Following a successful trial-run two months ago, Okavango Craft Brewery (OCB) has started taking orders to serving their special liquor to the Maun community.
Speaking to Voice Money this week, the company’s director, Graham McCulloch, said although they have not opened their bar to the general public, they have been utilizing their garden to serve the beer.
“We have been serving our craft beer in the beer garden at pre-booked tastings, special events and regulated open evenings, which has been going really well!” he confirmed.
McCulloch revealed they received great feedback from the initial trial-run of their craft sales using their returnable bottles, experiencing an overwhelming number of orders.
“But in order to meet this demand, we have decided to get a canning machine and distribute our products in cans later this year,” he stressed.
The brewery has started purchasing the drink’s main raw product, millet, from farmers in the North West, a gesture that has been commended by the district’s council as it is expected to empower local farmers.
McCulloch further noted they gave preference to local farmers who are ‘elephant aware’.
“We import some of the ingredients like some of the malts, the hops and yeast, but all the processing happens on site in Maun. We buy and transport our millet grain from ‘elephant aware’ farmers around the Okavango Delta panhandle,” he said, explaining this OCB is founded on alleviating human/wildlife conflict by rewarding farmers for practising more sustainable agricultural practices, inside protected field areas and away from elephant corridors.
“In return we offer farmers an attractive price for their surplus harvest, bringing them sustainable, market-linked benefit.”
Located at Old Sports Bar near Sedie Bridge, OCB beer garden is expected to fully open to the public soon.
Currently, the owners are in the process of renovating the bar and restaurant.
“This will be our brewpub, where people can enjoy our quality craft beer and should be completed next month. We are still operating under strict COVID regulations for serving alcohol, so we will be continuing to accommodate our customers on a booking basis only, in order to control numbers.”
At the moment OCB are fully focused on establishing themselves in the tourist town. However, like all good businesses, expansion is not far from their minds.
“Our immediate focus now, as a new business, is to establish our brand in the market place and serve our community of Maun and surrounds with quality craft beer, before we scale up production, distribute to the rest of the country and export down the line,” concluded McCulloch.