You can find us on Long Street in Cape Town and Fourways in Johannesburg. Relax and enjoy our contemporary beer hall with its 25 taps, and our legendary ’99 Bottles’ of the best local and international beer.
Our emphasis is the curation of craft beer brands, and a service standard that sets the trend in the hospitality industry. Our beer is served by the most knowledgeable and passionate staff in the industry, and our food is crafted by an internationally experienced kitchen team specifically to compliment our large beer variety.
We see ourselves as a hub for all things beer, and we strive to incubate the ideals of craft while supporting local micro-breweries and giving them a podium from which to shout their qualities to the world.
Welcome to the Beer Revolution.
STAY THIRSTY. STAY CURIOUS.
Recently, bearded Texan and naturalised Cape Townian Mitch Lockhart of the Craft Beer Project unveiled the elephant in the brewery. His #beerhonest article highlighted how ‘bad’ craft beer does immeasurable damage to the industry. In it, he lays out some preventative measures against this dark force, which is an issue that potentially holds us back from being a great beer nation. South African Beerlovers have tended to accept the faults in micro-brewed beer with an “Oh well it’s craft beer and that’s what its suppose to be like” or similar. This is the result of SA being in its infancy when it comes to beer (aside from the impeccably-brewed hot country lagers we have grown up with).
However, we need follow Lockhart and be #beerhonest if we are to progress, and help our Brewers make wonderful tasting and internationally competitive beers. It’s not easy – no one likes to deliver bad news. A lot of brewers do what they do as a passion, and treat their products as their own children; no one wants to tell a parent that their child has a fault. However, if that parent is never properly informed then the child’s chance of rectifying that fault is minimized, and they’ll take that issue into adulthood. Kak children make kak adults, and kak parents themselves. Now that the analogy has run its full course, we should conclude that it’s important that Beerlovers recognize faults in beer and are able to give knowledgeable, constructive feedback to the brewers, so their products of passion can reach full potential. And in turn, help propel South African craft beer to its rightful place at the top of the world’s pile.
The trick here, as in many walks of life, is education. At Beerhouse we are curators of a vast library of beer, and it is important that we educate ourselves on all things beer, and take seriously our job as custodians of beer. We need to be able to pick up on the faults in beer, pass that knowledge onto the Beerlover, and give feedback to Brewers. This is the only way to progress. We educate our Beerhouse Navigators to take Beerlovers safely through Beerland, and give them tools to help expand the common understanding of beer. One of our training sessions focuses on ‘Faults in Beer’ – primary indications, as well as typical causes. Beerhouse Navigators are, after all, the foot soldiers in the Beer Revolution.
We have pulled kegs for various faults and have given constructive feedback where necessary. Thankfully, 99% of Brewers have taken our advice on board, and have come back with a superior products. Result! And cheers to you guys.
People are often quick to point fingers at the Brewers, but it’s not only in the brewery that faults can occur. Improper storage, failing to rotate stock and clean beer lines and many more working pitfalls can turn a well-made beer into one riddled with faults. It’s our duty as curators to make sure we do our utmost to serve the beer as the Brewer intended, and as fresh as possible.
As a way of helping you the Beerlover pick up on common faults in our beloved liquid, we have created a SlideShare that highlights typical issues and how they occur, based on the Beers Judges Certifification Program (BJCP). Now, we don’t want to destroy your experience, as over-analyzing can have the reverse effect on the primary function of drinking beer, namely, enjoyment. However, we do need you, as fellow revolutionaries, to help make the Craft Beer march as glorious as it can be.
Some ‘faults’ are actually acceptable; when next you have a German-style Weiss beer and notice an aroma of banana (esters) and clove (phenols) (both natural by-products of yeast consuming fermentation sugars) don’t send it back and write an email to the brewer. These faults in other beers are unacceptable, but actually encouraged in this particular style. That said, you don’t want diacetyl (butterscotch) in your India Pale Ale, or band-aid, rotting vegetables or vinegar in any style!
So arm yourself with knowledge and join the revolution! Beer is a wonderful thing, but like most things of beauty it can be fragile. Be #beerhonest and together we can make Beerland a better place.
Dear Eleanor Robertson
Coming from a nation that’s big on beer myself, I’m always happy to get the thoughts of people from other cultures on a beverage so close to my heart. You’ll forgive me if I forgo anything you have to say about food though; I’m not at the point where I feel the need to kill, cook and eat my national animal just yet.
So, on to your feelings on beer, and craft beer in particular.
As I understand it, aside from price and aftertaste (and I refer you to the appropriate Latin proverb on that score) your two main gripes concerning craft beer extend to disliking the snobbery of beer nerds, and feeling that beer is simply a backdrop to a good pub session and should be treated as such. Beer should never take centre stage – that would be un-Australian. It simply doesn’t fit with what you’re used to, and you don’t like that. “Give me cheap beer, or give me sobriety,” is your rallying cry to the Carlton draught-drinking, Collingwood-supporting hordes. Finally, if craft beer “were contained to its own small bars where [you] never drink, it’d just be another niche subculture, where it belongs.”
Stirring stuff indeed.
I must say though, I’ve heard that last bit before. The apartheid government said the same things to black people in my country back in the day. And you Australians echo the sentiment: people can be as Aboriginal as they want, as long as they do it far away from most other Australians (that said, you’re quite happy to accept living with a hell of a lot of Asian people; apparently China says “Jump!” and Australia dons its kangaroo ears and screams “How high?”).
Because that’s what your opinion amounts to: I don’t like it because it’s not what I’m used to, therefore it must go away. Of course, you’re welcome to that opinion, and I’ll support your right to hold it (as long as you support my right to hold the opinion that your opinion is a bit silly). I do ask this, however: If you insist on being the harbinger of the craft beer apocalypse, at least realise that your thinking establishes and relies upon a divisive false dichotomy. It’s traditional Australian beer culture or nothing; it’s ‘normal’ beer or craft; it’s us or them; it’s the Coalition of the Willing or The Axis of Evil.
But…sometimes, I can savour a craft ale. And sometimes, I can drink cold, refreshing, mass-produced lager with a big smile on my face. Wow, did I just say that? Is it possible that beer (and life) isn’t so black and white, so cut and dried?
Yes, Eleanor Robertson, it is. And I’d like you to come to Beerhouse and discover this incredible middle ground. I’ll even serve you myself. You’re welcome, because you like beer.
And before I finish, let me address that pressing threat to decent pub conversations everywhere: the Beer Nerd. Or at least I could, but you’re the one using phrases like ‘demanding in flavour’ and ‘overly hoppy’. Perhaps you should let that struggling inner Beer Nerd free. Let her express herself a bit more. Then you could be a force for universal beer love and unity, rather than a writer of patently ridiculous and sadly segregationist polemics.
Yours in (all) beer,
Minister of Hopaganda
Murray Slater knows beer. And he wants you to know beer, too. In this, the first of a series of Slideshare presentations designed to educate and inform, Beerhouse’s very own Beer Whisperer and resident beer expert explains the in’s and out’s of Belgian-style beer.
“I drink beer to make other people more interesting”
- Stratos Efststhiou