Our Crafty Brewers
Lionel McCauley began life as an ardent and enthusiastic follower of eclectic psychedelic rock band the Grateful Dead. Growing up in Alaska, he followed the “Dead” from end to end of the North American continent, printing and selling "Deadhead" T-shirts to finance his habit. When eventually he matured enough to take on a real job, he became a high school literature teacher, a career he pursued to Thailand, Norway and then Zimbabwe.
Throughout all of these adventures, Lionel was a home-brewer of exceptional prowess, nurturing the secret desire to take, his skills to a new level. When the chance came to jump ship and join the funkiest new brewery in the land, he gathered a life-time of brew recipes and leapt with enthusiasm.
Mike Danes is an artist, but he grew up in breweries. His dad, Norman (after whom our brew kettle was named ) was an engineer who built breweries across the length and breadth of Africa. Addicted from an early age to the incomparable smell of fermenting malt, Mike spent his career as an artist and designer in Zimbabwe pining for the opportunity to once more re-acquaint his nostrils with that over-powering fragrance.
Having achieved all his goals as a designer, and with the growing threat of a mid-life crisis, Mike finally responded to the Call of the Hop, chucked in his business and set about building his first brewery in Victoria Falls. Now he pines no longer and immerses himself day after day in the heady aroma of malt and hops.
Andy Conn is a well-known hotelier, and host par excellence. With over 35 years of experience managing some of the finest 5 star hotels in Southern Africa it seemed only natural that he would devote his valuable wealth of knowledge in the tourism industry to designing a bar and restaurant second to none in Victoria Falls. A happy twist of fate brought him into contact with the secretive Miombo beer club. And the rest is history in the making.
Gus is the ecopreneur. From his early days as an ecologist researching the medicinal properties of indigenous plants in Zimbabwe, he has developed a string of businesses producing various potions and lotions based on natural ingredients, from the baobab and the sausage tree to the marula and mongongo nuts.
But his first student job was as a bottle-washer in a micro-brewery in the east of England, and he never lost the taste for great beer. An accidental discharge of a home-brewed baobab beer first brought him into contact with Lionel, and so the story began.