Today we speak to one of South Africa’s best brew masters about his fantastic beery creations.
So what’s the history of Roeks Beer?
I would make beer in my hobby brewery and friends and family when visiting would always say Roeks give me a beer, but in my absence they would ask my wife Lauran for a Roeks Beer. So when we started commercially the name ROEKS BEER was the natural choice for a brand name.
How long have you been around?
I brewed my first concoction when I was 8 years old; commercially we only started production in 2007.
What makes your Roeks Beer unique?
We do not follow BJCP style guidelines, we do not add funny stuff and we do not use fish and animal products in our beer.
And how does that make you differ from other brewing masters?
We are Free Range and Free Style and that gives us the freedom of experimentation and our clients freedom of choice.
What was your first product?
Like many others that was fascinated by fermentation when they were kids, the old pineapple and peach beers under the bed with the Texan plains hidden away.
What did you learn about beer from making it?
Till today beer teaches you a new thing every brew, that is if you are a handcrafted brewer.
Now you’ve created a number of flavours over the years.
Yes, Mogallywood is the Brewery that started flavoured beers. In 2011 at the very first Jhb craft beer festival friends from the biggest brewery in SA said to me, Roeks you can not flavour beer. In 2013 they launched their flavoured beer with the slogan “Who said you can not flavour beer” so every time I see them I say YOU DID. I am a free style brewer and do not care a flying F.
-What’s you most popular beer?
When we sell north of the Apies River the Raspberry (Pink) does the best, down South the Peach. Our Energy Beer is picking up so the Ginja
-And the worst?
Our first Orange was a disaster in 2011, but our new Orgasmic Orange proves to be a winner.
What’s the most unique beer you’ve ever created?
I brewed a herbal beer with all ingredients from the farm and that was quite an interesting taste. The guy that was with me leaked the recipe and today the beer is made by another brewery. I am glad it helped someone else.
Do you use any specialist items or techniques in your work?
There ore no specialist items in my brewery. I have one mercury thermometer and that is all, no other instruments, not even a hydrometer threw that away with the refract meter that can not measure alcohol in the presence of sugar correctly, so I guess the only specialist thing in the brewery is me.
What sort of beers shall you be producing next?
Definitely not an IPA, I hate over alcoholised over hopped beers. Perhaps the day I screw a brew up I will put extra hops and sugar to hide the mistake and be in the IPA market.
Time, Temperature, Passion, Hygiene and water. Beer is 95% water and with the best water you make perfect beer.
So what sort of pricing range would the average person be looking at?
Look, I am an advocate for lower craft prices. At our White Dog Taproom we sell 500 ml draughts at R15.00. To pay more than R30/ draught for craft beer is a scam and on top of that the fact that 90% of all the new beer on the market is not even craft. Ye and to go further, what is craft? I think the consumer in SA is still very uninformed and majority is just on the band wagon, but what makes me happy is that there are so many different beers on the market, craft or not.
Where do you see Roeks Beer in five years?
It is a hobby, we are not in the market to grow, we brew for our own restaurant for people that appreciate good beer. We do distribute limited amount of bottled beer, and attend selected festivals.
Where can people get your beers?
You can visit our restaurant outside Magaliesburg, or get some at Linden Discount Liquors in Linden.
And do you attend any events where the public can get access to your produce?
We do several events, like the Geek Festival, Medieval faire, Big House, Helderfontein, Monte Casino, Cars in the Park, Gauteng Motor Show, Santon Craft Festival, Cambridge Food, Capital Craft, Cellar Rats and some others. We are banned from some festivals finding our logo to offensive, but unlike many others the only thing you will find offensive with our beer is on the outside of the bottle.
Any last words?
Thanks to all our supporters and followers, see you at the White Dog Taproom.