Friday, 9 August 2013

Brewers & Union Handwerk All-Day IPA at the Beer Yard

How better to celebrate women's day than to drink good beer in the mid-winter sun? Sure, there's probably more you could do to promote equality, prevent sexual violence and otherwise advance a good cause, but it's got to do about as much as buying your colleagues spa vouchers (besides, I already did that earlier in the week).

Anyway, today's offering was Brewer & Union's All Day IPA.  Alas, this is not a South African beer but one that is widely available these days across the Republic thanks to the good work of the Gabriel Collective. It normally comes in bottles but the one I had was a draft served cold at the The Beer Yard, 44 Stanley Ave. Before I get to the beer, it's worth noting that The Yard, is a great (and relatively new) place for exploring local and imported beers. Truly a boon to the jozi beer scene. Come spring the yard will be packed daily, but even on sunny winter days the wood tables are inviting as is the warm, eclectic interior. Although there's a limited food menu, the food was served quickly and was well suited for a beer or two. I had the surprisingly tasty haloumi and mushroom prego. Although the bartenders are perhaps not always as knowledgeable as one might expect about what they're serving, there's at least six drafts going all the time.  Let's hope they rotate regularly and that there's enough variety to fill the taps.  On the day I visited they had three from Cape Brewing Company (a pils, and amber weiss and the butcher block pale) and another three from Brewer's and Union. They also have almost all the bottles you're likely to find anywhere in S.A.

The Yard's Cozy Interior
As for the beer, it was an appetizing looking brew with a warm, slightly cloudy orangish hue.The folks at Brewers & Union claim its only lightly carbonated but the draft we had bubbled hard until it was gone lending the beer something of a rough mouth feel. Still, there was no denying the stuff was tasty although it lacked many of the floral scents and bitterness I often associates with American style IPA. As the importers say, it's a good introduction to the style and will make a fine bridge for those scared off by heavy cascade or amarillo hops. Even so, it had good hop flavor with distant hints of citrus. For those new to IPAs, it is a taste of the wonders yet to come.

In conclusion, a generally nice beer but not a stand out in a rapidly growing niche of the South African beer market.

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