Blog | Devil's Peak Brewing Company | Craft beer from Cape Town, South Africa

JC Steyn: Beer and Wine

Beer and Wine

Beer and Wine

There was a time when beer in South Africa was relegated to a status far below its grape-derived counterpart. It wasn’t that South African’s didn’t love beer – they always have an always will – but it was not something that was celebrated, discussed and enjoyed in the same manner as wine. All of that changed with the craft beer revolution, and Devil’s Peak head brewer JC Steyn has played an integral role in showing the depth and complexity that this historic brew can bring to the table. With a B.Sc in Oenology and Viticulture from Stellenbosch University, he had the knowledge and experience to take beer-making in South Africa to a new level.

“I was involved in winemaking for 9 years as Head Winemaker at a Stellenbosch Estate. Due to my passion in all things zymurgy (science of fermentation), I fiddled in some homebrewing as well as some very experimental batches of Balsamic Style vinegar on the side. When the opportunity arose to progress to Devil’s Peak, I leaped at the prospect to get involved in this fledgling industry. The chance of creating pioneering products in an innovative industry could not be passed up,” says JC.

Two of those pioneering products in particular, the Vannie Hout and Vin de Saison, lent themselves to JC’s wine-making background in a way that conventional beer never could – with the introduction of the barrel-aging process. The door between beer and wine was now wide open.

Vannie Hout, the first of the two to be released, was a brett-infused farmhouse ale. After spending six months in chardonnay and pinot noir barrels, it was bottle conditioned in 750ml and released in limited quantities.

After the successful launch of our first barrel-aged offering, the Vin de Saison, South Africa’s first beer and wine hybrid, was taken from concept to reality. This style involves grape must (juice) or even whole grapes being incorporated into the brewing process. Some brewers add it to the mash or boil and while others combine it directly to the cooled wort prior to fermentation.

The original Vin de Saison was made with 20% Swartland Chenin blanc acquired from Mullineux Family wines. The newest blend of Vin de Saison includes Clairette Blanche and Chenin blanc grape juice expertly blended with Saison.

“We opted for this grape variety as it’s the most widely grown wine grape variety in South Africa and increasingly becoming a force to be reckoned with internationally,” says JC.

After spending over eight months in white wine barrels, the result was a beer with a super fresh aroma and a lovely crisp grape derived acidity. Just as successful as the Vannie Hout, the Vin de Saison also enjoyed acclaim for beer and wine drinkers alike. So much so that in 2017, Devil’s Peak made the decision to bottle a run of each in 340ml bottles. This allowed our barrel-aged offerings to reach an even larger audience with the increased accessibility of a smaller package.

But JC hasn’t stopped there. Even now, Devil’s Peak is growing our barrel-aging program with the acquisition of eight 2,500L oval foudres. With these new oak fermentation vessels, the future of #DPBC innovation is brighter than ever.

Look out for Vin de Saison and Vannie Hout, as well as a new and exciting brand in JC’s lineup, Alpha Craft, at leading liquor retailers across South Africa.

Hiring IT & ERP Analyst | Cape Town

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Position for IT & ERP Analyst

Devils Peak Brewing Company are looking for versatile junior or graduate of computer science, engineering or information systems to join our leading Cape Town based craft brewery.

The ideal person is self-motivated and organised, has a positive attitude and the drive to be one of the best in the field. You need to be a smart, multi-skilled team player, that is flexible and happy to support where required in a continuously changing environment.

The IT & ERP Analyst will be responsible for the Acumatica ERP solution architecture and the development/implementation of Acumatica improvement projects as well as overall IT infrastructure. The role will be our in-house expert on our Enterprise Resource Planning system and IT infrastructure. They will be hands on with Acumatica and will be able to create, improve, customize, and support our Acumatica system with the help of our outsourced partners. This individual will be reporting to our Support Services General Manager and also works closely with our other managers in order to ensure all business needs are being met.

Principal Responsibilities:

* Responsible for operation and support of the Acumatica environment

* Responsible for overall IT infrastructure including network, email, phones & all hosted environments

* Manage all users and administration

* Be first point of contact for all end user issues

* Improve overall health of ERP system & associated systems

* Plan, implement and monitor changes in infrastructure configurations

* Functional and technical requirement gathering and documentation

* Quality Assurance and testing

* Analyze business needs presented by the user community and recommend technical solutions

* Perform liaison duties between users, operations, and outsourced partners in the areas of systems design, modifications or trouble shooting

Skills & Competencies

General

* Must possess a high technical and mathematical aptitude.

* Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills.

* Creative thinker with sound analytical and critical problem solving skills

* Able to work on your own, unsupervised

* Willing to be challenged and work well within a team

* Focused on excellence

* Excellent influencing and facilitation skills

* Strong organisational and time management skills and the ability to stick to deadlines.

* Strong ability to multitask and prioritise

* Ensuring that administration of work is kept accurate and updated at all times

* Assist company managers with solutions that assist in the completion of their duties and responsibilities

Educational Requirements

* Bachelor degree in computer science, engineering, information systems or related

Experience Requirements

* A good grasp of systems and analytics

* Prior exposure to ERP design and implementation

* Functional knowledge of Inventory Management, Account Receivable, Accounts Payable, Finance Modules, Supply chain, Order Management, ect.

* Ability to evaluate and interpret end user requirements

* Hands on technical knowledge of SQL

* Demonstrate knowledge in system upgrades, integration and testing

* Ability to analyze and recommend solutions to any technical difficulty in a timely manner

* Advanced computer hardware and software knowledge and skills;

* End-to-end ERP implementation exposure

* Project scoping and analysis

* Ability to communicate technical concepts to technical and non-technical audiences

* Ability to manage multiple concurrent projects and motivate professional staff

* Broad knowledge of data processing systems, concepts, and methodologies

* UX or UI experience a plus

To apply please email a detailed CV to nicola.bosworth@devilspeakbrewing.co.za

All applicants must indicate the job title IT & ERP Analyst in the subject heading.

Short-listed candidates will be subjected to reference checking, verification of the applicant’s personal data and security clearance as part of the selection process.

The closing date for applications is 10 February 2017.

Hiring Demand Analytics and Process Optimisation Manager | Cape Town

Devils Peak Brewery

Position for Demand Analytics and Process Optimisation Manager

Devils Peak Brewing Company is looking for a versatile Senior Demand Analytics and Process Optimisation Manager to join our leading craft brewery in Cape Town.

The ideal person is self-motivated and organised, has a positive attitude and the drive to be one of the best in the field. You need to be a smart, multi-skilled team player, that is flexible and happy to support where required in a continuously changing environment.

Skills & Competencies

General

* 8+ years in the business/system process and business analytics space with a focus on reporting and insights and with a strong analytical orientation

* A detailed understanding of FMCG related sales data

* A strong appreciation for Business Analytics specifically in the Sales space

* A strong appreciation for global leading FMCG business processes specifically in the Sales space

* A good understanding of a wide range of business/system process modelling tools

* Proven ability to be a team member and work with executive management

* Previous experience of supporting software and business processes for Sales or account teams

* Excellent communication skills including regularly presenting to internal teams and clients

* Must possess a strong broad technical aptitude including IT systems and business process engineering

* Good understanding of the FMCG / CPG market and ability to keep up to date on market dynamics

* Understanding of the social media space

* An eagerness to stay connected with business, industry, consumers and economy

* Creative thinker with sound analytical and critical problem solving skills

Educational Requirements

* Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering Degree.

Experience Requirements

* A detailed understanding of FMCG/CPG processes and systems

* A detailed understanding of data manipulation and analytics

Output and Accountabilities

* Ownership of all Sales related master data

* Ownership of all sales system and business processes

* Ownership of all sales specific business systems

* Ownership of all Sales Business Intelligence

Further explained through:

* Making sure that all Sales business and system processes are up to date, documented and communicated.

* Offer recommendations and introduces processes in relation to Sales data gathering and Sales data management processes to add new dimensions to measurements and performance

* Provide marketing intelligence and business analytics support to the Sales team

* Perform competitor analysis for better analysis and understanding of the competition

* Analyse industry and economic trends to understand business linkages and its implication

* Understand consumer data to support market share, pricing, brand development & product improvement decisions

* Perform market Opportunity mapping to identify business growth areas includes pricing gaps, brand laddering etc

* Perform business analysis by leveraging multiple data sets (Business Intelligence Tool, Market Research Findings, etc.) to derive insights for Go-to-Market (GTM) plan

* Owning and tracking Sales functional KPIs and reporting. Monthly Performance review analysis and reporting. Prepare monthly presentation for leadership review for feedback, action and decisions

* Be a contributor to key decision making on all matters relating to consumer interactions

To apply please email a detailed CV to russell.boltman@devilspeakbrewing.co.za.

