PRESS RELEASE / November 27, 2023 (Beverly, MA) – There is a strong cultural link to sorghum that still remains in South Africa. Sorghum is seen as a culturally significant food, part of the South Africans indigenous foods and is part of the South Africans cultural heritage. If you have been to the villages in South Africa you can remember seeing men and women on a tractor’s trailer in the morning huddled up together, some even wearing winter scarves to their faces in an attempt to avoid the cold wind going in their face. The tractor is taking them to the farm to harvest sorghum. Another person can remember a beer traditionally made from maize and sorghum by the women, specifically grandmothers for special occasions, such as contacting the ancestors, weddings, funerals, celebrating the boys coming home from initiation and also traditional meetings.
Sorghum is used for cultural practices and it gives South Africans a sense of identity. When Paul Gentile the co- founder of Gentile Brewing Company discussed a collaboration brew beer with the founder of Beer is Art Obakeng Malope who lives South Africa on a zoom meeting , the first words that come out of Obakeng’s mouth was “ a sorghum pilsner” , for Paul who is of Italian descent he wanted an Italian pilsner. It was an interesting dynamic as their upbringing influenced their decision on the style of beer they preferred. Paul wrote a recipe for an Italian pilsner and Obakeng put her elements of sorghum and African queen hops to the recipe.
It is a mutual respect of each other’s cultures that led to the two parties amalgamating the ingredients. Paul Gentile the co-founder of Gentile brewery is one of the funniest, charismatic yet intelligent people to ever walk this earth. His ability to innovate is incredible. He founded Gentile brewing with his wife.
Gentile Brewing Company is a family-owned and operated nano craft brewery located in Beverly, Massachusetts USA. As Beverly’s first craft beer taproom they are community-focused, family and dog-friendly, and strive for inclusivity in all that they do. Their beers can simply be enjoyed and not fussed over. Their beers pay homage to those who worked and lived in the Beverly community all of those years ago.
Obakeng remembers having a sorghum soft porridge for breakfast as a child and thick sorghum porridge for dinner at her village in Jericho in North West Province. Some people would cook the milled sorghum just as it is using boiled water and some would ferment it first. Obakeng prefers the one that is fermented. Fermenting it means, putting the milled sorghum in a small container, you can put warm water or cold water depending on how quick you want it to ferment, and put it in the sun. After time the mixture will start to smell and taste sour.
When the fermented sorghum is cooked, the breakfast soft porridge will have a sour taste in it and it is enjoyed by adding sugar to it. The dinner thick sorghum porridge is enjoyed with a side of meat or vegetables it can be original or fermented as well. Obakeng’s five year old niece was born in a time where people do not want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking. For breakfast she enjoys the precooked ready to eat sorghum powder that can be mixed with milk or water to make soft porridge. People who live life on the go prefer the sorghum power drink, which is putting a lot of water or milk in the powdered sorghum and making it drinkable. All you have to do after making it drinkable is to put it in your gym bottle and you can enjoy your power drink on the go.
Some people buy the sorghum power drink that is found at the yogurt section in the grocery store, it is basically the same drink that you make it yourself but it is packaged. For people who live healthy lifestyles, they go to health food stores and get sorghum bread, sorghum biscuits and sorghum roti or sorghum rice cakes.
This shows that sorghum is part of the South Africans lives, by Obakeng coming up with the sorghum pilsner beer concept it was to show that sorghum must evolve to craft beer so that it can still capture the hearts of this generation’s drinking age. Paul explains that he picks up the notes of berry, melon, citrus and lemon grass in the beer when he tastes the brewed South African Pilsner.
Obakeng founded Beer is Art to teach the unemployed youth in South Africa over the age of 21 beer brewing , food pairing, beer brewing, beer podcast and licensing. This collaboration brew is for Beer is Art
The beer is available at Gentile Brewery Massachusetts USA .
Gentile Brewing Company is a family-owned and operated nano craft brewery located in Beverly, Massachusetts. As Beverly’s first craft beer taproom we are community-focused, family and dog-friendly, and strive for inclusivity in all that we do. Our beers can simply be enjoyed and not fussed over.