Meet the Devil’s Peak Brewer
Devil’s Peak Brewer, JC Steyn tells us a bit more about his approach to brewing beer.
You can meet his new assistant brewer, Andrew de Groot here
1. How did you get started with brewing?
JC: 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 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.
2. What gets you excited?
JC: I love the fact that brewing is so unrestrictive and the options are limitless. The possibility of ingredients and methods are endless. Compared to wine where you have an annual harvest and have to wait a year before the next grapes arrive, brewing gives you almost immediate results and satisfaction. Because of this the learning curve is immense. Ironically however we are now doing barrel aged beers which can take just as long as a wine.
3. What makes your beer different from other craft brewers’?
JC: At Devil’s Peak our approach is to produce beers on the one end that are consumer friendly while being a solid introduction into the world of craft beer, and then we have the beers on the other end of the spectrum that push the envelope and dare the consumer to explore what the world of beer has to offer. We are always experimenting and investigating new styles of beer, it’s part of our ethos and is embedded in how we operate. At the same time we always strive to use only the finest ingredients sourced from around the world and never compromise on quality.
4. What makes your beer different from macro produced beer?
JC: What defines craft beer for me, is that its driven by an attitude as opposed to pure quantities brewed. For us it is all about caring what’s in the bottle as well as the creativity coupled to new and exciting beers. We are all about challenging our consumers, innovation and originality while delivering consistent quality.
5. Favourite style of beer?
JC: Its difficult, like choosing your favorite child, but if I had to choose I would say IPA or a well-made Brett barrel aged sour beer.
6. Qualifications/degrees/what you studied that brought you into beer making?
JC: B.Sc in Oenology and Viticulture at Stellenbosch University
7. Recipe development process – how do you approach making new beers?
JC: This is a process of development and experimentation. We like to think out the box and make beers that are expressive. Often you have a pretty clear vision of how you would like the resultant beer to end up, but through the trial and error process you are frequently and pleasantly surprised by the results. As with anything, the proof is in the pudding; you have to brew it to believe it!
Meet JC’s new assistant brewer, Andrew de Groot here