Couple fizzes fruit into friendly beer

2019-04-18 06:01
By brainstorming and through being resourceful, the homemade Ellie’s Fizz was born.

By brainstorming and through being resourceful, the homemade Ellie’s Fizz was born.

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IT tingles on your tongue, fizzes in your mouth . . . then the fruit flavour buzzes through you.

A young Jeffreys Bay couple sourced their grandfather’s old-school recipe for ginger beer and transformed it into a family-friendly trio of non-alcoholic, organic fruit beers.

Cash-strapped, with a baby to care for, they needed to make ends meet. By brainstorming and through being resourceful, the homemade Ellie’s Fizz was born.

By trial and error they converted the family recipe into different flavours using strawberries, pineapple and the old trusted ginger with raisins - with fruit from local farmers in Loerie and Patensie.

Jesse Visser and Simoné Conradie-Visser named the sparkling beverage after charming baby Kira Ellie. Their approach is inclusive: it is a fresh drink for everyone – adults, kids, vegans, the health-conscious, and for every occasion. The perfect summer alternative to preservative-laden sodas and alcohol.

For Jesse and Simoné it means hard physical work. It takes precise timing and careful planning to produce the effervescent drink. All with a tiny infant ruling the roost.

Jesse is employed as a technician, while Si-moné works from home, tending to their child.

“We are in this process of growing together. It has a myriad of challenges, and we aim to face them head-on,” says the young couple. “We will not be discouraged when we face adversity just because we are young.”

The quote where Paul said to Timothy: Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity (4:12), applies here. Jesse says that is a good premise to live by. His dad taught him to do what his hands find to do.

A plucky start

It started out during the festive season when Simoné’s granddad made his much-loved annual batch of fruit beer. They had a brainwave and asked to be shown how the drink was made. They are incredibly blessed to be surrounded by parents and grandparents and appreciate being able to tap into their vast knowledge and experience.

The youngsters rose to the occasion. “We had a tested recipe, the ingredients, a very patient ‘oupa’.” They used what was available and started working, while others lounged at the beach.

Jesse and Simoné kicked off by selling their fruity fizz to visiting friends and family. The demand grew, and the ideas multiplied. They revamped the concept with a fresh approach – and local produce.

“Seeing our plan come to fruition is so rewarding,” says the couple. This adage is evident in Jesse and Simoné, as they did not give in to the initial bleak situation. They faced it, squared their shoulders and conquered their fears. Ellie’s Fizz saw the light.

“As our fruit beer is home and handmade, the process was not problem-free. Sometimes a batch literally fizzed out,” quips Simoné. “We needed to get and keep the quality of our product consistent. That caused some late nights or, rather, early mornings.”

Working together as a married couple revealed new perspectives. “We really got to know each other and our work ethic. It brought new understanding and respect between us. It was invigorating to brainstorm and argue, revealing our strengths and some pitfalls,” they concur.

Jesse: “My wife’s attention to detail is astounding. We sat for two weeks with our ideas for the branding and tags. As an artist with sales experience, I envisioned it a certain way; Simoné had different ideas. Sometimes our parents would also chip in, but all these strengths could be harnessed into a fluid product.

Every step expanded our understanding of each other, our relationships and our venture, adds Simoné. Much more is to come.

Currently, Ellie’s Fizz is supplied to local hotspots, such as Nina’s Real Food, Fifth Wave Coffee and First Light. Already the fruit beer has sparked interest outside of town.

Contact Simoné at 083 235 2351.

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