Common Ground: Riot Factory

Tuesday, 16 September, 2014

So David, from cafe to brewery? Tell us about how Riot Factory started.
I fell in love with beer long before coffee actually whilst living in the UK. Couldn't believe how much flavour and variety existed beyond the lagers back home at the time. The short of it, my journey into coffee made me aware of the craft scene in Portland. Wayne O was pretty keen too at the time, and we did some home brews together, and I was hooked. When my best mate Marc Fourie returned from brewing in the UK, we pulled it together. The rest is the future.

Do you think that your experience in coffee prepared your taste buds well to brew amazing beer?
For sure. I've learned so much cupping coffees, dissecting flavours, mouth fell and being able to identify flavours through bitterness and dissecting bitterness itself. So my palate is definitely contributing to the process. Beer vs coffee are similar principles and appreciations, but very different disciplines.

Will there be a Riot Factory Bar? Or where can the public get to taste the goods right now?

The Riot Brew Bar will be opening 1 October. 145 Upper Main rd Woodstock.

What do you think makes Riot Factory unique?
Our attitude. Bold and uncompromising.

Where do you source your ingredients from?
Marc has built some great relationships with kick ass hops suppliers in the UK, so we only get the best in. It makes a massive difference. We've actually been sharing the love and distributing hops to micro breweries across the country, including the likes of Standeaven here in KZN and Devils Peak in CT. Our Malts we get imported through our good mates at Beer Guevara done the road in Woodstock.

What does this mean for coffee in your life?
Top n tail my days, top n tail. haha I'm still running Moreflavour promoting brewing tools like AeroPress®, and still passionate about the coffee community. Just taking a break from cafes though.

Do you think that, as we've seen with the coffee industry, this influx of local breweries will be sustainable?
For some yes, for others no. The markets are very comparable actually. And as we've seen in coffee too, the good stuff doesn't always do the best financially either. Depends how you define success, and sustainability I guess. The space is definitely getting very crowded. But hopefully they all want great quality hops from Riot! ;)

And how is prep going for Barista Nationals, do you think the beer brewing process has influenced the way you see coffee and may give you the edge to get to Seattle perhaps?
I'm under a bit of a disadvantage not getting behind the machine as much as when I had the cafe. They quite similar principles, but totally different disciplines.But I'm desperate to go to Seattle, and I'm gonna give it horns till November. Its the Riot way!

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