We South Africans love our beers. There’s no question about it. Lager, stout, draft, we say bring them on by the keg full, and let the good times roll! We like what we like – let’s be honest, that crisp hops taste never gets old. But with so many flavour concoctions and different craft styles to choose from, going blind into the world of craft beer can be a bit daunting. Fear not South Africans – whether you’re a novice drinker or more advanced in the brewski department, there’s a craft style you’re sure to love. So let’s explore some of our favourite types of beer, and help you find your individual craft style.
The popular Amber Ale is brewed with a touch of amber malt or crystal malt, giving it its characteristic copper colour and toasted toffee flavour. Amber Ale is wonderfully refreshing with braai food – making it a great choice for Heritage Day. If you like the sound of this craft style, meet our Amber brew, the Cheerleader. She’s a real queen bee, all-eyes-on-me sort of chick, boasting malty flavours and a generous bill of Amarillo Gold and Willamette hops. The Cheerleader loves to show up at any and all social events, strutting her stuff and turning heads as she passes. Everyone wants to be seen with her. And as you’ve probably guessed, yes, she brings all the boys to the yard.
Ranging from gold to copper in colour, Belgian Ale has a mild yet noticeable hoppy bitterness, often balanced with a caramel or toasted malt flavour. Belgian Ale works wonders with tempura-fried fish and chips, and chocolate desserts in particular. If you have a sweet tooth, the Fes will be your best friend (and guilty pleasure). He’s a sweet-natured lad with hints of caramel and toffee, and mildly bittered with Perle & Fuggles hops. When the desserts come rolling out of the kitchen, he’ll take you by the hand and dance with you through the creamy textures and rich flavours, making every chocolate confectionary taste that much better. What a casanova!
The ‘hoppiest’ of all types of beer, fans of India Pale Ale (IPA) love it for its floral, earthy notes and powerfully bitter flavour profile. IPA comes in many varieties, and its colour ranges from clear, pale gold to murky amber. It pairs brilliantly with chicken and cheese. If this beer has your name written all over it, try the Graduate. He’s an eccentric blend – he’s a book-smart, quirky sort of guy, with sophisticated hints of passion fruit and litchi. If you hit it off with the Graduate, he might even share some of his flavour profile genius with you.
Inspired by the English Pale Ale, American Pale Ale (APA) is ‘same same but different’ – it’s made with American hops, delivering bold citrus and pine-like flavour nuances. This beer is medium-bodied, with low-to-medium caramel and toasted maltiness. It’s also food-friendly, pairing well with salads, chicken, chilli, seafood, cheeses and desserts. Our APA is the Quarterback, flavoured with Citra and bittered with Cascade hops. He’s an athletic guy, there’s no doubt about that – a real man’s man. But make no mistake, the ladies fancy him too. Hang out with the Quarterback and score a flavour touchdown!
The iconic, soft-body German-style Pilsner is light in colour and balanced to perfection. It’s one of the most popular types of beer worldwide, yet one of the more challenging to make. Pilsners have a medium-to-high hoppy bitterness, with a distinctive malty, sweet flavour and aroma. If you love a good Pilsner, we suggest you enjoy it with shellfish, chicken and cheddar cheese. Our own take on this style is the Dean, the head honcho and authority on all things golden beer. Get on his good side and you’ll soon learn why he’s the big dog on campus.
Still not sure what your craft style is? If so, we’ve got some great news for you – now’s your time to go wild and sample beer to your heart’s content! (Like you needed another reason to love the liquid gold, right?) So go forth and conquer different types of beer until you settle on one, or a few. You never know, you might love them all! Keen to hang out with our brewski bunch? Get acquainted and book your free brewery tour.