Oh my word, a beer forum!
Our little site is developing at the speed of light. We now have a place for people to add their opinions and share ideas revolving around beer, how cool is that?
If you look at the top right hand corner of our blog you will see the link. It is still brand new so there are few comments but feel free to post something to get a discussion going.
We will of course also be posting on the forum and adding our 2 cents worth and I for one am very excited for this!
So, we will be chatting to you folks soon!
You find all sorts of treasures in the desert. Rocks, minerals, your sanity etc. I found another one on a recent trip to Namibia. It is called Hansa Draught.
First a bit of history:
Those readers from South Africa might be wondering why SAB would only sell Hansa draught in Namibia. However you would be wrong. Back in the early eighties Namibia Breweries realised that SAB had cunningly acquired a percentage of shares in Namibia Breweries. This was obviously not good for their independence. Thus a deal was struck with SAB that they would swop their shares in Namibia Breweries for the rights to the Hansa brand in South Africa. Thus you now get Hansa Pilsner in South Africa from SAB and Hansa Draught in Namibia from Namibia Breweries.
The Namibian Hansa Draught is delicious. It suits the hot climate perfectly. It is in the Pilsner beer style, however it does not have an extensive hop profile so most people (me included) would consider it a normal lager. The hops are subtle and fruity, with a hint of bitterness that refreshes more than it flavours the beer. This beer will seduce you, it is that delicious. The best part is that you can drink bucket loads of Hansa Draught without feeling drunk or stuffed because the desert heat makes you sweat most of it out.
Its actually genius. Everyone thought the Germans were silly to colonise a desert country, but its brilliant. You can drink even more beer there than back in Germany. So Hans und Fritz would drink and drink and drink. That is probably how the Hansa Draught recipe become so perfect, VERY extensive product testing.
That product testing continues to this day because every Namibian drinks like a siphon. You will never drink alone in a pub in Namibia, you will also require a new liver pretty soon. The Namibian’s joke about having a kudu liver for drinking, but I am not sure anymore if they are joking or not.
Another familiar beer there is Tafel Lager, my favourite! However it is available in 500ml and 750ml bottles there. As any avid drinker knows, the bigger the container the beer is in the better it tastes, thats why draught beer always tastes better. I also found that the 750ml bottles were a handy size, but thats my personal opinion. Anyway, Tafel is a great beer and it tastes even better on the beach or on a dune, from a big bottle.
A lot of people who have been to windhoek will sing praises of Joe’s Beerhouse, the oficial, and very famous, drinking Bar and restaurant in Windhoek. The crazy decor is one of a kind and the food offering of meat and game meat is also special and generous. However, a relatively new bar and restaurant has opened called Andy’s. Andy’s is run by Andy (who would’ve guessed?) a North German from Hamburg. He serves very good food, the best in my opinion being the Curry wurst. Curry wurst is an institution in Germany, it consists of a grilled sausage with a spicy tomato sauce served with chips and mayonnaise. not many people can make a decent one but Andy does so try it! Andy’s also serve a variety of beers and they are obsessed with serving them at the right temperature. So if you are looking for an ice cold draught after a hot day (every day) in Windhoek, go to Andy’s.
Now for the bad news. My favourite bar, the Tiger Reef Beach Bar in Swakopmund, does not serve draught beer anymore. that really is the dumbest thing I have ever heard and it makes no sense. The Beach Bar used to be THE place to start the evening’s festivities in Swakopmund. An ice-cold Hansa Draught while watching the sun go down over the Atlantic ocean with beach sand underfoot. It was living the dream. Now it is ruined. So I will not be going there this December and will instead be hanging out more often at Brauhaus, a German style establishment that sells Draught in up to 3 litre glasses! If I had a penny for every time I crawled out of Brauhaus…
So thats Namibia for a beer drinker, although only a quick guide. I will be back in January with an in depth analysis and, hopefully, the Hansa Draught recipe. I will also post numerous pictures, so keep posted!
Till then, all the best!
I spent yesterday at the pool party of a friend of mine. We had awesome weather and great company. I had brought some Tafel Lagers with me. While drinking my first one I remembered that this was my first love (in terms of beer).
