t was Route 62’s first microbrewery, but we haven’t heard much about Karoo Brew of late. The small brewing setup in Montagu has changed hands a couple of times in recent years and is now under new brewagement.
We dropped by The Mystic Tin – a restaurant/guest house with a tiny brewery tucked away in the grounds – on a quick stopover in Montagu and found new brewmasters at the helm. Theo and Kerstin Petersen bought the business back in September 2012 but until recently it was their tenants who were manning the brewery. But this month the Petersens took over The Mystic Tin’s accommodation and restaurant – and Karoo Brew’s trio of beers.
The beers are still brewed using a partial mash process – where malted barley is used in conjunction with malt extract – but I noticed a marked improvement in flavour since my last visit in 2011. Back then a scorched, smoky flavour pervaded, preventing me from finishing a full pint.
Theo and Kerstin are now brewing the three beers – a Honey Ale, a Dark Ale and the Karoo Ale (a pale ale). All three are light both on flavour and body and while the beers still have a way to go, things seem to be moving in the right direction. Theo is already talking about finally going into glass bottles after many years in plastic and the passion in the new brewer’s eyes is evident. There are plans to brew weekly to supply not only the local crowd but also a few business in nearby Barrydale.
Karoo Brew is based at the Mystic Tin on Bath Street, Montagu. Tastings are free and a 400ml draught is R22.
This post was originally published on The Craft Beer Project.