11 Feb 13

Johannesburg. 11 February 2013. The South African Breweries (SAB) World of Beer has crowned Grindrod Bank as SA’s Best Beer Taster Bank during its inaugural Bankers Beer Tasting Challenge, held over the weekend.

Grindrod was one of five major SA banks, including First National Bank, ABSA, Nedbank and Rand Merchant Bank, to participate in a gruelling but altogether fun blind tasting session held at the SAB World of Beer premises in Newtown, Johannesburg. A total of 45 bank employees participated in the challenge and were split into teams of three.

Lead by SAB Trade Brewer, Anton Erasmus, teams were required to taste a total of six different unlabelled beers and given one minute in which to identify each of them. Grindrod-led teams were placed first and third while Rand Merchant Bank was placed second.

Two weeks prior to the challenge as part of their preparation, bank participants were each provided with a practice beer tasting kit, facts sheets of nine SAB beer brands and the actual beers to sample.

Grindrod claimed the Brewers Cup, a floating trophy and will receive a case of beer per month for each of the winning team members over the next six months. The engraved trophy will be displayed at the SAB World of Beer, one of Johannesburg’s premium tourist destinations.

“This was a great idea and we enjoyed it so much. It is so interesting to learn more of the different brands that SAB has and to learn how to identify between the brands, ” said Grindrod team member, Tamaryn Talbot.

Having judged numerous beer tasting sessions, Erasmus praised participants and the winning team, saying, “Competitions like this are a great way for us to see what consumers really respond to in our brands. Today was no exception. The teams did very well, and I’m sure everyone will agree that this is a really fun way of exploring our products.

“I was particularly impressed by the participants’ enthusiasm and passion – this was a competitive bunch, but I do believe the best team won in the end.”

SAB Communications Head Robyn Chalmers said the Bankers Tasting Challenge is the first of a series of similar events hosted by the World of Beer. “We have a unique facility in the World of Beer which plays an important role in highlighting the heritage of beer in our country. The historical beer tour in particular is a great way to learn more about the role of beer in our history, and we also have a five star conference facility at the venue. We will continue to host beer tasting and other events to help promote the World of Beer amongst the public.”

The SAB World of Beer was established in 1995 as the Centenary Centre, a museum showcasing the history of South African beer. Officially opened by former president Nelson Mandela, it was one of the first major investments made in the Newtown Cultural Precinct. It was the winner of the South African Tourism Welcome Award in 2009 and 2011 recognising it as one of the SA’s top tourist attractions.