We’re particularly excited about this weeks Friday Beer. Not just because we haven’t had a chance to try it but because Little Wolf craft brewery has joined Barley&Hops and we will have their merchandise soon available in the shop. Now, that’s worth having a beer. And with that, the beer, The Little Wolf Lemon Geranium Saison.
We wanted to get this beer up a couple of weeks ago unfortunately Head Brewer Stefan Weswedel has been a busy guy. Between brewing and festivals he’s a hard guy to nail down. So, when we did we decided to get him to get to the nitty gritty of what has been a tremendously successful beer for him. This was what he had to say.
So, how long have you been brewing? I started homebrewing about 8 or 9 years ago but have been brewing professionally since 2015.
When did you decide you wanted to brew? During a trip to Australia in 2004/05 I saw how ubiquitous Coopers homebrew kits were (one could just buy them at the grocery store) and that sparked the idea that I could brew my own beer. A couple of years later, I saw that I could buy beer kits in Cape Town so bought myself one and the rest, as they say, is history.
What was the first drinkable brew you produced? That first beer I brewed, a Coopers liquid malt extract kit, was actually pretty drinkable! I mean, it was beery, alcoholic and carbonated, I was pleasantly surprised and I think that early success really helped motivate me. If I’d made some glorified pond water on that first try, I may never have continued.
Where did the name “Little Wolf” come from? I’m a Botanist by training and have always had a passion and love for nature. When deciding on a name, I wanted to somehow link these two passions of mine, nature and beer. I was doing some research and looked at the origins of the scientific name of hops, Humulus lupulus. The species name, lupulus means little wolf in latin and once I figured that out, I knew I had a great name. It ties together my scientific background. my botany and my passion for beer in one cool sounding name 🙂
What brews are you currently making? Currently we do Hoppy Wheat, Hibiscus Cider, Virgin Cider and Cape Dry Tonic, this is the core range. We just released our first limited edition beer (Lemon Geranium Saison) and plan to release something new every quarter or so. We are also busy working on a second beer for the core range.
A Lemon Geranium Saison. Interesting, how did you decide to do that? Again, this ties back into my Botany background. We live in the most diverse plant kingdom on earth (Fynbos) and I’ve always been mesmerized by the sheer diversity of plant life we have in the Cape and wanted to bring this into the products we make. Lemon Geranium is indigenous to the Western Cape and has an amazing citrus aroma, a natural fit for beer.
How did you use the ingredients in the brewing process? I tried a few different methods (chopped up leaves, alcohol extract etc…) but ended up getting in contact with a friend of mine who I studied Botany with at UCT. She works with local farmers in the Western Cape to sustainably harvest fynbos and then steam distils the plant material to extract essential oils. I then suspended the essential oil in alcohol and used this to flavour the brew. It gave me the best expression of the flavour and aroma of the plant and also allowed me to really dial in the perfect amount of flavour.
How much did you brew? 2400L
Where is it available? We launched it on Thursday 14 June in Gauteng and the Western Cape. Much of it has already sold but a few stores still do have some stock.
- Woodstock Liquors
- Liquor City Claremont
- Tops Helshoogte
- Paarl Vineyard Superspar and Tops
- Roeland Liquors
- The Biggest Little Beer Shop
- Observatory Liquors
- Jonkers Spar
- Devil’s Peak Taproom (Salt River)
- Devil’s Peak De Oude
- Chalk & Cork
- Beerhouse (Long St.)
- Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen
- Bar Keeper (Strand Street)
- Shorties Blue Bottle Liquors
- Loco Liq Crowthorne
- Loco Liq Blairgowrie
- Riverside Liquors
- Wine and Liquor at Craighall
- The Parliament
- BeerhouseDry Dock
- Midstream Superspar & TOPS
- Tops Moreleta
- Radiokop Spar & Tops
- The Green. Craft Bar Modderfontein
- The Green. Craft Bar Benoni
- The Green. Craft Bar Glenvista
- Craft Beer Library
- Liquor City Groenkloof
- Capital Craft
- Capital Craft Centurion
- Liquor City Castle Walk
Can we expect more like this from Little Wolf? For sure! Ideally, we’d like to launch 4 beers in this series a year and we are working on the next version 🙂 Keep an eye on social media (@Littlewolfbeer on Instagram and Twitter and @LittlewolfSA on Facebook) for news!
So, that’s it for Little Wolf. Keep an eye on our social accounts over the next week for their products on the store. And, if there is a beer you’ve recently tried that you think needs some additional exposure please let us know in the comments below.