Drink Beer and Save the World: Mad Giant

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Mad Giant Craft Beer
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Beer makes the world go round: Mad Giant craft beer is proudly South African.

Who’d have thunk beer could save the world? Well, I do have some friends who already think beer makes the world a better place, but doing good for the environment is probably not uppermost on their minds when they crack open a cold one.

Enter Mad Giant, a range of South African craft beers that is both awesome on the palate and kind to the planet! Their Killer Hop Pale Ale was voted Overall Best Beer at the 2018/2019 African Beer Awards. But that’s not all, folks – this award-winning Jozi-based brewery is now set to tackle what is arguably the world’s biggest scourge: single-use plastic.

It’s a battle of epic proportions, but then again, that’s what Mad Giant walks, talks and breathes. “Mad Giant is about the ordinary person who’s crazy enough to pursue a massive dream,” says brewmaster and founder Eben Uys. (Gotta love this guy, hey?)

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Mad Giant Killer Hop craft beer
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Local pride: Mad Giant craft beer also available on tap.

The brewery was fired up just three years ago with a simple aim: to brew beer for happiness. They soon realised the only way to smack a smile on, as Mad Giant’s tagline howls, is when you know your impact on the planet and people. “Plastic has become a massive pollutant of our rivers and seas,” says Eben, husband and father who has a doctorate in Chemical Engineering. “We don’t have any other option but to start a dedicated journey of eradicating plastic.

“It’s our responsibility to be custodians of the environment; I want to create a legacy worth something to the next generations.” *praise hands*

In changing over to cardboard packaging, Mad Giant faced some serious challenges. Moving from shrink wrap to cardboard increased costs ten-fold. “Paper labels are almost double the cost and they don’t last as well in an ice bucket. But we cannot imagine the future cost of trying to clean the ocean and breeding sea life from scratch.”

To some, it’s a bridge too far. Not to the Mad Giant, whose 1 Fox Street location is the very spot from which the City of Gold arose. In those days, the CBD district of Ferreirasdorp may have seemed an improbable birthplace of anything refined – grimy and overcrowded with dusty miners seeking their fortunes on the reef. Now, it’s the thundering heartbeat of an African powerhouse. The neighbourhood has been revitalised, with vibey nearby Newtown Precinct that’s home to the Market Theatre, Turbine Hall & Boiler House, Ginologist Distillery, Inner-City Rooftop farming projects, and the iconic Mandela Bridge.

In this maelstrom of cultures, Mad Giant set up shop – a serious and dedicated craft operation. The interior of its adjoining restaurant, Urbanologi, was undertaken by décor whizz Haldane Martin and clocked Best Restaurant Design in Africa and the Middle East at the 2017 London-based Restaurant and Bar Design Awards.

But beer is what brings pilgrims and the uninitiated alike!

“Science,” declares Dr Eben, “has shown that the secret to happiness is to be more social. Our beers therefore encourage a happier life by bringing people together!” *preach!*

Mad Giant’s Killer Hop – the beer with explosively tasty flavour, made with four types of aromatic hops and a touch of malt – won a gold medal last year at the SANBT (SA National Beer Trophy) awards.

The rest of the gang

Something new is always brewing at Mad Giant, be it a whisky barrel-aged porter or a lemon and lime zest-infused pilsner. There are, however, a core range of five beers available throughout the year. In addition to the award-winning Killer Hop, the top guns are:

  • Urban Legend IPA is bold and fruity. This 6% ABV baby bursts with tastes of guava, papaya and mango “for those who like it loud and loaded”.
  • Mad Giant Lager not only tastes like real lager should, but according to the brewers “goes down like a homesick mole that’s found his hole”. Think biscuit, honey and toffee, finished off with floral hop aromas.
  • The Guzzler Pilsner tells it like it is: drink one; smash another. Between lip and nose, there might even be a moment to smell the freshly cut lawn spritzed with lemon, followed by the yin-yang of crisp bitterness and sweet pilsner malt.
  • Electric Light is a Weiss and guaranteed to lock you in love. Taste freshly baked homemade bread with a bouquet of floral, clove, banana and fruity aromas. What’s not to dig?

Come and get some

Mad Giant beer is available at various on and off consumption locations. An updated list of the beer closest to you is available on its website.

Expect to pay R24-R25 for a single Killer Hop and R85-R90 for a 4-pack.

For more information, visit www.madgiant.co.za, send email to info@madgiant.co.za or call 011 492 0901. Share your Mad Giant moments on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tag @madgiantbeer #smackasmileon.

Press release by RandomHatPR

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Mad Giant craft beer


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Celebrating life with food, wine, friends & happiness! Writer, cook and blogger. Author of four cookbooks. Passionately South African, proudly Capetonian.