All applicants must indicate the job title Sales Analytics and Process Optimisation Manager in the subject heading.

Short-listed candidates will be subjected to reference checking, verification of the applicant’s personal data and security clearance as part of the selection process.

The closing date for applications is 31 January 2017.

Hiring Regional Field Sales Manager | Johannesburg

Devil's Peak Year-round

Position for Regional Field Sales Manager | Johannesburg

Region: Gauteng

Reporting to: Inland Sales Manager

Devil’s Peak, based in Cape Town, is an industry leader in the fast growing Craft Beer industry, consistently delivering critically acclaimed, award winning beer. Our flagship Kings Blockhouse IPA is repeatedly selected as South Africa’s best ale. The business is led by a group of entrepreneurs who together have an excellent track record in creating successful start-ups and leading some of the world’s biggest beverage brands.

This is a phenomenal opportunity for a smart and ambitious individual to get into an industry growing at over 100% per annum. Accelerate your career as fast as you grow the regional presence and volume, while growing your team. This is just the tip of the iceberg as Devil’s Peak is building businesses in other alcoholic products, restaurants, and allied service offerings.

The working environment is fun and entrepreneurial. Our people are all passionate about our beer and vision and work extremely hard to always deliver excellence in both product and service. We are a company born out of a love for beer, and a dedication to service excellence. We have a vision of slowly educating the market that beer, like wine and whiskey, is a product that can be carefully crafted to deliver intricate and sophisticated taste. On top of that, it is refreshing and fun. This value of authenticity stays close to our hearts and pervades everything we do.

The Regional Field Sales Manager is tasked with new business in the region, as well as maintaining and growing existing relationships and accounts. Weekly Call Cycles will be established to maximise the time spent in the trade.

Competence Requirements

* Post Matric Qualification in Sales/Marketing and ideally a minimum of 2 yrs experience in Sales/Marketing in a FMCG environment

* Valid unendorsed Code 8 drivers licence

* At least 2 years experience in the FMCG industry

* Basic knowledge of PC and Microsoft office

* Persuasiveness and selling ability.

* Verbal ability and communication skills.

* Sound interpersonal skills, creativity and ability to mix with other people.

* Ability to manage self and region.

* Strong achievement orientation.

* Beer knowledge and processes

Output and Accountabilities

* Maximise sales volume and market share.

* Implement and develop promotional activity to drive consistent pull in relation to the channel management process.

* Achieve pre-determined sales/brands and market share targets.

* Influence liquor retail pricing within segments.

* Maintain stock levels within segments.

* Influence the placement of our products to maintain the best cold and ambient space

* Grow footprint of Devils Peak and its products in both Off and On consumption areas

Service outlets

* Develop sound business relationships.

* Maintain customer call rate and frequency

* Conduct regular account reviews.

* Provide merchandising support.

* Handle Customer and Consumer complaints and queries.

* Manage product quality in relation to our quality standards.

* Manage sales administration.

* Compile daily / weekly reports.

* Determine pre-call planning objectives

* Manage B.T.L. placements.

* Develop sound customer relationships

To apply please email a detailed CV to craig.foaden@devilspeakbrewing.co.za

All applicants must indicate the job title Regional Field Sales Manager in the subject heading.

Short-listed candidates will be subjected to reference checking, verification of the applicant’s personal data and security clearance as part of the selection process.

The closing date for applications is 31 January 2017.

Devil’s Peak 667

Devil's Peak 667

When two brands as fiercely authentic as Devil’s Peak Brewing Company and Jameson Irish Whiskey collaborate, you know the result is going to be something truly fantastic. Devil’s Peak 667 is the product of that vision.

By combining a specially brewed Irish Red Ale from the mind of our head brewer with a whiskey soaked cask from the Jameson, we were able to make a bold beer for fearless individuals.

Inspired by the Cape legend of Jan van Hunk, a man who out smoked the devil in an epic battle lasting six hundred and sixty seven days, we created 667 to honour those who face their fear by edging out the darkness.

