Cape Town homebrewers are not very fortunate to have many homebrew supply shops, infact I can only think of two local ones where one is a mail order one and the other a chemist that sells some homebrew supplies, but all this is about to change with the launch of Beerguevara.
Beerguevara will operate as a walk in store, at first and then in the very near future will also add an ecommerce section to their site where local homebrewers will be able to order supplies online and get them shipped to them.
I sat down with the owners of Beerguevara and asked them a few questions.
Who is behind Beerguevara?
Beerguevara is a brother-in-law team: Andrew Cook and Ant Cawood.
What made you decide to start your own homebrew supply shop?
We started it for ourselves – and people like us. We both got into home brewing fairly recently, and living in Newlands, were surprised to find no easy way of getting home brewing supplies nearby. At the same time, talking to friends, we realized just how many people in Cape Town – like us – are starting to appreciate craft beers, interested in making their own, and looking for a place that can supply both a great range of ingredients and a little support in getting going. Thus Beerguevara.
What does the name Beerguevara mean, and how did you come about it?
Few people know that Che had a younger brother called Cervesa, who fled to Africa during the troubled years of the revolution …
OK not really … we were talking about the “beer revolution” happening in Cape Town and wanting to be a part of it. One of us joked about calling our store beerguevara and it stuck. We like to think of it as communism dressed up as capitalism, dressed up as communism. Or is it the other way around…
What ingredients can homebrewers expect to get from Beerguevara?
We stock all-grain home brewing supplies: yeasts, hops, and malts. Our aim is to have the widest and most interesting range of all of these available to brewers in Cape Town.
Are there plans to introduce equipment as part of your catalog?
Sure. We already stock the basics you need to start brewing at home – fermenters, hydrometers etc. We even have a few mash tuns that beginners can rent for a weekend. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to experience the fun of all-grain brewing.
Are you a walk in homebrew supply store, and will you be offering mail orders?
Yes – We’ve started the business from our house in Newlands and are open for walk-ins Saturday mornings (09:00-12:00) and Wednesday evenings (16:30 – 19:00). We’ll also soon have a current stock list (plus other resources) at www.beerguevara.com. We will offer all of our supplies via mail-order, but our main focus is offering the best ingredients and value to brewers in and around Cape Town.
What’s your feeling towards recipe kits? Is this something you are willing to consider offering customers?
We think the area we can best bring value to Cape Town brewers is in widening the selection of ingredients available for all-grain brewing and we’re going to focus quite exclusively on that.
Obviously you guys also brew, what are your favourite styles to brew?
Ant loves the dark side – stouts and porters. He’s going to be brewing a Guinness clone at our launch party “to show that any old fool can do it”. Andrew discovered beer road-tripping the US west coast with his wife Karla – and his favourites are still American-style amber ales and IPAs – one of the reasons we’re keen to make dry-hopping a more affordable pastime in Cape Town.
Will you be doing brew demonstrations from time to time?
Yes – all the time. Beerguevara is all about making it fun and easy for people to get into all-grain brewing and we plan to run an open-house brew day most Saturday mornings at our premises in Newlands during walk-in hours – anyone is welcome to come join in, learn, teach & share.
Beerguevara will be launching this Saturday 26 May 2012, there will be a launch party for those interested in attending where you are welcome to go taste beer, talk about beer, and find out about making your own beer. They will also be opening bottles of: Paschal Pale Ale, Wheelan Oatmeal Stout, Red McKenzie Bitters, a dry-hopped “Dread McKenzie” and more. See their Facebook event for more details.
See below for their launch prices.