I don't care too much for this or that claim of authenticity as most claims are sadly misplaced one way or another. But Stan and Daria have been on a global hunt to investigate one sort of claim to "authentic" that is relatively measurable: how local is it? Thinking of that, these new South African brewers - if we call contract brewers, you know, "brewers" - must be the anti-Stan.
[Q:] The beers are made in Belgium. Could they not have been brewed in SA to save some carbon miles?
[A:] Importing the necessary raw materials to locally brew the same quality of beer would rack up many more carbon credits than importing the finished product. We do have some great small breweries in SA that are fighting to have themselves heard above the roar of the beer giants. However, none could meet our demands for the quality, consistency and heritage like the centuries-old, family-owned breweries we work with could.
Setting aside the idea that importing the water and glass does not create a bigger carbon footprint, you have to recall that I have a hard enough time when a Belgian Brewery has its beers made in the Netherlands so you will appreciate how contract brewing at the distance of almost 5,900 miles as the crow flies is a bit much for me. Would it not be better to make what is locally produced than to be another mimic of another culture's beer and have it brewed by that other culture with the raw materials available over there? Would it not be better to discover what craft beer could be when sourced from the South African ecosystem?