Recently en route to our weekend stay at Misty Mountain in the Sabie area we stopped at Hops Hollow Brewery for lunch, and of course a beer tasting. Situated on Long Tom Pass it is the highest brewery in South Africa. The pub menu was very limited, pretty much just toasted sarmies but once you get to beer tasting the menu takes 2nd priority.
After being stuck in the car for hours the children loved playing on the Jungle Gym while we waited for our food. We went indoors for our toasties and eagerly sampled the beer, as you can see from my pic I was so enthused with taste testing that one was already downed before I remembered to take a photo.
The best part of our stop at Hops Hollow was our tour of the brewery, Colin the brewer is clearly a man with job satisfaction second to none, his eyes light up with passion when he explains the steps in the beer making process and the art which it is to make special beer. As he told us, brewing is a very personal thing; we could make beer from exactly the same recipe as his but the end result would be unique to the person who made it, and we got the distinct impression that he would do it way better than we could. He also explained that brewing is a profession very sensitive to the brewer’s emotions and that in the past if he had tension or worries at home the beer which he brewed that day would be a disaster, he has now learned that when he enters the brewery he leaves any stress at the door. Colin told us of the roots of his brewing experience and how he was mentored by a man who worked for SAB for many a year and moved on to Firkin Brewery at the Pavillion in Westville, Natal.
When we travel we love to discover micro breweries and sample their wares; the excellent beer, Colin and the beautiful scenery are the highlights of Hops Hollow.