Sweet moment as wild fruits are turned into a beverage at distillery in Krugersdorp – with a promise to packaging the warm spirit of Africa
The Sunday Express
This week brand Masau launched in style west of Johannesburg – opening up its diverse collection of beverages with a country-style drive-through in the quiet of Muldersdrift – joined by sommeliers, connoisseurs, distillers, experts of wines, spirits, brewing – and fans to witness the launch of the brand.
It’s a good story to tell this week as news on the Digital Sunday Express is that a team of businesspeople – comprising an architect, an accountant, a project manager, and a former banking and finance specialist – have teamed up to produce various brands of liquor targeted initially for the (local) Southern African regional market – but meant for markets throughout the world – for anyone with a taste for bitter sweet.
The three leading entrepreneurs – Lameck D Garonga (CEO and Master Distiller), Bongiwe Mokhemisa (Sales and Marketing) and Blessed Magagada (CFO) told the Sunday Express that they had struck the sweet spot with Masau and they are on course to produce a genuine African whiskey by 2027.
Sales and marketing manager – former banker Mokhemisa said the company had successfully applied traditional recipes and hand-crafted techniques into modernist commercial brewing.
“The Masau spirits business idea made sense as it encompassed our very rich and similar traditions as Southern Africans. I am Zulu and traditional fermentation of umqombothi and distillation of alcohol plays – a big part in our traditional ceremonies.
“Here we have just modernised and packaged the spirit and warmth of the people of Southern Africa into a bottle to maintain our heritage and culture for generations to come.
Garonga said throughout his childhood he had virtually grown up with traditional brewing in the family – and what started as a hobby while watching and assisting his parents to brew traditional Zimbabwean beer – this had become a natural training ground for him in fermentation, management of yeast and knowing about concentrates, acid, chemicals and brewing.
Masau – ziziphus mauritiana – and without a common English name – grow wild in Zimbabwe – and valued for its sweet fruity taste – and has been a food source commodity for locals – now valued for its nutritional content and commercial potential as a wild harvest cash crop.
The masau itself looks like a date – and is found mainly in the Southern Africa and the proponents of the project chose the name Masau to keep the original name of the fruit as it is known in Zimbabwe and the region to become the brand name.
Garonga and Magagada – both connoisseurs – said they had undertaken eye-opening trips to Scotland whisky festivals – learning a lot about how brewing traditions had been preserved for generations in that part of the world – into global brands – and it was time to take such pride in African brands and traditions as well.
While the pair were exercising their natural talents in the distillery business – they had equally concluded as a company – that they had to do something about preservation of African brands and traditions with a modern approach – using new technology to connect those looking for a different taste – whether it be foreign tourists visiting the continent seeking a taste of what the locals are drinking – but also the African diaspora craving a change from the usual commercial brands
On location – Masau Craft Distillery (MCD) is a medium size batch craft distillery that uses new techniques to distill new flavours – unique to Southern Africa and marketed online and distributed to local, regional and international consumers.
“Our Spirits will not be available in retail shops anytime soon. e strongly believe in social distancing and saving lives and we encourage responsible drinking of our alcoholic beverages whilst we isolate, with friends and family,” Garonga said – adding that anyone could now order Online – and they deliver.
MCD’s product range includes Masau Vodka, Masau Golden Gin, Masau Golden Liqueur, Masau Wooded Spirit Aperitif and Masau Tonic Water.
MCD is fully owned by family and very close associates, with the founding director being the Master Distiller and chief executive of the company.
The distillery is run by the Pofera family who settled in Zimbabwe from Mozambique where they fermented and distilled masau to make alcoholic spirits used for family functions and traditional ceremonies.
Upon moving to Zimbabwe and working in the Mines and Farms the family continued to distill this spirit for the enjoyment of close family and friends.
This family legacy of handcrafting and distillation by the Pofera Family is now in the third generation who has now turned this family pastime into a craft distillery in South Africa.
The fourth generation is being trained from grassroots levels of farming masau fruit trees which will begin to bear fruit in five years’ time when Masau aims to launch their first Whisky to the World in 2027.
The Masau Wooded Brandy was awarded two prestigious bronze medals in the brandy category and the New Brand Launch and the Design & Packaging Awards – at the UK International Spirits Challenge 2020.
The accolade followed a rigorous judging process that saw more than 50 category experts gather for an intense blind tasting session.
Masau Wooded Brandy excelled throughout this comprehensive judging process and garnered praise from some of the most deeply respected spirits experts in the world.
Every winter in the African Southern Hemisphere, the masau tree naturally and faithfully bears much fruit for our enjoyment.
Carefully chosen and hand-picked the cyclical process that brings masau to the world begins. At MCD we provide you a unique range of Handcrafted African Spirits of premium quality.
“The Pofera Family oversees the careful hand selection of masau fruit to begin the process of a Handcrafted Masau Spirit. Every year, every season and every winter is unique and different so shall be the uniqueness of our Spirits,” Lameck Garonga said.
Masau Product Range
1. Masau Vodka – 43% abv ( R295 )
2. Masau Golden GIN – 43%abv ( R445 )
3. Masau Golden Liqueur – 27.5% abv ( R325 )
4. Masau Wooded Spirit Aperitif – 40% abv ( R395 )
5. Seven Degrees Water – 500ml STILL WATER- ( R10.00 )
6. Seven Degrees Water Still 330ml – ( R5.00 )
7. Masau Tonic 330ml – ( R13.00 )
For more details you can visit their Website : www.somethingafrican.com or you can follow them on Social Media platforms, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube on their handle @masauspirits.
Promotion: Buy All 4 for a Launch Price of R1 160
Facebook: Zimbabwe Digital News
Zimbabwe Digital News