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Skeleton Coast IPA
15 Jan 2014
 
     

Skeleton Coast IPA

Going home to the parents can be daunting. You know what’s coming. The questions best left unanswered, the chores, but worst of all, the nagging. “Do this”. “Do that”. “This is the last favour I’ll ask, I promise”. How do you prepare yourself? Jack Black Skeleton Coast IPA. This fearless beer is not for the light beer drinker, with its malty flavour, full body and abundant hop character. Sweet caramel and fruity hops fill the aroma, with a backdrop of citrus. The caramel flavour pulls through in the taste, even with the dry mouth feel and remarkably bitter aftertaste. Without being chauvinistic, this is a man’s beer. With fresh hair on my chest, and some Dutch courage, I was ready for the looming bonding.

- Half Pint

Lindemans Pecheresse
8 Jan 2014
 
     

Lindemans Pecheresse

Let me paint a picture for you. Cape Town central, it is a hot and sticky afternoon, and I am somewhat hung-over. How would you cope? I have often been told the best way to recover from drinking is by drinking, so we put this to the test. The Lindemans Pecheresse came to mind, being well suited to summer with its crisp, lively mouth feel. That first scent hits you with intensely sweet peaches followed by a funky sourness. Then comes the sip, thickly sweet to match the aroma. Its peach tones overwhelming the dry and lightly acidic finish to be expected from a Lambic beer (a style traditionally from Belgium fermented spontaneously in the open air exposing it to wild yeasts and bacteria). Needless to say, the hangover did not survive the peachy onslaught from this medium bodied thirst quencher. My only regret is that I did not experience this in a champagne flute!

- Half Pint

Floris Fraise
31 Dec 2013
 
     

Floris Fraise

It seems I am starting a tradition of having a fruit beer on an exceedingly hot summer afternoon. In my defense however, a pretty woman always causes it. This time it was the Floris Fraise being just too alluring! I admit that this is another classic case of “the girlfriend’s beer” – someone described it beautifully as “alco-pop”. The fruity bouquet has a strong strawberry presence. Its light and softly body makes it easy to drink with a dry finish. The taste is what catches you, being remarkably complex for something so obviously strawberry. The powerful sweetness is balanced by the slight acidity, leaving a semi-sweet aftertaste making you pick up that glass again. This beer is something to experience, definitely not to satisfy that all-too-familiar beer craving.

- Half Pint

The Market Bar
27 Dec 2013
 
     

The Market Bar & Boston Breweries Tasting Room

It’s a classic summer afternoon at the Cape Quarter. The temperature is pleasantly warm; a sparse scattering of clouds drifts above, and a gentle breeze fondles the blond strands of the bar wench in front of me. When you’re exploring the bi-weekly Village Market and you stumble across the near full range from Boston Breweries, how could you not stop? The Market Bar & Boston Breweries Tasting Room is fortunately a permanent installation, so I needlessly worried about experiencing as many as possible… but I will not regret the tipsy!

The Boston Black River Coffee Stout, in the picture, has a rich coffee aroma with some dark chocolate. The aftertaste tends to bitter coffee and citrus, with an almost acidic feel.

As always, consume responsibly - and have a friend drive you home if you haven’t. 

- Half Pint

Beerhouse
24 Dec 2013
 
     

“99 Bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer.
Take one down and pass it around, 98 bottles of beer on the wall. 
98 Bottles of beer on the wall, 98 bottles of beer. 
Take one down and pass it around, 97 bottles of beer on the wall.”

Beerhouse is that vibrant ‘new’ place on Long Street, you know which one I’m talking about, right? That place that painted itself that crazy yellow making it visible from a mile away? And quite appropriately with 99 bottled beers showcased from all over the world, including South Africa’s finest craft beer, and 20 taps changing regularly. Beer really is becoming the new wine, and having a beer recommended correctly to your personal taste is an experience worthy of accreditation. I did not even want a beer today. And there it is. Beer. And it’s Pink. Feeling a little intimidated and somewhat emasculated, I took a sip. I expected neither that heavy, sweet mouth feel, nor the delicious cherry aroma laced with strawberries. If you’re on Long, feeling a little adventurous or simply not a beer fan, the Liefmans Fruitesse is a crisp, refreshing summer beer over ice or with a slice of lemon.

As always, consume responsibly - and have a friend drive you home if you haven’t. 

- Nightjar Junior

Craft Beer
22 Dec 2013
 
     

Craft beer is rapidly coming of age in South Africa. If you need proof, look no further than Random House Struik’s beautiful book ‘Africa Brew’. Author Lucy Corne (www.lucycorne.com) and photographer Ryno Reyneke travelled to almost 40 breweries over a two-month period to produce this 256-page tome. It is filled with beer tasting notes, brewers’ stories, beer history, food pairing tips and 29 recipes from brewers and top chefs. Rumour has it that there is a second edition in the pipeline – definitely something to look out for. For more information on this and much more, visit www.thecraftbeerproject.co.za.

We will be adding a microbrewery section to Nightjar soon, and will also be posting regular reviews of some of the finer craft beers brewed here. After much haranguing, we have managed to twist Nightjar Junior’s (very rubbery) arm and he has agreed to carry out this research for us.

Two of the best establishments for doing this research are the Beerhouse at the top end of Long Street in Cape Town’s CBD with 99 beers on the menu, and Banana Jam Cafe (www.bananajamcafe.co.za) in Kenilworth, the epicentre of the Cape’s craft beer revolution.

As always, consume responsibly - and have a friend drive you home if you haven’t.

- Half Pint

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Nightjar

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Erik