With her ear to the fermenter and her nose to snifter, our intrepid craft beer connoisseur, Craft Su, recently picked up fresh vibes eminating from her favourite hangout, Stone Circle Brewery.
Beer in hand, she investigated further and met Khanyi Pupuma, 26 year old UCT student who brews in collaboration with Stone Circle Brewery in Gardens, Cape Town . He happened to have a bottle of Jwarha in hand.
Who is this mysterious Khanyi and what is Jwarha?
CraftSu: How did you first get into craft beer?
Khanyi: I had my first taste of craft beer when I visited Beer House on Long a few years ago and that’s when fell in love with craft. I got totally hooked and wanted to start making my own beer. That is when I decided to enroll for a craft beer workshop which was held at Beer Guevara in Woodstock. After my first beer class I bought myself a home brewing kit and started brewing.
CraftSu: What is your day job and what inspired you to start a moonlighting brewing business?
Khanyi: I study Quantity Surveying at the University of Cape Town. Brewing was merely a hobby at first, but as my brewing skills improved and family and friends started enjoying my product, I started to think about taking it to the next level and starting a craft beer business.
CraftSu: What is the Jwarha & what is the philosophy behind it?
Khanyi: Jwarha is my clan name, my African identity and is a major part of my heritage. The philosophy behind the Jwarha brand is to brew a great tasting beer that will embody the African culture and heritage. The modern African youth has become very urbanized and as a result lost their connection with their culture. Through this craft beer I hope to bring people together with a proudly African product, Jwarha Lager.
CraftSu: So Jwarha is an African beer for the African people?
Khanyi: There are many clans all over the world – and they are not necessarily always defined by skin colour, language or geography. This beer will be a way that I, as a Xhosa descendant, can share my culture with people all over the world. It is not exclusively targeted at the African market, but rather a way to keep our culture alive in a bottle and a brand.
CraftSu: What are your short and medium term goals for the Jwarha brand?
Khanyi: The short term goal is to get the brand out there through marketing and get it into craft beer establishments. The aim is to tell the story and share the Jwarha Lager vision, so that people can appreciate where the product is coming from and where it’s going. The medium to long term goal is for Jwarha Lager to become a household name in the African craft beer space.
Khanyi just unleashed the Jwarha last week and he’ll be bottling it commercially for the first time this week.
You can find Jwarha Lager for sale at Stone Circle Brewery in Gardens, Cape Town for now, and Khanyi probably not far from it.
Kiekies by Nathan Bezuidenhout who grams it at @nathanbezuidenhout