Keg Kings on Kloof


Invited to a craft beer and food pairing at Jackal and Hide on Kloof Street, Cape Town, by owner Freddie (below), it was no problem to find ten talking points around beer and wine tastings to blog about.

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1. Seems that the same people make beer as make wine. Step forward JC Steyn from Dornier on the Helderberg who in addition to some stunning blends, also makes an IPA called King’s Blockhouse. It’s all to do with the German connection as Dornier is owned by Raphael “bombs away” Dornier who bought the brewing equipment of the Paulaner Brauhaus on the Waterfront, of fond memory, alles klaar! in a tear-jerking tale related by the King of Beer Martin Tucker who led the tasting in a most able and bonhomonious fashion last night.

2. The quantities of beer served at a tasting make a Michael Fridjho Experience (TM) look positively desert-like. Invite the College of Beer around to your hot-tub and its 23 beers (4.5 litres) plus snacks but don’t do a Ryan Lochteweeing is restricted to Olympic gold medalists and Prince Harry. How they do this for R250 is a mystery of nature up there with the discovery of the Higgs Boson earlier this year. Seems that rip-off artistes prefer wine!

3. Beer flavours are either on or off.

4. There is no Platter guide for craft beer. Yet.

5. Distribution is the single most important limiting factor for craft beer in SA. You can’t get the stuff. A bit like Platter five star stunners, but much more affordable.

6. While UK wine hacks may moan about burnt flavours in SA reds, seems that we’re a nation of pyromaniacs as the Overberg Okes in Napier smoke their Swartland malt on a skottelbraai. A challenge seized by the chefs at Jackal and Hide who matched it with Yellowtail on a bed of smoked aubergine (below) with yoghurt.

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7. No one found any Brett in the bevvies.

8. In the same way that the giant in the cellar (Distell) makes some of the finest wine in SA (Nederburg, Fleur du Cap) so too does SA Breweries make one of the finest craft beers – Castle Milk Stout. But then SAB is a major shareholder in Distell.

9. Biodiversity is important in wine and beer too – Darling Brewery have a geometric tortoise on their Darling Slow label.

10. Imported grass is always greener than the local stuff as the tasting ended off with a cherry bomb of a Lambic from Belgium.