‘Craft beer’: a term that generally applies to smaller, independently-owned breweries that use traditional brewing methods with an emphasis on quality and flavour, nothing to do with the witchy-weird movie from the late 90’s namely ‘The Craft’… although drinking it in vast quantities might make witches and other such folk looked more approachable.
And with that we are back to the point, where to find the top 5 craft beer spots in joburg:
1. The Griffin: This place is hard-hitting, and I mean that in a good way. The craft beer selection is magnificent and so are the women, after all this is where things happen on a Friday after work. It’s a ‘gastropub’ and the food is great (Same people as The Attic) but be warned: if you’re going for dinner you’re likely to spend a little more than at a ‘runofthemillpub’.
2. The Foundry: If you think you remember the guy at the bars’ face from somewhere, it’s because you saw him last week at The Griffin. This place is just as happening, but it’s bigger and takes itself a bit more seriously. The selection of craft beer is also damn impressive, but you need to book a table and have dinner to enjoy it, they won’t let you just stand there, looking all manly at the bar.
Try a pizza topped with butter chicken, masala pineapple and cracked poppadums paired with a Jack Black or one of Mitchell’s finest.
3. The Stanley Beer Yard: New to the city but very much in the ‘nouveau’ sector. The interior is an ‘American hunting lodge somewhere down south’ meets ‘Pieter Dirk Uys and Marianne Fassler’: a menagerie of old maps, stuffed animals, gorgeous leather couches, work benches for tables and the biggest fireplace you’ve seen.
The food is simple but great: quality German sausages with all the trimmings and the best pregos in town but be warned: they only sell Brewers & Union and they’re R45 a pop, so take a full wallet and an appetite for all things meaty and you’ll have a great time. (And you can take an arty chic or your emo friend and they won’t feel out of place).
4. Gilroy’s: It’s a ‘brewpub’ which, for those of you who can’t figure it out on your own, is a brewery AND a pub and one of the only ones we have in fair Joburg. The owner is the charismatic (and mildly crazy) Steve Gilroy and he gives ‘brewery tours’ which basically consist of him getting you drunk and telling you stories – it’s fun, you should try it.
There’s always live entertainment, singing and dancing (sometimes it’s customers, sometimes it’s the live entertainment). The food is traditional pub grub and if you’re a beer enthusiast you’ll love it; they serve 3 ales and a lager, one, or all of which, you’ll love.
5. The Ale House: As simple as you could get in terms of good home-brewed beer with an old-school pub that looks like it could use a bit of a scrub-down (but if you did that, it would probably lose all it’s charm).
It’s a way away so if you’re in the mood for a little adventure and a breath of fresh air then this one’s the ticket. They have a large beer garden with space enough for the kiddies to get lost (which, let’s be honest, for some parents might be the most appealing part) and they have a wood burning pizza oven (appealing to both hungry, lost children and drunk parents).
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