Durban Brewing Company launches new taps in Britannia Room
In the words of Scott Hunter “Following a Passion Building a Dream”
Our adventure began about 4 years ago after some time home brewing and experimenting with various beer styles, we made the decision to start a commercial brewery. We registered the Durban Brewing Co. in 2014 and started the process of acquiring a suitable premises and rounding out various stainless steel tanks to build ourselves a brewery. After about a year or so we had finally found the location we felt would be suitable and signed up a lease agreement. This was only the beginning of the many hoops we would have to jump through. It took us a year to acquire all our documentation and licensing to start following our passion. During this time we had acquired all the equipment we needed and put the first stage of our 500L brewing system together. Getting a brewery off the ground is not for the faint hearted I can assure you.
In Jan 2017 after a year of paying rent while waiting for all our licenses to be approved, we released our first two commercial beers our “Hot Blonde” which is a lusty light ale with hints of honey, finished with a crisp hop bitterness, as well as our “Amber Jack” which is a mild amber ale with subtle caramel notes, finished with a fragrant hop blast. The Durban Brewing Co was now in operation and the beers were selling well, so well in fact that we realised we were going to run out of beer fairly soon. We decided we had to brew another batch of Amber Jack ASAP on a Wednesday evening in Feb 2017 to ensure we could keep up with the demand for our beer. I myself Scott Hunter, brewer and owner of DBC was still working full time and running the brewery on weekends and evenings after work whilst my wife Tarryn Hunter had resigned to focus on the beers sales. After the five hour brew session that Wednesday evening which started at 7pm and was now reaching midnight it came time to cool the beer to transfer it to the fermenter which we do with normal tap water that is reclaimed for the next batch. With everything connected up and ready to go I turned on the tap only to find out that our water had been cut off. Even the fire hydrant water was cut off. As it turns out the municipality cuts off the water to the area in the evenings due to the many leaks on their system infrastructure. Needless to say I sat on the brewery floor at 1am devastated knowing this batch would have to be dumped and wondering why in the world we were doing this on our very humble budget.
We managed to bounce back after the rocky start with many similar issues testing our resolve but we never compromised on quality or supply. We had started this business with our kids growing up sleeping on the mezzanine floor of the brewery while my wife Tarryn and I would work many evenings burning the midnight oil to get the business up and running. These were tough but fun times. This continued for about a year until I finally plucked up the courage to dive in full time and call myself a real craft brewer (or glorified janitor, sometimes I can’t tell the difference).
Our brand has gone from strength to strength over the last year and a half and has recently been boosted by the release of our third beer the “North Easter” which is a smooth hazy New England IPA, with a cocktail of tropical hop flavours, the ideal “Breakfast Beer” for those hot summer days and is taking the local market by storm. Currently our beers are only available in KZN as we made the decision to get our brand firmly established here first, but will hopefully start making an appearance in other provinces in the near future. Our beers are available in many restaurants on tap and some stores in KZN in our unique 660ml bottles (it’s a Durban Thing).
At RNYC we are putting two taps in the beautiful Britannia Room where we will serve our brand new Pilsner 1858 (the year RNYC was established) and a different brew in the second tap. On Friday, 19 October – just in time for Trafalgar dinner – we will serve the 1858 and Amber Jack in Britannia room.
We are launching our new Pilsner at RNYC on Wednesday, 31 October and we will also offer a prize for a crew visit the brewery where we will introduce you to our full range of craft beers.