Meet Johan van Schalkwyk, the experienced and dedicated Brewery Manager at Darling Brew. With a background in BSc Chemical Biology from the University of Stellenbosch, Johan's journey into the world of brewing began during his time as a Senior Laboratory Technician at SAB Newlands Brewery.
"This is when my interest in beer started growing. I moved to Newlands Spring Brewing Co in 2016 as a Brewing Operator and soon after this I started studying for my Diploma in Brewing through the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. In 2019 I joined Darling Brew as Senior Brewer," shares Johan
In 2019, Johan joined Darling Brew as Senior Brewer, bringing his expertise and enthusiasm to the team. Having been with Darling Brew for over three and a half years now, Johan's dedication is evident in the many awards the brewery has won during his time there. His commitment and hard work, along with the passion of the entire team, have contributed to the success and recognition of Darling Brew.
However, Johan's impact on the Darling Brew team goes beyond his brewing skills. His willingness to educate and share his knowledge is greatly appreciated by his colleagues.
"Johan is always willing to educate and patiently shares his knowledge. We have the privilege on most Fridays to attend Johan’s beer tasting session to discern and identify beer profiles. These sessions, flavoured by Johan’s witty explanations and comments, wrap up the hard work of the week in the best of ways," says Charlotte Steyn, DB Franchise Manager.
When asked why he applied to work at Darling Brew, Johan highlights two key factors - the quality of the beers and the relaxed lifestyle in the countryside.
"Having grown up in the Swartland region, joining Darling Brew felt like a return to my roots. I saw the position of Senior Brewer as an opportunity to learn from a larger craft brewery and grow with them," Johan enthuses.
Now happily living in the Darling area with his family, Johan enjoys the slower pace of life and the natural beauty that surrounds him. He fondly recalls his first visit to Darling Brew in early 2019, never expecting that six months later, he would become a part of the brewery he admired.
Johan's positive influence extends to the management team as well. Interacting with him daily, Harry Dare, the National Sales & Marketing Manager, appreciates Johan's collaborative approach and his unique perspective on products, production, and packaging.
“I moved down to the Cape at the same time that Johan took on his new role, and he has always been willing to discuss and look at new ideas from his point of view. I also find it great to learn more about our beers from his singular brewer's perspective when it comes to taste and aroma,” says Harry Dare, National Sales & Marketing Manager.
As a member of the Darling Brew team, Johan eagerly looks forward to the various events on the brewery's calendar. Winterfest 2023 and Summerfest 2023, in particular, stand out for him. The vibrant atmosphere, filled with great music and customers enjoying their products, is an experience Johan thoroughly enjoys.
When asked about his favorite DB brew, Johan finds it difficult to choose just one, given the wide range of excellent beers on offer. However, he particularly enjoys Slow Beer and 4x4 BraaiPA, but if he had to pick a favorite, it would be Warlord.
Outside of his work at Darling Brew, Johan has a variety of hobbies that keep him engaged and entertained.
"I love playing sports with my kids, indulging in a good braai , and of course, exploring the world of beer through tasting and home brewing. I also enjoy playing the guitar, tending my veggie garden, and watching sports on TV," the easy-going brewer concludes.
With Johan's experience, passion, and down-to-earth nature, Darling Brew is fortunate to have him as an integral part of their team. He brings a wealth of knowledge and a commitment to excellence that continues to contribute to the success and growth of the brewery. Cheers to that!