareness of habitat destruction and the need to remove alien species in the Kromrivier area. The brewery’s conservation plan includes rehabilitating the river and reintroducing endemic fish species.
Ceder Brew’s Signature Range consists of an unfiltered dry stout called The Chubbyhead Stout, a fruity white beer called The Sand Fish Weiss, a complex American slow-brewed lager called The Yellowfish Lager, and a refreshing English pale ale called The Catfish Ale.
There is also a Farm Range consisting of smaller batches of limited edition beers, which allows Melanie and Tania to unleash their creativity and experiment with interesting flavour combinations. Two of these are the Jan Pampoen Spicy Pumpkin Ale, a light and refreshing beer with Christmassy notes, and the Sarie Marais Cherry Blonde Beer, a delightful pink brew.