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New year, new beers: Find out what SA has brewing for 2018

Beer aficionado, Karl Tessendorf shares some epic new (and interesting) beers that you can look forward to sipping this year.

by: Karl Tessendorf | 23 Jan 2018

(image: iStock)

I don’t know about you, but I prefer having just one New Year’s resolution. It makes things less confusing and more achievable. For 2018 I’ve gone with: try more new beers. Yes, okay maybe it is the same resolution from last year. And possibly the year before, but hey, if it ain’t broke! Here are a couple of new brews that are on my radar at the moment. 

Darling Brew Spirited Flight 

Inspired by the golden-ringed dragonfly, Spirited Flight is a lemon radler. What’s a radler? Good question, it’s basically a shandy but from Germany. In the 1920s, innkeeper Franz Kugler mixed it up for his local cyclists when he was running out of beer. Radler actually means cyclist in German. Darling’s version is their slow lager blended with sparkling water and a hit of natural lemon and lime oils. It’s sweetened for balance with fructose, which is a healthier alternative to sugar. The result is a preservative-free, low alcohol (2.6%) citrus lager that’s seriously refreshing.   

Toast Ale 

Not only is Toast a very tasty beer, it’s also one of the most brilliant ideas to hit our shores in ages. Originally from the UK, Toast is brewed using old bread that’s destined for the bin and all the proceeds go to charity. The local version has partnered up with Soil for Life, which teaches people how to grow their own food. It’s a noble cause and all you have to do to support it is drink beer! The beer is brewed at Devil’s Peak and as you can imagine, it’s hopped up and delicious. Expect an ultra session pale ale with floral, citrus and tropical fruit flavours with a light malty body.     

LISTEN to our interview about Toast Ale with Devils Peak brewer, JC Steyn.

Drifter Brewing Company Water Restriction Gose 

We may be a lager country but this is about as far from lager as you can get. It’s a German-style gose (pronounced goes-uh) and it’s brewed with malted wheat, coriander and Atlantic ocean. Yup, sea water. It sounds crazy but there’s method to the madness. Since 2016 Drifter has been on a water-saving mission and they’ve cut down their usage by 46%. By using a portion of sea water in the gose, a style that’s traditionally brewed with salt, they use less fresh water in the brew. It’s clever thinking and the beer is like nothing you’ve ever tasted. It’s packed full of floral and coriander notes and has a refreshing salty tartness.   

Devil’s Peak Brewing Company Zero to Hero  

Let’s be honest, non-alcoholic beers don’t have a great reputation. They tend to be watery and bland but never fear, Devil’s Peak has taken on the challenge. Zero to Hero is South Africa’s first craft non-alcoholic pale ale and I’m happy to report that they’ve knocked out the park. It’s jam-packed with American hop heavy hitters like Citra, Cascade, Columbus, Amarillo and it shows. It’s bursting with layers of tropical fruit and citrus flavours and has the bitter snap you’d expect from a pale ale. Overall it’s a great choice if you’re designated Dave for the evening. 

Karl Tessendorf is one part of the duo that hosts 'Beer Country', South Africa's first TV show dedicated to beer, braai and the open road.


Beer over broccoli: South Africans buy more beer than vegetables - fact

Beer appears to be more popular in SA households than we ever imagined. Read this to find out more. (image: iStock) Did you think we were joking with that headline? Well, we're not! STATS SA has released a report that shows 2.1% of household spending in our country goes to beer (more than the amount spent on sweets or even vegetables!).

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