New craft beer honours township heritage

DURBAN - A new craft beer, Soweto Gold, is making its debut at Soweto&39;s beer festival.

And South Africa&39;s latest brew comes with a distinctive township flavour.

The man behind it says it is named after a place he holds dear.

"I&39;m educated today and I owe part of that to the students of Soweto in 1976, who sacrificed part of their lives. So when I looked around for a place where I could actually showcase my brewing skills, Soweto was a perfect venue for me," said chemical engineer and beer entrepreneur Ndumiso Madlala.

Soweto Gold is a slightly sweet lager which has been over two years in the making.

The beer is being produced in KwaZulu-Natal for now until a new brewery near Vilakazi Street in Soweto is completed.

It is there that Madlala hopes to churn out almost three million litres a year.

And another local brewer says the timing is perfect. 

"Five years ago, there were three of four, maybe five micro craft breweries around. There&39;s about 30 now, and particularly in the Cape. It&39;s really taken off like you can&39;t believe,” said Peter Dean of Nottingham Road Brewing Company.

What makes Soweto Gold so special?

"We are going to be the first people to have a microbrewery in a township, and obviously the name Soweto resonates around the world," Madlala said.

Madlala has plans to expand the brew, and it is likely locals in townships across the country will soon be enjoying a glass or two.