The project started in early 2015 with a meeting between our brewers and the master whiskey makers of Jameson Irish Whiskey. Jameson was interested in collaborating with a brand who embraced their ethos – sine meto – which means “without fear.” This has been their family’s motto since the first drops were bottled in 1780, and emphasises living life to its fullest. At Devil’s Peak, we’re all about taking life by the horns, and it was decided that the two brands needed to combine their creative talents to make something incredible.

“I didn’t want to make something that had no relevance to Jameson. I wanted to make a beer that would tie us to them – something that would link South Africa with Ireland. So what I decided to do was make an Irish Red Ale, which has its roots in Ireland, and use South African malts and hops to make this beer,” says Devil’s Peak Brewer, JC Steyn.

“The freedom they gave us was one hundred percent. It was great to allow us that freedom to do what we found exciting and interesting in order to create this beer.”

After 67 days, what started as an Irish Red Ale emerged from Jameson Irish Whiskey casks as Devil’s Peak 667. This spectacular collaboration saw a very limited release in Cape Town and Johannesburg and was received as one of the most exciting things to come out of the South African beer scene in 2016.

Ready for more? We’re just getting started. Stay tuned for more exciting projects from the producers of South Africa’s best beer.

Craft Beer Rising London

Craft Beer Rising

With a bag filled to the brim with merchandise, Devil’s Peak Brewing Company was en-route to London for Craft Beer Rising (CBR). In its fourth year running, CBR represents over 150 London UK and International Craft Beer Breweries held at The Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch. As the only exhibitor from South Africa, DPBC were set to hit dreary London and CBR head on. The DPBC crew was hosted by UK born brewery, Charles Wells Brewing, in the week leading up to the festival, and Shoreditch is the perfect temporary home for a Craft Beer enthusiast. Surrounded by independent shops, beautiful street art, amazing markets and some of the best bars and restaurants in the world, CBR was almost put on the backburner. The evolution from traditional English Pub to independent bars embracing Craft Beer was experienced first-hand. The area is definitely setting the pace for food, wine and beer trends. Cocktail bars were also in high supply and provided the perfect alternative to a week consumed by beer drinking.

Finally, the weekend rolled in and the beer tasting could commence. DPBC shared a stall with Charles Wells Brewing and was overwhelmed by the positive feedback on the entire range of beer. From South African expats and beer lovers to hardcore beer aficionados and local brewers, the stream of people complimenting the Devil’s Peak beer was never-ending. The King’s Blockhouse faced some of the best IPA’s and never backed down! The Vin De Saison was a festival favourite and clearly shot some lights out as the queue snaked out beyond the door for a taste.

Live music and delicious dishes from street-food vendors added to this epic festival. Engaging with the local beer drinkers gave a lot of insight into how has evolved in the UK. The British beer consumers know their Amber Ale from their Pale Ale and know what style they prefer. Still they received DPBC with open arms and absolutely loved that the beer traveled thousands of miles to the UK.

The highlight of the festival was being able to network and interact with brewers and other craft breweries. The history is always the same; no matter if you’re located at the tip of Africa or the West Coast of the States . . .

As the weekend drew to a close, the famous saying “All’s well, that ends well”. DPBC had resounding success at Craft Beer Rising and came back after experiencing a great vibe, an extensive variety of beers and a knowledgeable crowd of beer drinkers.

Our sincere thanks to Charles Wells, Craft Beer Rising, and all of our new friends for making it such a memorable experience. See you next year! Cheers!

Brewing with Barth Haas & Africa Hops

Barth Haas

Last week, our head brewer JC had a chance to brew with Barth Haas and Africa Hops!

Africa Hops is our local hop agent while the Barth Haas Group is the world’s largest supplier of hop products and services. They focus on hop production and breeding, hop processing, hop storage and R&D for technologies that can be applied to the brewing industry. It has offices and operations in Germany, the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and China. These guys know their stuff!

JC explains a little bit about the brew below.

“What was interesting is we brewed a beer without any hops in the kettle. Instead, we used hop extracts to achieve the bitterness and the aroma/flavour that the hops would normally impart. One of the batches will be dry hopped with Equinox (a new variety from the US) after the fermentation is complete, while the other tank will remain as is. This should give us a great idea of how these extracts work. We are very excited to see the results! The beer will be ready in about 2 weeks and will be on tap at The Taproom,” says JC.

