Craft Beer companies seem to be popping up all over in the past couple of years and the Franschhoek area is no different. This is the “land of the grape” but a few crafty companies have sneaked in and established themselves well and truly in our valley. Of course, we understand that not all visitors are wine lovers so it a bonus that we can offer the ardent beer drinkers a little something more to their taste.
Karen (from Tuk Tuk Franschhoek) and I paid a visit to the popular Franschhoek Beer Co. last week to experience their offerings and do the Brewery Tour with award-winning Beer Master, Olaf Morgenroth. Olaf is passionate about beer, there is no mistaking that and it shows in the awards he has won.
The brewery currently offer 6 beers which include a larger (3 Oaks), 2 ales (American Pale Ale and Orange Pale Ale) and a stout. There is also a lovely Belgian style beer called La Saison, which is my personal favourite. The German style beer is also good. By the way, the 3 Oaks Lager is named after the 3 actual Oak Trees that are on the property as well as a play on the expression “okes” which is a colloquial word for “men” in South Africa. The company has 3 investors hence they are “3 okes”.
After Olaf showed us their Test Brewery which is situated in the container in the front garden, where two years of research and development took place, he took us into the main brewery. A total of 5000l of beer are currently produced here with the goal of doubling that capacity. Their hops is imported to make sure they get consistently good quality. It was good to see how they recycled all their grey water, important in our current drought conditions. Natural spring water from the Franschhoek mountains is used to produce the beer.
In the back garden is a fairly large vegetable garden where most of the produce they offer in the restaurant is grown. The restaurant is an important part of the offering and they stay open till 9pm on Friday and Saturday for Pizza and Beer and No Electricity! Get cozy with the fireplace and candles instead.
This is a child-friendly facility and there is a fun play area for the little ones to enjoy.
The Brewery Tour is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 to 11am. It is an option on our Bespoke Tour as well as part of the Crafty Brewery Tour and consists of a full tour of the facilities, tastings of the 6 beers currently in production and a full size pint of your choice.
Do choose this optional extra when booking your Bespoke Tour or book the full Crafty Brewery Tour which takes you to two other craft breweries close to Franschhoek as well a pub visit which offers tasting of 20 breweries from around the country.