20 May 2019
Local brewery races to produce 10,000 Miles beer

Capenhagen. Wild Coast. Cape to Cali. Are these just words to you, or can you spot a theme? Well done if you can, because it’s pretty obscure: they’re all cross-continental collaboration beers, made in a partnership between a local South African brewery (Devil’s Peak, Drifter and Riot) and an international counterpart (Mikkeller, Migration and Stone).

The latest beer to come out of this trend is called 10,000 Miles, a fresh hop ale co-created by Newlands Spring Brewing Company in Cape Town and Elysian Brewing Company in Seattle.

The two creatives in charge were Elysian ingredient specialist, Markus Stinson, and Newlands Spring brewer, Warren Wiese. Their goal: to devise a recipe that would showcase unique hops from both countries. 

After some arm wrestling, the pair settled on a wet-hop beer, which would require picking and using fresh hops within six hours. Evidently they were up for a challenge, as instead of opting to brew in Seattle, which has hop fields a breezy two-and-a-half hours away in Washington, they decided to brew in Cape Town, a solid four-and-a-half hours away from the country’s only hop fields, in George.

This amazing race started one autumn day in March, when our two heroes charged up the Garden Route and furiously threw 70kg of hops into their vehicle. Although under pressure, Wiese still managed to maintain standards: ‘They had an incredibly fresh smell and you could see the quality was great,’ he said.

Following – in my imagination, anyway – a hairy trip back to the Mother City, Wiese and Stinson started brewing.

The result? ‘A smooth and medium rounded, fruity IPA-style fresh-hop beer,’ says Wiese. ‘It has a very intriguing nose of ripe mango, passion fruit, some grassy notes, a little guava, some light lemon hints and red berries and on the palate a medium-low sweetness, balanced with a firm bitterness and a light honey-malt character.’ 

And the significance of the name? You guessed it: it’s the distance between the two breweries, although one might argue that the distance between George and Cape Town might have been a better bet.

10,000 Miles beer
10,000 Miles beer

Style: IPA-style fresh-hop beer.
Hops: Southern Passion, African Queen and U/108 from SA and Pink Boots Blend, Veterans Blend, Amarillo and Eureka from the US
Alcohol content: 6.5%.
Body: Smooth and medium rounded.
Palate: Medium to medium-low sweetness balanced with a firm bitterness and light honey-malt character.
Price: R74,99 per 440ml four pack from selected outlets.

This post first appeared in Your Neighbourhood in May 2019

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