From shaky beginnings to world-class beers, South Africa’s craft beer industry has come a long way in a short time. We have well-established breweries and many are consistently winning awards at home and abroad. Sure there will always be nay-sayers but all it takes is one great craft beer to turn even the most stalwart big beer drinker. If you’re still on the fence then allow me to give you a gentle nudge into the craft pool. Here are a couple of great reasons to try craft beer.
ALSO READ: What is craft beer?
Flavour is king and a craft brewer’s job is to get the most out of the raw ingredients. There are a huge variety of malts, hops and yeasts available and different combinations produce different styles and flavours. Beers can be malt forward, hop forward or a balance of both. The goal is to brew complex beers that are packed with flavours, which can range from caramel, chocolate and coffee to citrus, spice, tropical fruit and a whole lot more. There really is a beer style for everyone and if you haven’t found one you like yet then you aren’t drinking enough.
Just a few years ago, variety meant 10 different lagers. Sure they are all pretty tasty but they’re all still lager. If you lined them up in a blind taste test it’s almost impossible to tell them apart. While I do enjoy a good lager, it’s not the most exciting style. Thankfully craft brewers have embraced both lagers and ales and nowadays we are spoilt for choice. We’ve got a great selection of lagers, pilsners, blondes, weissbiers, pale ales, IPAs, porters, stouts, Belgian beers and more. In fact, there are over 120 recognised beer styles worldwide. We’ve also got plenty of interesting brews with coffee, coconut, spirits, chocolate, fruits, and we’ve even begun to see proper sour beers hitting the shelves. We’re in a golden age of craft variety.
3. Travel destinations
Taking cues from the well-established wine industry, many of our top breweries have turned themselves into travel destinations for the whole family. Cape Brewing Company, Darling Brew and Mad Giant spring to mind, but there are plenty of awesome smaller destinations popping up. Franschhoek is turning into a great little beer town with a handful of amazing breweries near each other. The out-of-town beer festival is also becoming popular with Clarens and Greyton both hosting annual fests. There’s never been a better time to hit the road and find a craft beer adventure.
Busy weekend ahead at The Franschhoek Beer Co ??! Our restaurant is open all weekend from 10 am until 6pm, with a new limited edition single hop IPA on tap??. We will be screening the following @fifaworldcup matches this weekend: Today at 16:00 France ????vs Argentina ???? and tomorrow at 16:00 Spain ????vs Russia ????. We are also at both the @darlingbrew Winter Beer Fest and the Windhoek Wine Extravaganza this weekend. And last but not least we have some delicious snacks, combo deals and 3 amazing winter warming comfort food dishes on special (Chicken Vindaloo Curry, Locally foraged Wild Mushroom Risotto and BBQ Pork Back Ribs) at our restaurant this weekend – Don’t forget to book to avoid disappointment. Have a good weekend folks! . . . #craft #beer #craftbeer #fifaworldcup#soccer #southafrica #capetown #brewing#brewery #cheers #drinklocal #beerlover
4. Local is lekker
The craft beer community is a great bunch of people and many of them put their heart, soul and life on the line for beer. The industry is really starting to bloom and it will only continue to do so if we support its growth. One of the most common complaints I hear about craft beer is the cost. Sure the beers are more expensive than a mass produced beer but there are reasons for this. Every brewer worth his hops is brewing with the best quality ingredients possible. Most of the time this means imported malt and hops to craft world-class beers. Craft brewers are not rolling in profit and the craft industry is no quick buck game. Anyone who tells you different doesn’t know what they are talking about.
5. Food and beer pairings
For someone that cooks and braais a lot, food and beer pairing is one of the most exciting parts of craft beer. Pairing complimentary flavours allows the beer and food to echo off one another and create magic in your mouth. Another way to go about it is to pair massive flavours that clash with each other to produce something entirely new on your palate. The best part about pairing comes down to variety and as we already discussed, we now have plenty. Why not try your hand at a little food and beer pairing this weekend with these epic pairing ideas.
‘Beer Country’, South Africa’s first TV show dedicated to beer, braai and the open road.
Beer lovers, assemble! It’s time to reveal the secret that will take you from tasting novice to analysing pro in just five steps. by: Karl Tessendorf | 18 Jul 2018 (Image: iStock) The best part is that you already have everything you need. All it takes is your five senses and a little common sense.