Based in Kwa-Zulu Natal, on the East Coast of South Africa, our distillery is situated amongst the rolling sugar cane fields, a stone throw from the golden beaches of Ballito and warm water currents of the Indian Ocean.
It all started through a chance introduction by mutual friends. Owners, Theo Vermaak & Alex Etchells, were introduced over a coffee in December 2016, when what was supposed to be a 20 minute chat, turned into almost 12 months of brand building, brain storming and ultimately the combining of our individual dreams; to open a Craft Bar and Craft Distillery respectively.
Both Theo and Alex, are passionate about the KZN North coast , the place they call home. This played a major role in the concept development as it was important to represent a strong local theme in everything our business and brand stands for today.
The name Blackstrap Craft Distillery™, pays homage to the regions rich history of sugarcane farming & sugar refining industry. During the process of refining sugar from sugarcane, a by-product is created through boiling cane juice to harvest sugar crystals; namely molasses or treacle, also known by its trade name, Blackstrap, a viscous substance, rich in natural sugars, vitamins & minerals.
Locally sourced Blackstrap molasses, serves as the base material for our distillery’s fermentations & alcohol products. Through the process of fermenting the natural sugars found in the molasses & distilling it through our 5 plate, 100L column still, named ‘Blackstrap Bill™’, we are able to produce a limited volume of high quality, small batch alcohol products.
Our distillery has the ability to produce a range of alcohol products, including Gin, which requires a second distillation & vapour infusion process, done in our 100L single batch, Ginning still, named ‘Blackstrap Betty™’.
At Blackstrap Craft Distillery™, we aim to produce unique, small batch spirits, with a focus on quality over quantity. Our approach is that of artisanal values, as each bottle, label & cork is handled with the same passion, care & meticulous attention to detail, as the next.