A Friday well spent is one out of the office visiting one of my favourite local craft brewers. Craft beer is something Darling Brew does so well and not to mention sustainably too. I attended their official launch in April this year for the announcement that they have obtained carbon neutral status, which meant Darling Brew had officially become Africa’s very first Carbon neutral brewery. Remember the tree that was planted in April to commemorate their carbon neutral status? Here’s an update:
Co-founder of Darling Brew, Philippa Wood graciously hosted and took me and a select group of media on a very informative tour of the brewery, in what made me feel like this was a more grown up version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Entering the brewery, the rich smell of roasted hops fills the air and entices you to a ‘cold one’ upstairs at the Tasteroom where you can also order an equally delicious meal to pair with your brew of choice. It’s been a while since April, so here’s my update on what’s new on offering at Darling Brew:
News on the Brews
We were some of the first to be let in on a little secret. Darling Brew has just launched a new beer, Pixie Dust. It is a Golden Weiss beer. We when visited recently, I noticed a brewing tank labelled ‘Pixie Dust’, as well as that they have already started serving this tasty beer on tap at the Brewery, one more reason to go and visit Darling Brew! Philippa informed me that both Slow Beer and Bone Crusher beers were recently awarded at the 2018 African Beer Awards.
The Tasting Room
The menu is seasonal and good old pub grub with a special touch on locality, only using local artisanal food suppliers. The incredibly rich and creamy cheese selection that is used in any of their menu items containing cheese comes from a local dairy shop, Udderly Delicious, the smoked meats and charcuterie they use is sourced from Darling heavyweight, The Flying Pig. I particularly love how much emphasis Darling Brew puts on supporting local businesses.
After my tasting flight of fresh and fruity beers, I opted for ‘The Cuban’. A toasted sourdough sandwich with smoked pork ham, gooey cheddar cheese and pickles with a side of delicious crispy potato chips. I was forewarned by our waitress that the portion is quite generous, and generous it was! I would advise going hungry, fuelling up with either breakfast or lunch before partaking in a tasting flight of your choice.
The tasting flight variety ensures that there certainly is something for everyone!
Pick between the DB Popular flight consisting of the:
- Slow Beer
- Gypsy Mask
- Rogue Pony
- Bone Crusher
Alternatively, if you don’t consider yourself to be much of a beer drinker, try the Ladies Flight, which consists of Rock Shandy inspired beers like:
- Golden Tail – Lemon 2.6%
- The Ruby Jewel – Grapefruit 6%
- Gypsy Mask – Red Ale 4%
- Rogue Pony – Pale Ale 5%
Official word: this year the Darling Brew Beer Fest will be held on the 15 December. Keep your eyes peeled to their social media accounts for updates closer to the time. If you’re in and around Woodstock you would have noticed a massive billboard on the actual building announcing Darling Brew coming to the neighbourhood soon, opening doors early 2019.
Something Different and New
In the spirit of sustainability, Darling Brew has been toying with the idea of creating something out of the spent grain that comes with any beer production. Until, enough trial and error, Darling Brew Beer Crisps were born. With two flavours, Slow Beer and Bone Crusher made with the spent grain of said beers, the bags of crisps are great value for money for the size of the bag. To make the crisps, 40% of spent grain is used. Grain from the Bone Crusher and Slow Beer is used to make the respective flavours of crisps. Since launching on the market, the crisps have been well received. Another snippet of inside information, the crisps will in future be used on The TasteRoom’s menu as a delicious addition for Nachos. Production of the crisps are on site, besides the actual frying of the crisps which is sent to a local business to take care of. The small batches are then brought back to the brewery to be put on a steep conveyor belt which is then gently dropped into bags that are immediately sealed and ready to be sold off to any lucky customer. I of course couldn’t bare to leave the brewery without having purchased a bag of both the Slow Beer and Bone Crusher to enjoy at my own leisure.
Find Darling Brew Tasteroom & Brewery on the West Coast Way Culture & Foodie Routes
Distance from Cape Town: 76km
Darling Brew Tasteroom & Brewery: 48 Caledon Street, Darling
Brewery, Restaurant, Tastings & Sales, open-air kids play area, MTB-friendly, Live Events
School Holidays & Flower Season: Open 7 days a week.
Tasteroom operating hours:
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9 am to 5 pm Kitchen closes at 4 pm
Friday 9 am to 7 pm Kitchen closes at 6 pm
Saturday 9 am to 5 pm Kitchen closes at 4 pm
Sunday 10 am to 4 pm Kitchen closes at 3 pm
They are also open for private functions. The restaurant works on a walk in basis but large groups are encouraged to book.