As a melting pot of cultures, South Africa is an exciting place to live — especially when it comes to the food and drink industry! Belgian-born, brewed in South Africa, with an American co-owner, Leopold7 is a beer that brings together the magic of 3 continents. Alexandre Tilmans (Belgium) and Marquis Brown (USA) shared a passion for brewing and enjoying great beer, and decided to start the brand in 2013 after a chance meeting in Rwanda. Now many years later, it’s a brand on the lips of many beer lovers.
Made using respected Belgian brewing techniques, Leopold7 goes one step further by introducing high standards of environmental responsibility and sustainability to their production. This includes reducing wastewater in the brewery, reusing yeast, and having bottle labels printed directly onto the bottle without using glues or inks that contain heavy metals.
The beer itself is also produced using organically farmed ingredients and is completely free of additives and chemicals. Once bottled, Leopold7 has an enviable 2-year shelf-life, although it’s so tasty, it most definitely won’t take you that long to drink it!
The extended fermentation and maturation process of nearly three months results in a robust amber-coloured ale with citrusy, floral notes and excellent balance, giving easy drinkability with a notable malt and hop flavour profile. The tasting experience begins with a slightly bitter, floral and fruity taste from the hops, followed by a smooth, round transition to a sweeter taste from the malts. The bitterness from the hops and the sweetness of the malts are both enriched and enhanced by the secret spice. It’s a great beer for anyone who loves Belgian-style brews and its easy-drinking style makes it ideal for newbie beer drinkers looking to dip a toe into the world of craft beer.
When it comes to the brewing story, Leopold7 takes a unique approach. While the beer is brewed in the Belgian style, the ecological objectives that the brewery had set itself meant that it wasn’t logical to brew solely in Belgium. Exporting farther than 350 km would have exploded the brand’s carbon footprint and destroyed the hopes for their sustainable project. Thus, was born the idea of the “Belgian born, locally brewed”; brewing and distributing Leopold 7 on the spot, in different cities around the world. Tanguy and Nicolas first started in Taiwan, then in Montenegro, then in Montenegro. Finally, in 2017, the Cape Town adventure could begin.
But, setting up a new brewery in South Africa is expensive and it became clear to the team that the most effective option was to brew in an existing local brewery and so, in 2017 Leopold7 started a fruitful relationship with CBC to brew the beer on their behalf. Not only did this “gypsy brewing” partnership enable them to bring their brewing vision to life but CBC’s business and ecological practices also aligned with that of Leopold7’s objectives.
Not only is the beer 100% natural (including the C02 in the beer; which is allowed to build up naturally during the fermentation process) but, the idea of sustainability is taken one step further during the brewing process with processes in place to reduce water-waste in the brewery, reuse yeast, and the use of eco-friendly techniques for the bottle labels. The result is a beer that is not only tasty, but also good for you and the environment. What more could you ask for?
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After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.