Jack Black Brewing Company is one of the most prominent craft beer brands around in South Africa today. Despite being available practically everywhere, including stalls at events like Park Acoustics, they’ll still be visiting Capital Craft Beer Festival 2016, where you can try them out for yourself (as if you haven’t yet). We spoke to them about the world of craft beer, Richard Linklater’s film School of Rock, and which beer goes best with Tidal Waves.
If someone is new to the world of craft beer, where would you recommend they start, and why?
As South Africans we are used to warm summer months and cold beer. What is the easiest beer to find to cool you down….Lager, and boy do we have a lot of Lager going around in SA. Lucky for us there are some great craft lagers being brewed. These lagers are additive free, meaning no maize, sugar or other fermentables added to make the beer. Making beer with traditional ingredients on a much smaller scale, results in a rich flavourful and full bodied beer. We suggest you try our Brewers Lager, it is our flagship brew and it is definitely the gateway in to the world of craft beer.
What sets Jack Black beers apart from the rest?
Jack Black has always been about getting craft beer out to the people. This means establishing distribution networks and getting beer on tap in pubs, bars, and restaurants so people have access to our beers. We also take every measure to ensure our beer is priced competitively so people are more willing to try and buy our beer. The last, and pretty much most important thing is consistency. Without a consistent quality product you can’t build a brand. We work very hard to ensure we tick all these boxes all the time.
Where does the name Jack Black come from, or who is this Jack Black?
John ‘Jack’ Black was a brewer in New York in the early 1900’s. He was known for his delicious all malt lager (our Brewers Lager is based on his recipe). Jack Black was pretty bad ass, when Prohibition hit the US, he moved across the Hudson river to Canada and set up a small brewery. With the help of some mafia men, he smuggled beer across the river to be sold at speakeasies during the prohibition era. You can read more on Wikipedia.
How important is festivals like Capital Craft to the world of microbreweries?
It is vital! Without big festivals like these that help promote craft beer and give new up and coming breweries a platform to showcase their beers to thousands of beer lovers, our industry will grow at a snail’s pace. We love festivals like Capital Craft, we look forward to seeing new and familiar faces at festivals. Being able to engage with our loyal fans and new ones is just amazing. It is only at craft beer festivals where the public actually get to engage with the people behind the beer. Big breweries have promo staff and marketing teams who promote their beer, craft breweries do it themselves.
Craft beer has recently seen an incredible boom in interest. Do you think there is still room for growth in the coming years?
South Africa is a beer drinking country, you don’t have to look far to see that one of our most successful industries is brewing beer! Within the massive beer market, craft beer only makes up about 1% of the beer sales. That 1% is split up among the hundreds of craft breweries around the country. So if you think that there is 99% of the market dominated by one or two big breweries, I would say that craft beer has a lot of room to grow for many years to come.
Jack Black seems to have a good relationship with music events like Park Acoustics and Capital Craft. Of the bands on the Capital Craft lineup this year, which would you say will be best paired with a Jack Black beer?
We love rock and roll. Beer and live music is the perfect combo! A number of our employees actually play in bands, including myself, so music and beer really do run through our veins. Personally I can’t wait to see The Sextons paired with a hard hitting Skeleton Coast IPA, Tidal Waves paired with our original Brewers Lager (original beer for original people), and aKing paired with smooth deep red Lumberjack Amber Ale.
If you’re ever at a bar or a party that doesn’t serve craft beer, what would you drink?
WWW. Water, wine or whiskey.
What’s your favourite Jack Black movie?
Has to be School of Rock. I mean we share a name and love for rock ‘n roll!!! How awesome it would be if Tenacious D could perform at our new brewery in Cape Town!