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Beer Blog

Our corner for all things craft beer..

Of Brothels

April 3, 2014 By:

I like a place with a story. Add to that great craft beer, a fabulous, knowledgeable and friendly guy showing us around and sausages (I love sausages, especially proper German ones, with mustard), and you’ve got me. The Weinhaus & Biergarten (formerly &Union, on Bree Street), therefore, had me, when I went to visit. They have ‘Sausage Fest’ on the menu! Sausage fest!

This beer writing gig has opened up a whole new world to me, and taught me much, not least of all, the value of a good proprietor or – can I bear to say it? – face of a brand. Simon Wibberley, operational partner, is just that. We had only just walked through the door when he came over, introduced himself, and then sat with us, telling us their story, talking us through a tasting and explaining all the intricacies of craft beer.

Braving a Beer Festival

I will not lie, I was a little daunted by the thought of a craft beer festival when I was offered tickets to the Constantia Craft Beer Project Festival. Scenes of herds of skinny-jeaned hipsters milling about en masse whilst balancing glasses of beer ran through my head. The soundtrack (in my head, too), funnily enough, was that of an Oompah band, Oktoberfest-style.  It being 2014, though, and my year of ‘getting out there and doing new, exciting, things’, I said yes. Okay, again, in the interest of honesty, every year is my year of ‘getting out there and doing new, exciting, things’, but that’s beside the point.

Games were always a treasure trove of knowledge for me. Like good books, they made me think and exposed me to new experiences. So imagine my surprise when I went looking for a casual management game to play on a mobile phone and found Fiz, the brewery management game. Management games is a genre I always liked, and a brewery... Well, as you can imagine, the combination of these two words piqued my curiosity. I purchased it immediately. And what I found inside was a fun and educational game which can turn any Bud Light drinker into a competent craft beer aficionado.

Good craft beers, mostly local, proudly served at Henri's restaurant, Somerset West. (Good food too - it's worth a visit - corner Lourensford and Main road.) Included in their generous selection are Brewer's and Union Berne, Brewers and Union Dark Lager, Devil's Peak The King's Blockhouse IPA, Devils' Peak First Light Golden Ale, Jack Black Lager, CBC Amber Weiss and Everson's Apple and Pear Cider is available. Well done for supporting local craft beer makers, wish many more restaurants will follow suit.

We will be celebrating The Palms Market's 2nd birthday this Saturday (9-2pm) with a great range of beers! From Germany we'll have Paulaner, Erdinger Dunkel & Weiss, Veltins. From Belgian Beers SA Celis Wit, Kriek, Delirium and Carolus Classic and local brews from Cape Brewing Co. and Dragon Fiery Ginger!

Dear, Deer Park

February 11, 2014 By:

Apologies, I went a little AWOL there. Happy new year and all that. It’s not that I wasn’t drinking beer – that’d just be ridiculous – it’s just that I was busy talking about treasure, dinosaurs, the pros and cons of eye patches (pirate-style) and the origin of man. As one does. You see, I have been entertaining small boys and beer is not (yet) at the top of their to-do list.

It did, however, get me thinking about the hipsters I’m forever referring to (but have yet to encounter in as large numbers as I expected, when I agreed to this craft beer writing lark.) Thinking about the ones who’ve bred. There must be breeding hipsters, surely? Or do they morph into parents and leave hipsterdom behind them as soon as they pop out/catch a baby?

If you find yourself with too much time and battery life on your Android phone addicted hands, you might enjoy Barr Lite. Nope, not Barr as in Roseanne Barr, you need to pronounce this like a pirate and ... yup, it's a barrrr for drinking beerrrrr in - like a pirate. It's sweet. It won't stimulate your intellect or even alienate your family, but it's a decent little distraction nonetheless.

"Manage your own pirate bar in this cute and quirky restaurant management game. Serve your pirates beer, give 'em tattoos or let 'em rock out on the guitar!

Rake up the doubloons with this fast-paced bar management game and try to get three stars each level!

Eye patch not included."

Get it here.

 

After tasting the macros my appetite was ready to taste the more sophisticated stuff. My friend arranged a meeting at The Little Brewery On The River in Port Alfred. The owner, Ian “Squire” Cook, agreed to show us around and give as a sample of his brews. Needless to say, I was overjoyed.

The Little Brewery stands on the bank of the Kowie river in the Eastern Cape. It occupies the only stone building in town which also happens to be something of a historical landmark. Since its construction in mid-19th century it has been a Harbourmaster’s office, a city hall, a general goods store and even a cinema. A brewery was established in 1998, with the current owner taking over in 2008.

For me, experiencing other countries and cultures starts with their food and drinks. As a huge fan of beer, whose palate was blessed by brews on several continents, this usually means sampling local pints. Therefore, before I embarked on my first ever trip to the southern hemisphere, I started asking a friend about potential hop-themed events and incursions. When it comes to South African beer habits I was a complete virgin. Now, back in snowy Sweden, I can proudly say that I am, if not a fanatic, then at least an impressed sympathiser.

Before I go any further, allow me to make a few disclaimers. Firstly, I am not a brewer. But I am a devoted amateur whose interest go beyond taste-to-price ratio. Hops, malt, mash tuns and fermenting vats are all instruments in a beautiful symphony aimed to bring me a glass of liquid joy and I want experience every note. Secondly, you will find here personal impressions of a traveller and should not be mistaken for official ratings, grades, opinions on brewing techniques or similar. If a macrobrewery happens to make a lovely drink using buckwheat, a laundry machine and a microwave oven then hats off to them. Thirdly, just like all beer fans I have my preferences and favourites. Even if the top of the podium is currently occupied by Gulden Draak, a Belgian Tripel ale, the beer type that tickles my palate in most pleasant way is good old pale ale (although I am also partial to Czech pilsners). Now that you know a bit about me, let us proceed with the main dish - the beers.

"An ideal, safe and scenic environment for all cultures to celebrate the art of making and drinking beer and wine all paired with food at a festival where the general public can freely interact and share traditional brewing methods, complimenting food, products and entertainment."

A wide range of local, national and international craft beers; a smorgasbord of foodie trucks to keep the tummy happy; a couple of bands to keep your bootie wiggling and even some eye candy in the form of roaring bikes and cars with the SA Hot-Rods … Who could ask for more?

Win a pair of double tickets to the Second Annual Constantia Craft Beer Project on the 1st or 2nd of March, 2014, and experience it all. Subscribe to our newsletter here and like our craft beer Facebook page here and we’ll enter you in the draw. We'll announce the winners here and on Facebook on Valentine's Day.

Cheers! Salut! Prost!

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