We will always remember our first love in anything that is important to us. If you like beer you will also remember the first beer you really enjoyed. I remember mine, it was a Tafel Lager draught from the brewery tap at the old Tafel brewery in Swakopmund. When we are younger most of us will not like beer because its too bitter, and because it makes you feel funny and then your mom gets angry at your dad for letting you drink beer. The beer that changed that for me was like an epiphany. After my first sip I tasted the delicate sweetness in the malt flavour and that the bitterness is actually refreshing. It was amazing and I will never forget that day.
What beer changed your opinion on beer for you? When was that? I’d love to hear.
There are few things better than watching rugby with some good beers.
I watched the 2011 Rugby World Cup Final with the range of Darling Brew beers. What a pleasure that was. Finally I got to see a Rugby World Cup final that was exciting and not a game of attrition. Secondly it was my first time tasting the fine beer offering of Darling Brew beers.
We started with Native Ale. What a beautiful beer! Its a red ale with plenty of rusty, caramel flavours, with just a hint of marmite to balance the sweetness. Just the right amount of carbonation ensures this beer is refreshing but doesn’t bloat. This is my kind of beer, malty and strong. the hop profile is not overpowering and is in good balance with the rest of the beer.
next up was the Slow Beer. This is an indian pale ale style beer. It is lighter in colour and has a strong hop profile. this beer originated from the ales shipped to the british colony in India. Since hops were used as a preservative of beer extra hops were added to the barrels to help the beer survive its voyage. Upon arrival the beer had absorbed an extra helping of bitterness resulting in that biting bitterness this type of beer is famous for. This bitterness suited the sweltering climate of india and thus Indian pale ales became very popular. The Darling Brew version is a good example of such a beer. It has a strong bitter taste on the back of the tongue which ensures every gulp is refreshing. It has an almost grassy flavour that gives it a fresh character. Its a great beer to have on a hot Sunday with the braai.
We then moved on to the Wit beer, the bone crusher. This is a Belgian weiss beer. True to how the Belgians like to brew, this beer has an explosion of flavour. i found it a bit overpowering. Too much clove flavours, too bitter and too dry. the aftertaste also lingered for too long. I am a fan of the German Weiss beers which are more easy drinking and so i may be a bit harsh on this beer. Its still a nice beer to compare styles. However I would not buy a case of this one.
I still have the Darling Brew Black Mist waiting for me in my fridge. This is a stout type ale. I did not open this one because stouts are not my favourite types of ales. Guinness I only drink on St Patrick’s day, the rest of the time I find it pretty bland. I tried Castle Milk Stout at Joburg Day this year and got horribly drunk on the stuff and didn’t enjoy the hangover the next day, so didn’t like that stout either. So I am wary of this beer but am curious if Darling managed to give this beer some interesting character. I will write when I found out!
Last night me and 3 friends went to the Brazen Head in Fourways to smash some beers. They have 13 craft beers on tap, including the hard to find Copperlake Brewery beers. I had a Copperlake Dark Lager and really enjoyed it! Its a charcoaly, broody beer. Look out for it and give it a try.
Keep a look out for the Darling beers, they are available at the Neighborgood Market which is open on the weekends in Braamfontien, which has become the trendy place to be on the weekend. Google it and go! If you are in the lovely Cape Darling Brew now offers tastings at the brewery which are a welcomed alternative to the usual wine route.
Have a great weekend guys!
Last night I went for dinner with some lovely company.
We went to 44Stanley and had a lovely evening. I highly recommend a visit there day and night. The restaurant we went to was party chosen due to their range of beers, particularly, their &Union beers! I decided on the Berne Lager.
Berne beers are a type of South German lager beer. It has a ruby colour due to the greater degree of malting of the Barley used to brew this beer. This is more of an Autumn beer if I’m not mistaken. It has a lovely caramel, toffee note to it which I love. Its balanced off by a slight bitterness that is present during a mouthful, lingers a split second and then disappears. Being a lager it has a clean taste and doesn’t leave any flavours other than a certain malty-ness after you have had a sip. Its a lovely beer to drink since its also not overly carbonated. Which is ideal when in good company.
What is also nice about these beers is that the packaging is elegant and a bottle of &Union will go down far better with wine people than a bottle of Peroni etc. in terms of its presence on the table.
