“We live in a hot climate. It’s a beer made for African summers,” says Tshabangu.
In 2019 Tshabangu took on a new partner in SA actor, producer, and filmmaker, Thapelo Mokoena. The pair opened the Ukhamba Beerworx Taproom in Claremont, Cape Town, pairing Ukhamba brews with generous platters of lip-smacking shisanyama.
“We wanted to have a home for the brand,” explains Tshabangu. “Our own space where we can move volumes of beer, and create a culture associated with Ukhamba.”
As with so many restaurants in the country, the Covid-19 lockdown has hit the taproom hard.
“We’re standing on one leg, trying to keep it surviving, but each day that lockdown lasts is killing us,” says Tshabangu with a sigh. “And in the future we don’t know, with the new culture of social distancing. How long will it take until people are comfortable in crowded public spaces?”
He’s not one to take a setback lying down though. Ukhamba will soon launch an online store, creating a direct route to market, and Tshabangu is looking ahead to a brave new world of brews.
He hopes to revisit the “Black Honey Vol 1”, an imperial stout created as a collaboration with brewer JC Steyn from Devil’s Peak Brewing Company, as well as the unusual “Red Brick Shit House”, a 10% alcohol-by-volume barley wine made in collaboration with Hop Hazard Brewing.