We’ve been on the post Cape Town Festival of Beer path recently. Afraid this week is no different. This weeks beer sneaks up on us each year and we generally only catch it once it’s already out in the wild. It is an absolute beast of a beer and we’re going to be upfront in not recommending this beer as a good down-down beer. It’s the 400 Brewing Harambe Vol. 4 and it’s a very special beer.
We’re somewhat guilty about not getting this beer up last year (or the year before that)(or the year before that one…). It’s a great beer. Not just in the liquid but in the message and innovation behind it. We need (and love) interesting beers and this is one of those. We got Founder and Brewer Carl Nienaber to tell us a bit about it.
- Tell us about 400 Brewing. How did it start? 400 Brewing was a little 400L brewhouse that myself and some friends built from scratch and operated from a premises in Jeppestown, Joburg, in 2015. In early 2016, my then wife and I moved to Cape Town and the brewery itself was shelved. The brand continued on with us contract brewing at Draymans in Pretoria and Drifter in Cape Town. At that time we were only producing a kolsch-style beer called Frost Hammer.
- And the brew, how did you decide on the style? After moving to Cape Town, I took on a different full time job and didn’t have time to effectively push sales of Frost Hammer. This resulted in slower sales and our beer expiring before we could move it. I decided to brew a bigger beer that would last longer, and a black imperial IPA seemed interesting.
- And the gorilla. There’s got to be a good story there? This was right around the time that the Harambe meme was popular and so we decided to incorporate it into a beer. We were lucky that somebody saw a bottle at Woodstock Brewery and posted it to 9-Gag where it blew up. The post is still there.
- How frequently do you brew this? And where does it get brewed? Version 4 was brewed – like all Harambes – at Drifter Brewing Co. The idea is that each year the gorilla grows bigger, so we increase the ABV and bitterness a little with every iteration.
- Can we expect a new one next year? Absolutely, bigger and more Harambe than ever.
We love the 400 Brewing Harambe Vol. 4; the thought that’s gone into it, the effort made in brewing it each year and the following its developed. It’s a great beer and we’ll put it out there now, it’s a great beer to gift this Festive Season. We’re still pulling ourselves towards ourselves after going through a Harambe down-down at the Festival of Beer so we will leave it there. Get your hands on the 400 Brewing Harambe Vol. 4 while you still can.