Its worth keeping a lookout for these fine beers in restaurants and bottle stores. They will however not be available in franchise restaurants so rather look at the better, independent establishments. I also know that Loco-Liq on Republic stock these beers, as well as a fantastic variety of other micro-brewery beers. Well worth a visit. &Union also have a Lager, Dark Lager, as well as a new Goliath Beer which are all worth a try. all but the Goliath beer are available in selected bottle stores and restaurants in Johannesburg.
We are at the beginning of a great Journey in terms of micro-breweries in South Africa.
So I am very excited by what was shared with me today.
Thanks to a generous contribution from SAB, the University of Johannesburg is in the process of designing and installing a micro-brewery! This was due to some clever convincing by Robert Stafford, a chemical engineer and lecturer at the UJ Doornfontien campus. The micro-brewery will be used in part for a new beverage production masters degree, soon to be offered by UJ. It will also be used to brew many hecto-litres of delicious beer by the UJ Brewers Society that I am in the process of forming. So big things are happening at UJ, further confirming a lively and ever-growing micro-brewery scene in South Africa!
Another idea in the pipeline is a beerfest where UJ will present its beers, as well as hosting other brewers’ beers. A University beerfest, how cool would that be?! The micro-brewery project is envisioned as a project that will integrate multiple faculties and disciplines and thus will be a valuable learning experience for both students and academics. Another benefit is that I can lock myself into the brewery and make lots and lots of beer, and the excitement due to that idea will keep me awake tonight.
So that is that. We think its all extremely exciting news. What do you think? We’d love to know so leave some comments.
My next post will describe the beers and sights of Prague as well as Cologne, along with many pictures. It’ll feel like you were there, promise.
As always, Prost!
Last night, as part of a special, I received a Castle Lager Draught. Grudgingly I drank it only to find that I was enjoying it. The hops came through with a fruity flavour and finished not only with crisp bitterness, but also with a spicy note. What was happening?
I always considered Castle to be a beer only drunk to get you drunk. I only ever drank it at the cricket, firstly because that was the only choice of beer, and secondly because I enjoy getting molered at the cricket.
Maybe last night was just a fluke outlier, or a short circuit of my tongue. I don’t know but it freaked me out.
Drinking real beer is always better than drinking a commercial beer, however drinking any beer is always better than drinking no beer.
I must however add that SAB did something that has made me very, very happy! Maybe thats what added to the enjoyment of said Castle Lager? More details to come next week.
On those words of wisdom its time to say goodnight.
I just came back from an epic trip, from the South of Germany, up the Rhine to Cologne, Hamburg, Sterkrade in Oberhausen, Berlin and Prague. A trip through these cities would not be complete without tasting all the local beers. We did not make such a mistake.
One thing that strikes you is that every region has their own style and interpretation of their beers. The common factor amongst all these beers however, is balance. Over 400 hundred years of beer tradition has resulted in beers that are never harsh, flavours are never over-powering. This is what makes the European, and especially the German beers, so pleasant to drink.
Hamburg greeted us with a brew pub. Brauhaus Joh. Albrecht is situated in the Hafen Stad. We had their unfiltered lager which was strong in flavour with a distinct yeastiness, hints of liqourice and vanilla. So we had a whole jug of it and left much happier than before. Hamburg is a Port city, even though it is inland. The deep Elbe connects this city to the sea. Maritime treasure helped the city thrive and its cultural history is fascinating. The Rathaus is probably the most breathtaking town hall in the world and well worth a visit. The port area is also spotted with salty sailors, and they have a beer just for them called Astra Urtyp. Astra is an Ale, but you would not realise it. it does have fruity notes but otherwise there are few other indication of its yeast type, so clean is its taste and flavour profile. Its a nice beer to drink with strong flavoured, and heavy dishes, such as rolmops (pickled herring) and salty bratkatofel (roast potatoes). This is due to its malty-ness. You will find this beer, and few other sold in the St. Pauli region, its about as common there as “fuck HSV (the rival city football team)” graffiti.
You realise while moving North in Germany that the taste and style of beer was heavily influenced by the weather. The beers in the South are fruity and full of flavours that compliment the warmer climate their and the beautiful summer. As you move North the beers are crisp and bitter, and this goes well with their colder, harsher climate. One beer from the North worth mentioning is Koenig’s Pilsner, or “Koepi” as the locals refer to it. This is a bitter pilsner that is crisper in flavour as a true bohemian pilsner. You would not be able to pick out 20 floral flavours due to bohemian hopping. Rather you would enjoy the gradual increase and slight lingering of its bitter flavour. This beer is bitter but still not over powering. I really enjoyed it. Its a good beer and a great commercial beer. Certainly far better than a Castle or a Black Label!
