Old Harbour Beer

Old Harbour Beer is brewed in Hermanus using Overberg barley and Southern hops, and is said to be an expression of Hermanus's heritage.

We caught up with owner, James Rattle for a cold one in his brewery.

How did this project take-off? 
I decided a couple of years ago that I wanted to open Hermanus’s first brewery. I’ve had an interest in beer fora decade or so as a home brewer. Luck would have it I met Richard Hammond [who was the brewer at Napier Brewery]  and we got on really well. When I returned from The World Brewing Academy in Chicago last March I approached Richard to come and brew for Old Harbour Beer, he was totally delighted at the opportunity!

At the moment you're just making a lager, can you explain the reason for this as well as if you intend to be making any other styles too?
We wanted to produce an easy drinking lager. A"session beer" if you like. Lots of drinkability, well-filtered, lightly carbonated. We want our customers to finish one and order another! 

What's in a name?
‘Old Harbour’ is so Hermanus. If our brewery had been in the New Harbour; New Harbour Beer also has a rather nice ring to it

Do you have any advice for people wanting to start their own craft brewery or indeed become a brewer?
If you are deciding on opening a brewery, work out your sums very carefully; and then double it!

Can people come and visit the brewery? If so when? 
The brewery is open ecevry on Friday afternoon for tastings and a braai!

And lastly, share with your favourite beer quote?
Beer is not the answer…
Beer is the question…
YES is the answer…

 11 Mimosa Street Hermanus, Western Cape. Call: 028 312 1788

Tip: Our recent article, Liquid Bread  on pairing beer with food - including some delicious recipes.