As the name suggests, this spot is absolutely about the beer. But the quartet in charge has got the menu right, with brunch dishes including bacon and mushrooms served on lightly toasted sourdough (R45), halloumi and mushrooms (R45), and the rather telling Big Boy (R55), all of which are served until 1pm.
Then things get a tad more serious with delicious burgers, sandwiches, hotdogs, Southern-style smoked ribs (R90 for 500g), and salads. The latter are far from boring, however, with an option featuring grilled artichokes, shiitake mushrooms and sundried tomatoes served on baby spinach, rocket and lettuce with a rosemary and thyme dressing.
The burgers offer a great variety, from Blue Marrow (patty topped with bone marrow) at R60, a porcini burger for R79, and a Stiff Hot Joe, a twist on the Sloppy Joe, with patty smothered in mince, cheddar and mayo for R80. They serve fabulous onion rings and freshly made chips, too.
The quality and the innovation are exciting, especially because the beer is so overwhelming and you might not expect much from the cuisine. They warn you that preparation will take 45 minutes, but the ambience allows for kuier and nobody is too bothered.
They currently list 160 craft beers – and the number is growing. Newbies can start off with a tasting kit shared by an informative maître d’, who has a good time showing you the ropes. You can enjoy an escorted tour of their on-tap beers as well as their storage facilities. Even if your knowledge of ale is extremely limited, this is a great place to start. If you prefer wine, they have a small but strong selection, as well as some shots (homemade chilli tequila or a ‘melktertjie’), and a smart whiskey collection. This is student territory, so the menu and the drinks reflect that.
At the start of a week things are relatively gentle, but it can get hectic towards the weekends. The service is sweet, with waiters checking in at intervals.
Think of a contemporary beer hall and you’ll have the image. Tables can be shared, and the look is canteen chic: well-designed and inviting for a night of merriment. Student nights and weekends might be a bit raucous, but there’s more than enough space to select a quieter spot if you choose to go during the day on a Sunday as a family or earlier in the week.
You’ll be in heaven if craft beer is your thing. If it’s not, this is the place to learn.