All we needed to bring was a curiosity of beer and an open mind. I obviously brought a pen and paper; in no world can I play it cool.
In line with My 1yr drinking challenge, I need to learn about beer in South Africa, it’s tough work but someone’s got to do it.
I’ve always been attracted to a nice cold crisp beer. Probably because wherever anyone is drinking a cold brew, I can usually get away with wearing my slip-slops.
After a few Black Labels we sat ready to consume: beer and knowledge.
So, here’s what I learned in beer college (what some might argue as the best college), and, feel free to add your own facts below:
Ales and Lagers:
Ales and lagers are the two categories of your basic beer, all other beer falls into these two.
Ales are brewed using a top-fermenting yeast at higher temps for shorter periods of time.
Lagers are beers that are fermented with bottom-fermenting yeast at lower temps for longer periods of time.
I think I’m turning into a lager lover.
Filtered vs. unfiltered:
The easiest way to tell if your beer has been filtered is to hold your hand up behind the glass and if you can see through it’s filtered; if it’s blurry as that black out night at uni- unfiltered.
Some people argue that unfiltered is more natural and leaves space for more flavour (any advice on this one, experienced drinkers?).
Beer with food:
Black Label: grab some hard cheeses like parmesan, a light fish, or eats that are a bit sweeter and the fruity flavours in the beer will shine.
Guinness: bring on the oyster buffet and your Guinness should pair perfectly with that fresh taste of the ocean.
Cherry Kriek: sweet dessert beer that the ladies really seem to love, and it’s red, bonus!
Awesome beer facts:
Trappist Beer: limited edition beer actually brewed by monks in Belgium and the Netherlands; but seriously – actually brewed in monasteries over 100 years old.
Beer head: not just a pervy saying or a moustache maker, the frothy foam that sits atop your ale indicates the amount of bubbles in your beer and allows for a rich aroma.
And, the down-downs:
No college experience is complete with out a proper drinking challenge.
Keg King threw down a tasting competition that in turn resulted in a down-downs drink off. While Martin, down-downing at an impeccable rate, drank his beer in an utter flash, Anel from Wine Times took the trophy making lady boozers proud all over South Africa.
This is why I like beer, because at the end of it all, people are doing down-downs.
Feel free to add your beer facts and bits to the article comments as the 1yr drinking challenge continues.
Follow @MilkandCookieSA on twitter.
An article written for food24.com