WHAT is better than food and beer? Food made with beer, that’s what.
For years, the Beerhouse team has been championing the beer revolution in South Africa and has now teamed up with Ultimate Braai Master winner and Laat Die Potte Prut presenter, Piet Marais (and his team), to create a food menu that combines the best of both worlds – resulting in #BrewFood.
Says Randolf Jorberg, co-owner (and “head dreamer”) of Beerhouse: “You think you’ve tasted it all? Think again! Just when we thought that food couldn’t possibly be reinvented, along we came with #BrewFood. Beerhouse’s library of beers has always created a unique experience of exploration and discovery with our 99 bottles of beer on the wall and 25 on tap. Now we’re very proud to present a new era – an exploration that brings a fusion of food and beer together.”
Marais explains more: “Beer is actually a food product and brewing shares many techniques similar to cooking. Beer’s raw ingredients include malted barley, hops and yeast; all which provide flavour profiles that can enhance food in tremendous ways. Beer can therefore be used to season, pickle and even ferment food.”
Enough said (although there’s much more really) – off we went to Beerhouse in Long Street last week. What else is a Capetonian supposed to do on a Friday afternoon but eat and drink beer? Especially in the interests of work and research.
Thing is, I don’t drink beer as a rule. “Then I’m your man!” declared Tony Shine. He’s such a stand up guy.
But when in a beer house…the selection is mind boggling, in bottles and on tap, but the list is well presented with explanations and descriptions. If you get stuck, the staff – who are friendly and knowledgeable – will help you out. The beers and ciders on tap can be sampled in small tasters, and there are three “tasting platters” to explore more options. Being a girly girl, I began with Liefman’s Fruitesse, which is an appealing magenta colour and full of berry flavours. Served over ice, it was more like a cooldrink than a beer.
I later went on to a Woodstock Brewery Hazy Days, which seemed appropriate, while Mr Shine did what he does best across the table. I’m being deliberately vague because although he informed me what he was drinking, I wasn’t taking notes, and I can’t remember a damn thing.
On to the food, all of which either goes jolly well with a beer, or includes one or more elements which use beer in their preparation…beer batter, beer pickles, beer brine, brew-BQ sauce, beer-cheese…you get the idea. And if you’ve never thought of having beer for dessert, consider the float made with milk stout, salted caramel and whisky ice cream, honeycomb, grilled marshmallows. whipped cream, dulce de leche and chocolate ganache. With a cherry on top. Seriously.
There are brew snacks, Beerhouse buns, and a selection “from the smoker” which is on the premises, as well as side dishes. The BBQ bitterballen are fantastic – light and crisp on the outside, soft and meaty inside. The hot smoked wings tossed in brew-BQ sauce and served with amasi-ranch dressing and beeracha (I’m sure you can work that one out) were very more-ish.
Mr Shine had a Beerhouse Po-Boy – a ginormous beer battered fish sandwich with rémoulade taken to even more towering heights with a massive onion ring on top. The buns are beer brioche, obviously, and these meals are served with a side of slaw and amasi-ranch sauce.
Smoked meats can be ordered according to appetite, in 100g increments, so you can make up your own platter. I had beer brined brisket and some super duper spare ribs, apparently from a rather large pig. The side order of smoked pineapple and charred pepper slaw wasn’t even necessary.
My sad moment? That I didn’t follow through on my joke to have dessert first. That float might just kill me, but oh, what a way to go.
Beerhouse is at 223 Long Street, Cape Town. Call 021 424 3370 for more information.
PHOTO CREDIT: SUPPLIED