1000 Hills Brewery at Yes Chef! Deli
What could be more relaxing than enjoying a Craft Beer tasting with special friends with clear blue skies above on a sunny winter's day under large trees, with views of the magnificent Valley of a 1000 Hills?
The 1000 Hills Brewing Company was established in 2009 under the name of Porcupine Quill Brewing Company, but changed its name as beer brewing became part of the curriculum of advanced students of the 1000 Hills Chef School.
The beers we tasted all were excellent as this chef school sets high standard in teaching students the art of Craft Beer brewing; they have a unique approach to brewing as they take flavour and food in mind.
The name of this brewery may ring a bell if you read my post about the Yes Chef! Deli & Restaurant run by the students alongside the 1000 Hills Brewing Company when I talked about the food, but left the best for last so will take you on a tour of this little micro brewery.
The beers we tasted were:
The Cheerleader which is their most popular beer - a delicious amber Ale with an ABV of 5.5%.
The Graduate was my favourite - India Pale Ale with hints of passion fruit and litchi which I savoured slowly as it has an ABV of 6.4%; it was really delicious and full of flavour!
The Fes - a Belgium Ale which is a strong and dark mildly bitter brew with tones of toffee and caramel and an ABV of 9%; only for serious beer drinkers!
The Dean - a refreshing gold star Pilsner with an ABV of 4.5%
Hubby ordered The Quarterback, a light and fruity American Pale Ale, which was not part of the tasting, and he really enjoyed it.
The Yes Chef! Beverage menu:
After enjoying the beer and delicious food prepared by the students, we were all in good cheer to learn more about the art of brewing craft beer.
One of the second year students took us through the little brewery and told us the fascinating story of how India Pale Ale originated.
Apparently when British soldiers were sent to India, they took beer across the seas as they needed some Dutch courage, but the beer went off!
They then added more malted Barley to the beer thinking it will preserve it, without knowing that the added sugar took it to a higher alcohol volume, which sterilized it and did in fact preserve the beer much longer!
By this time, we were all in stitches imagining how the soldiers must have been full of spunk after downing this, but obviously the beer tasting was making us a tad jolly as well!
The students enter intervarsity competitions and this is one of their awards.
A brief overview of the process of brewing beer:
Mashing is the first step to beer making – basically heated water (roughly 65 Celsius) is added to barley to hydrate it and activate the malt enzymes which then converts the grain starches into fermentable sugars while it is mashing all the while maintaining mash temperature.
We tasted a Malted Barley – sweetish like Milo.
After the mashing process, the mash is placed into the kettle and boiled for about an hour where after the water will evaporate, leaving a sugary syrup behind which the brewers call wort; the main component of wort being maltose and maltotriose.
The wort will then be fermented by the brewing yeast to produce alcohol.
The wort is cooled in a plate chiller.
Home brews are not filtered, they carbonate their beers by adding sugar when they bottle it which restarts the yeast. Natural ingredients are still intact making home brewed beer much healthier.
Their Malt is from Belgium – Hops contains high levels of Vit B - two different hops are used; one is quite aromatic and is added at the end of the brew, Magnum is more bittering and is added at the beginning of the brew.
Bottling and capping paraphernalia:
After bottling, the beer must stand for at least two weeks, preferably three, before consuming.
The young student who took us on this tour has big plans for the future - he envisions opening up a restaurant and brewery adjacent to each other with only glass separating the two sections so that diners can see the brewing process taking place while dining; sounds like a great novel idea!
These were our selection of beers after touring the brewery.
The range of beers as shown on the webpage of 1000 Hill Brewing Company.
This little restaurant and brewery is only open from Friday to Sunday from 8.30am – 4pm.
They can be contacted on +27 31 777 1566 or [email protected]
A great experience and a must-visit for all beer lovers - the enthusiasm of the trainee chefs and brewing masters is absolutely infectious!
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1000 Hills Brewing Company
2 Wootton Ave, Bothas Hill, Outer West Durban, 3660, South Africa
This post participated in the Tasteem contest Beverages with friends