Craft beer, craft beer, craft beer. It’s all anyone drinks these days, right? Well, not quite. There is, among all that ale (and apparently some people still drink wine..??!), a burgeoning craft spirits scene in South Africa, particularly in Cape Town. Woodstock – home to many a microbrewery – is also housing a number of distilleries, with the newest still on the block being that of New Harbour.
It ain’t cheap setting up a boutique booze facility, and New Harbour Distillery’s owners Nic Janeke and Andri Du Plessis need a little extra help to get their tasting room – The Gin Lab – up and running. That’s where you come in, oh connoisseur of craft booze. Nic and Andri are crowdfunding to raise the capital they need to design and decorate a place that you can go to sip on hand-crafted, rooibos-infused gin or to enjoy a custom cocktail.
Nic started distilling at university, while studying for a degree in chemical engineering and although he also dabbled in brewing, it was spirits that grabbed his attention. The still has been bought, premises in Woodstock’s cool Mason’s Press building have been secured and once the final licence comes through, the company is pretty much ready to go. Until now, the business has been funded with a combination of personal loans, credit cards and through Nic’s day job in the petrochemcal industry. “With the distillery, I want to be carbon neutral and green to pay back for everything that I’ve done to the world so far!” he laughs.
So how can you help to complete the New Harbour Dream, and what’s in it for you? Well, you can contribute anything from R50 to R10,000. For 50 bucks, you get an online mention and a high five whenever you pop into The Gin Lab; for R10,000 you get to name Nic and Andri’s most prized possession – the still. And there are lots of other alternatives in between – a bottle of vodka for R200, roobos-infused gin for R250 or a one-day distilling course for R1500. So you’re not just helping people achieve a dream, nor just helping an exciting, young industry along. You’re also getting something for your cash!
The crowdfunding campaign ends in January 2016, giving you the perfect chance to buy someone a unique Christmas gift. Get all the details on how to join in over on the Thundafund page. Best of luck to Andri and Nic and I can’t wait to come in for a gin and tonic once the brand new Gin Lab is fully functioning (early 2016).