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Beer and Massage for the Fairview goats

Fairview Wine and Cheese Farm in Paarl is pleased to announce that after a recent control-testing period, new developments have been made in the management of the goats on the farm.

Fairview Owner Charles Back returned last month from a trip to Japan with exciting new ideas for improving the quality of milk produced by the goats. Whilst in Japan, he visited a Wagyu cattle ranch in Okinawa. Raising Wagyu cattle is a Japanese tradition renowned for producing top-quality beef (known as Kobe beef). The practice involves regular massaging of the cows, which are also fed beer throughout the summer months. The massage is believed to improve the distribution of fat, while the beer stimulates a healthy appetite.

Although Fairview does not raise goats for their meat, good milk production is dependent on good nutrition and the comfort of the goats. “I knew that our goats would produce more high-quality milk if they ate all their nutritionally-balanced feed, rather than snacking lazily on bits of grass here and there when they are not feeling hungry enough to eat their proper meals,” says Charles. “Just like me, they appear to work up quite an appetite after their first few sips of beer, heading straight to their troughs after their daily allowance,” he continues.

Each goat is fed approximately a third of a bottle of Cape Brewing Company Beer per day. Although Charles has received criticism for his decision to feed the goats craft beer rather than a cheaper wholesale option, he believes that the fact that Cape Brewing Company Beer is made from pure Paarl Mountain water will be of added benefit to the wellbeing of the goats.

Although preferences vary, the Krystal and Amber Weiss beers have proved to be the most popular amongst the goats. This is relatively unsurprising, as they sport the fruity tastes of lemon, grapefruit and banana ester, and we all know from the escape that inspired the Goats do Roam range that the goats love fruit. Those who have tasted the milk produced since the implementation of the program claim to pick up the subtle fruit aromas of the beer, as well as a slight hint of clove from the Amber Weiss.

Another factor that plays a role in milk production is the comfort of the goats. The massage technique, which Charles learnt over a three-day course on the Okinawa farm,appears to be relaxing the goats significantly. Administered after they have completed their meals, the combination of gentle and firm upwards and sideways strokes also assists in proper digestion. “The only problem we have experienced thus far is the issue of trying to get the goats out of the queue once their four-minute massage is complete, as they tend to become catatonic and not want to allow the next goat in line to come forward for its turn,” says Goat Manager Donald Mouton.

Cheese Sales and Marketing Manager Maryke Truter, who works in the cheesery next to the goat pen, is delighted about the new practices, as the goats now smell of the lavender and neroli oil that is used in the massages.

“Although the pen is always kept clean, goat flatulence has proved problematic to those of us working in the factory,” she explains. “Never mind the quality of the milk – the new smell wafting through our windows is certainly a welcome change!”

The Fairview team (especially the goats) seems to be happy about the implementation of the new practices, and is looking forward to sharing goat’s milk cheese of an even higher quality with loyal Fairview supporters.