|House of Baobab food photographed by an uncredited professional|
After Tala produced miniature beer steins from a hidden corner of the kitchen, we filled them with the Woodhead Amber Ale. A self proclaimed American style brew, they delivered on their promise. Without the head banging bitterness of their class leading Blockhouse IPA, there was undeniable hop aroma from the second we cracked open the bottle. The nose was full of complex richness that was buoyed by a rich warm colour and flavourful malty sweetness that counter balanced the hoppy flora. Together with the IPA, these are the standards by which South African craft beer should be judged.
Second for the night was the considerably less startling First Light Golden Ale. Far less a statement than their other beers, this is nonetheless a worthy alternative to the lagers that still fill 95 percent or more of the Mzansi drinking space. It was light and crisp without losing the embrace of malt and muted hops. If you've been drinking Amstel or Pilsner Urquell, take the next step and grab one of these. If you're already down the rabbit hole, then stick with the Woodhead and Blockhouse bounty.