A beer that’s made without hops? It sounds like madness, but it’s a technique we’re keen to learn more about!

Watch our social spaces for updates on when this unique brew will be available at The Taproom.  

Homebrew Comp Winning Brew

Homebrew Champion

After many months of patiently waiting, the day came where we were finally able to invite homebrew competition winner Matt Hurst over to brew his fantastic Black IPA, aptly named Lygophilia. I admittedly had to Google the meaning. Lygophilia(noun): Love of Darkness. We were both excited. Matt mostly due to the fact that he would carefully get to watch his recipe get ramped up 50 times its original size and me mostly because this is one of my favourite beer styles. I am a true Lygophiliac.

Alas, not everything went according to plan, half way through the brew the steam pump decided it had had enough and threw in the towel. Much to my displeasure, we had to dump the wort prior to boiling. A speedy pump repair and a few days later it was take two. This time, everything went according to plan. The wort tasted great albeit slightly higher in gravity than originally planned. This means we might end up with an ABV of just above 7.5%. No complaints there.

Currently, the beer has finished with fermentation and is going through its lavish dry hopping stage. This is what really makes and IPA and IPA. Look out for it on tap in The Taproom while stocks last. You will not be disappointed. If you do miss out, your only chance at tasting this beauty is to get hold of Matt and twist his arm into sharing one of his 200 bottles with you!

JC Steyn

DPBC Head Brewer

#DPBC Belgian Dubbel

DPBC Belgian Dubbel

Devil’s Peak Brewing Company is very proud to announce the release of our Belgian Dubbel!

#DPBC head brewer JC Steyn worked in collaboration with Castle Malting’s Julian Slabbinck to create this stunning Trappist-style beer – available exclusively at The Taproom and Beerguevara. This is the second Belgian beer in the #DPBC lineup, with our Silvertree Saison already well established in the South African craft beer scene.

“Julian decided that an infusion of liquorice and cinnamon would complement this rich, complex style. The notes are subtle, but they add a little something extra we’re sure fans will appreciate. He has created a fantastic recipe,” said JC.

“It was a great day brewing an awesome beer at Beerguevara. We’d like to thank them for hosting us and providing ingredients!”

To learn more on the history of Trappist beers, check out our Craft Beer Glossary!

So what can you expect from our first Belgian Dubbel? Let’s take a look at the tasting notes below.

Aroma: Complex. Rich aromas of stewed fruits, caramel and spice.

Appearance: Deep mahogany. Clear and brilliant. Persistent, creamy, off-white head.

Flavour: Low bitterness with a complex, full malt profile. Hints of liquorice and cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally smooth. Medium-bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall Impression: A rich, malty, and complex Trappist-style ale with notes of fruit and a satisfying, smooth finish.

Join us this Friday, January 22 at The Taproom for the launch of this exceptional beer! Stock is limited, so make a plan to visit before it’s gone!

Beer Batter Crepes

Beer Batter Crepes

The Recipe: It’s been well established that beer and breakfast go together. Whether it’s a Saison with your traditional Belgian fare or it’s a “12 o’clock somewhere” #DPBC lager by the pool. For this recipe, we’re incorporating that delicious golden nectar straight into the first meal of the day with these delicious beer batter crepes!

The Pairing: Crepes are quite a light, delicate flavour. As we don’t want to overpower them, we’ve decided on First Light Golden Ale or Devil’s Peak Lager as the perfect pairing for this breakfast.

INGREDIENTS:

– 3 eggs, lightly beaten
– 235 ml milk
– 235 ml First Light Golden Ale or Devil’s Peak Lager
– 220 g all-purpose flour
– 1 pinch salt
– 30 ml vegetable oil
– 30 g butter

DIRECTIONS:

– In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and beer. Gradually whisk in flour. Add the salt and oil, then whisk the batter vigorously for 3 to 5 minutes, so all is thoroughly incorporated. Let the batter sit for 1 hour.

– Heat a 10 inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Brush it with butter, and when it’s hot but not smoking, pour a scant 1/3 cup of batter into the center of the skillet, and rotate it so the batter covers the bottom of the pan in a thin layer, pouring out any excess batter. Cook the crepe until it is just golden on one side, 1 to 2 minutes, turn it and cook until it is golden on the other side, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate, and keep warm by covering with aluminum foil. Continue until all of the batter is used.

Recipe Source

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