Date: Saturday, 15 June 2019
Venue: Pretoria National Botanical Gardens, Pretoria
Time: 10H00 – 19H00
Price: R140 – R200
Bookings: Plankton | http://bit.ly/2IcP3sH
Facebook Event: http://bit.ly/2HYjfIQ
Interview: Copperlake Breweries
- Hello Guys, it’s a pleasure to be chatting to you. Is everyone doing well?
Very well thanks.
- Would you mind giving us a quick introduction to Copperlake, tell us where in SA are you from and how the brewery got started?
We are based in Lanseria in Gauteng, we started as an idea that Brendan Watcham had while bedridden recovering from a motorcycle accident, as soon as he was on his feet again he started building a brewery. Eventually, in 2011 it became a company and started trading. Since then we have grown in capacity and are dedicated to producing consistent quality beer for beer lovers all over the country. We have recently opened a tap room at our brewery on the farm in Lanseria where you can come and enjoy our great beer and have an awesome pizza from our wood-fired pizza oven, and from spring 2019 you will be able to pick your own veggies in our 28 metre long greenhouse, which is also providing all the fresh ingredients used by the tap room.
- How many years has Copperlake been around for?
Copper Lake has been around since 2011 as a commercial micro-brewery so that makes it 8 years this year.
- What are the beers that you offer at your brewery?
Our core range is our Light Lager, Premium Lager, English Ale, India Pale Ale, Hefeweiss, Starry Eyed Blond, Irish Red Ale, and Citrus Cooler. Our Winter Seasonal brews are the Robust Porter and Dark Lager. We also from time to time do limited release beers that we do on our small test brewery, these have included a Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, a Belgian Trippel (The Alagash), and a Strong Scotch Ale (Wee Heavy) to name a few, a lot of these have been taken to festivals as something special just for the people there.
- What have been some of the major challenges for your brewery over the years?
Consumer education I think is one of the major issues we have had, when micro-brewed beer was first becoming popular a lot of people began seeing it all as “craft beer” and they associated all “craft beer” as the same in their minds, so they might have tried a very hoppy IPA and not liked it so they think they don’t like craft beer at all. We have a wide range of products so we have something to suit every taste, the challenge we face every day is getting people to try all our products when they have the mindset that they “don’t like craft beer” because of previous experience or the first beer they try is not for them. Before the rise of micro-breweries, there really was only one type of beer on the market in South Africa so people, in general, don’t understand that beer has more variety in its flavour possibilities than wine does.
- Micro-Breweries and locally made beer are fast becoming in demand and highly attractive. How have you seen the change in the mindset of our local beer drinking South Africans over the past few years?
Local is Lekker. I am seeing that people more and more are interested in drinking locally made beer, there is a trend where everyone wants to know exactly where their food and drink is coming from and how its made, which is one of the reasons we opened the tap room, the brewery tours are very popular. But also going back to my previous answer, this trend is also leading to more and more people understanding beer as a whole, while the South African beer drinkers are still in general mystified by “Craft Beer” and it still has a an image of being the “thing the Hipsters drink” there is a growing number of them that are beginning to understand the variety beer can have and beer is so much more than just a lager, not to knock the lagers out there, there are some great ones on the market, but there is more to beer as a whole and I think more South Africans are coming to understand this and enjoy the locally made beers as whole for their variety.
- You will have a stand at the Capital Craft Beer Festival this year, are you excited for the festival?
Yes, very. We had a bye last year and can’t wait to be back.
- Let’s make a prediction… which of your beers would be the best seller on the day?
I am going to say either the Premium Lager or the Citrus Cooler.
- Where can people follow you on Social Media?