CUT again tops beer brewing competition

The CUTbrU team won in the best African Wild Ale category at the Brewing and Tasting Intervarsity. Back: Dr Olga de Smidt, Lehlohonolo Qhanya and Janwillem Scheepers. Front: Magauta Hlatywayo and Puleng Zacharia.

“Winning in the best African Wild Ale category has proven to the team that we are still a force to be reckoned with.” These were the words of Puleng Zacharia after she was part of the Central University of Technology (CUT) team competing at this year’s Brewing and Tasting Intervarsity that was hosted at Bloemfontein campus in the Free State.

The competition was co-hosted by South African Breweries (SAB) and the CUT through the Centre for Applied Food Security and Biotechnology (CAFSaB), in association with the University of the Free State (UFS). According to the statement issued by CUT, the aim of the competition was exciting students about brewing and beer culture, while the judging was done according to the Beer Judge Certificate Programme (BJCP) style guide. 12 Universities had taken part in the competition, which had about 50 categories.

Zacharia said her team went into the competition knowing that their beer was the best and people really had appreciation for the hard work they had put into making it.

Magauta Hlatywayo, who was part of the CUT winning team, said their team started early with preparations and getting used to their new system for brewing. “We sadly had to let go of the system that we had used last year, but we had more fun learning how the new system works. Last year the competition was online, so we could only log in and watch, though it was quite amazing to meet the people whose voices we’d hear over zoom in person. It was a good experience meeting people from different varsities and engaging with them on how they did their beers, what challenges they faced and how they overcame them while having the opportunity to share experiences and learn from one other.”

Other members of the CUTbrU included Dr Olga de Smidt, Lehlohonolo Qhanya and Janwillem Scheepers. Qhanya said being last year’s winners had set the bar for this year, as people were gunning for their team. Scheepers concluded by saying this year’s success was continuity from what they had achieved last year. “I’m excited about winning in this category because it’s a new category and I think it’s going to be a big category in the future, especially in southern Africa. I think we need a beer that’s truly South African and appeals to a broad audience as well.”

One of the speakers and judges at the competition was On Tap Magazine Editor, Lucy Corne, who mentioned that she was into a specific style of beer, something innovative that will put the country on the map internationally.


Kekeletso Mosebetsi