The Newlands Brewery – A Blessing in Disguise …

Cape Town: At a time when there is a Level 6 water crisis in the city of Cape Town, the Newlands Brewery comes as a blessing in disguise for the drought hit Capetonians. Not because breweries make beer and the joke that goes around is that save water and drink beer, but because the Newlands Brewery has ensured that the people in the city get as much as 25 litres of fresh spring water free of cost at the venue.

The people in Cape Town woke up to the Level 6 Water restrictions on January 1 this year and this means that every person can at maximum use 87 litres of water per day. Borehole water cannot be used for outdoor use as then groundwater resource can be preserved. Households which use more than 10,500 litres of water a month will have water management devices fit. Such has been the scenario that hotels have asked guests not to take shower for more than 2 minutes and asked guests from keeping the tap open when they are brushing or shaving.

This is where the brewery comes in the form of the genie in the magic lamp because it has used channels to ensure that fresh spring water from the Table Mountain is not only used by the brewery in its process of making beer, but also reaches the people living in the area. A cemented set-up has been made by the brewery and taps have been fitted so that people can come in a queue and fill their jars turn by turn. In fact, a parking space has also been accommodated to ensure that people don’t block the main road.

Speaking to CricketNext, Buntu Bambani, one of those in charge of security at the brewery informed that the place is open every day from 11am in the morning till 5pm in the evening and that the same spring water which costs 15 Rands for half a litre in the market, can be got for free.

“You are more than welcome to come any day between 11am and 5 pm and stand in the line. There is place to park your car as well so that travellers aren’t troubled. There is a line and you have to maintain that. Once you reach the tap, you can fill 25 litres of water and then you have to make way for the next person. It is not the limit and you can stand in the queue again and fill more water. But at one time, only 25 litres per person,” he explained.

Jannie and Hannes, a father-son duo who regularly visit the brewery feel they are blessed to have this source of water. “Water is getting more and more expensive in Cape Town by the day. In fact, the tax that we have to pay for running water in our taps is also on the rise as a result of the scarcity of water. But the brewery has been really helpful. Earlier, one had to go up the mountains till a distance before you had small taps fitted. The areas were slippery and dirty. You wouldn’t feel like consuming the water after filling the jars from such a place.

“But this one is clean and regular maintenance work is also carried out. I think it can’t get better than this for us. I don’t mind wasting some money on petrol to get to drink such pure spring water,” Hannes said, even though his father was slightly critical of wasting petrol.

Dating back to 1820, the Newlands Brewery is the oldest operating brewery in South Africa and quality local beer is made at the place. In fact, guided tours are also operational at this local attraction. Surprisingly, even as most people would think that the beer makes the place famous, the free supply of spring water is equally in demand, if not more under current circumstances.