Noble Savage (he said):
Craft beer is still a pretty big deal out there. And Gauteng has its fair share of craft breweries around.
We posted about Beerhouse when it opened in Centurion. (Don’t believe me? Click here) Since then,we’ve gone in a few times for drinks and platter snacks, and saw that they kept maintaining the standards initially set (something you don’t see often with new restaurants). As part of Beerhouse’s strategy of demystifying beer, they host a #MeetTheBrewers every now-and-again. It’s exactly like it sounds: a few brewers come in, chat about their craft, and you get to meet them.
We were invited to a very special #MeetTheBrewers, where the beers would be pared with food prepared by Piet Marais.
Those of you who don’t know, he was part of the team that won the first season of Ultimate Braai Master back in 2014. He’s the one that’s full of gees. More about his skills in the kitchen later.
Also joining in was a group of beer VIP’s, including John Palmer, master of all that is beer (check out his website here).So in short, all the making of a kick-ass night!
First up was Two Okes with their Lekker Lager. Straight-forward name for a straight-forward beer. The lager is crisp and lightly hopped, ideal for drinking next to the pool after a hard day of doing nothing.
This was paired with Piet’s flame grilled chicken carnita, beer pickled cabbage, and jalapeño with sriracha cream. The spiciness worked very well with the beer’s nuttiness –definitely made for each other.
Next was Leaky Tap’s Red Ant Irish Ale. This was paired with beer battered fish, served with pureed potatoes and malt vinegar. This was one of the best beer battered fish pieces I’ve ever had. The batter was thick without being a cooking oil depository, and the creamy potatoes provided the perfect finish. The easy drinking ale didn’t overpower the subtle flavours of the food, but instead enhanced it with its clean flavour.
Beer no. 3 was Mad Giant’s Urban Legend IPA, which was paired with a pineapple ceviche served with tostadas and chilli.
I prefer an IPA, and this one didn’t disappoint, working very well with the bold flavours of the food. The beer is in-your-face and complex without being overly bitter – the beer and food really brought out the best in each other.
Our next beer was Friar’s Habit Bacon Beer. Yes, you read that right. Bacon Beer. I would suggest getting a metric fucktonne of this for Christmas – it’s like drinking a honey glazed ham. So what better than pork belly served with curtido to pair this beer with. The food brought out a slight sweetness in the beer, while at the same time making the smokiness more prominent. GEES!
Last, but not least, was the Frontier Hazeldean co-lab, named the Haymaker. What makes this beer special is that it’s a red wine barrel aged Imperial Stout. This beer can actually be aged like you do your wine (up to two years, apparently). To make it even more special is that its wax dipped, and I’m a massive slut for wax dipped bottles!
The stout was paired with a chocolate and blue cheese fondant (I know, right?!), served with a red wine pear compote. I might have mentioned that I’m not really a dessert person, but holy shit this was so incredible, I almost wept! And the beer was an absolute perfect match. Just thinking of it now is making me uncomfortable…
In-between all this decadence, John Palmer was gracious enough to give us a bit of a talk. Originally from Michigan in the United States (which is in America), he moved to California where he found the beer to be a bit light. As in beer-flavoured water light. So instead of trying to import Bock beer form home, he decided to rather just make his own. And the rest is history. He’s a really nice, down-to- earth guy, and patiently answered all the questions posed to him.
We had a really amazing night out with the brewers. Beerhouse really upped their game, with Piet masterfully (and full of gees) preparing and pairing the food with the beer. I honestly hope Beerhouse considers adding a few of these to their menu, particularly the fish and that chocolate and blue cheese fondant.
Follow Beerhouse on Facebook and Twitter for updates on their next events, as well as their weekly specials.