Berlin surprised us with their “Berliner Kindl”. This is my favourite bottled beer. It has strong flavours, big malt, big hopp florals, and that’ll result in a big smile on your face! I really loved this beer, it was a beer you could drink to any occasion, at any time. this beer tasted like smelling fresh wort, that strong, sweet malt flavour, yet you only tasted that for an instant as the bitter hops freshened your tongue for the next sip. Berliner Kindl also comes as a Weiss Beer and this is Berlin’s signature. the Berliner Weiss beer has a stronger clove flavour than other German Weiss Beer. What really sets it apart though, is that in summer you drink it with a “Schuss” or shot. A shot of berry or waldmeister syrup. This is such a refreshing combination and served us well on the 30 degree, sun-shining days we experienced in Berlin. The waldmeister Schuss was my favourite, giving a sweet, herbal flavour to the beer and colouring it green. We has a memorable Berliner Weisse on the roof of the Reichstag (German parliament). Whatever you do, do not buy a flavoured Berliner Weisse, those are really not worth buying. Another good beer is Junft Koelsch. Koelsch is an Ale actually originating in the West German region around Cologne. Its a very clean tasting ale. with a lot of flavour like a malty lager, yet not as malty. Its fruity but not estery like some ales tend to be. On the night we went to the Oranien Viertel we found a little brew pub called Berliner Marcus Braeu. Marcus produces an unfiltered Ale that is not as fizzy as most beers. Its good to drink and something different from the norm. There is another brew pub to be found in the Nikolie Viertel called St. Georg Brewpub. We unfortunately did not get a chance to sample their beer because we ran out of time. Although it is on the list for next time.
Berlin is an amazing city, it never sleeps because there is always something to do or something happening. The city buzzes with energy and offers everything from Museums and history to an awe inspiring nightlife and spectacular shopping. Kufuerstendam Street is a must since it offers everything in one street than a big city could offer in all their streets. We found a crazy pub called “Klo” or toilet in English. Beer is served in urine bedpans and some of the seats move sporadically. Every corner of the pub is covered with interesting and nostalgic momento’s collected, and left there over its 40 year existance. its not for the feint hearted, but definitely worth a visit. the contrast between West and East is also fascinating. Its one of the greatest cities on earth, I would recommend a visit to anyone!
So thats enough for today, More posts are due on Prague and Cologne, as well as as the South of Germany. I will also add about a million pictures to the album.
I hope you all enjoyed the post!
While Sebastian heads for Europe Julian and myself have decided that we do not want to be left and have planned a snowboarding trip to Lesotho. As far as beer goes we will be taking a few bottles of our recently brewed Lager with us, with temperatures averaging below zero a nice cold crisp beer is looking very likely.
Afriski, the ski resort in Lesotho, also happens to stock its own local beer named Maluti beer. This is named after the Maluti Mountains that the resort is in. We have no knowledge of this beer and are looking forward to tasting it. With our limited(non existant) snowboarding experience this trip is sure to be entertaining, hopefully beer is a successful pain killer.
While Sebastian gets to taste many a beer in the beer mecca that is Germany we will be attempting backflips (Julian has promised), the snow park and the 1 km ski slope. An interesting tradition at the resort is the daily king of the hill, this involves all the snowboarders going to the top of the slope with a beer in hand and racing down the hill with the aim being to not spill on the way down. I can see this not working very well and in my opinion we should change the game a little. It would be more exciting to down the beer on the way down instead of risking spilling beer. We will let you know how that goes!!
I am looking forward to our next Brew when we are all back in the country, as Sebastian said we will be expanding our micro-brewery and experimenting with some new ideas gained on our trips.
Anyway that’s all from me, photos and videos will be posted when we get back so keep an eye out for that.
In the words of our Brewmaster
Just a quick message to say thank you to all you guys reading our blog and all of you who have written to us. We really enjoy the feedback so keep it up!
This weekend we developed a new drinking game involving a tree stump and hammers. It’s definitely a future classic. obviously we play only with beer:) We will add pictures soon so keep a look out!
As always, the most fitting goodbye, prost!