Beer tasting @ Birkenhead

So what the most logical thing to do after a very relaxing river ride?  A beer tasting of course! ;)

The Birkenhead Brewery is situated just outside of Stanford on the R326.  It’s a small micro brewery which also owns the title of being the first brewing estate in the Southern Hemisphere.

Before we got stuck into the fine selection of beers on offer, we got to have a look around the beautiful estate.  As you’ll see from this pic, there’s definitely nothing “micro” about it:
Now if you’re not into beer, no stress.  You can just pop in for a hearty pub lunch or a yummy Sunday buffet spread.  The estate is also the home of Walker Bay Vineyards wines and there’s lots and lots of space for the kiddies to run around and play.

The brewery produces 6 different beers:

  • Honey blonde (6% alc.):
    - Malty with a sweet fruity finish and a touch of honey.  Low in bitterness with a honey aroma.  I guess this one can be best described as a “ladies beer” and can be enjoyed with a slice of lemon.
  • Pilsner (3.5% alc.):
    - A distinctive pilsner with a slighty bitter after taste.
  • Premium Lager (4.5% alc.):
    - Primarily malty, lightly hopped.  Slightly sweeter than your average lager.
  • Birkenhead Pride (4.5% alc.):
    - Full malt flavoured style made with the best English hops.  Biscuity with a dry nutty finish.
  • Chocolate Malt Stout (4.5% alc.):
    - Strong espresso coffee with hints of chocolate, complemented by tangy bitterness and a dry nutty finish.
  • Black Snake (10% alc.):
    - A Birkenhead creation made from Brandy, stout & Honey Blonde ale.  This one’s not for the faint hearted…

We got to taste 5 of the 6 cause it seems the Black Snake is quite a hot seller and they were totally out of stock on that baby.

My favourite by far was the Premium Lager.  I could see myself easily sipping away on one of those on a hot summer’s day.  And I don’t even like beer. :)

Master brewer, Benson, was there to take us through the different beers:

And then we did a brewery tour where he took us through the entire beer making process from brewing, and fermenting…

All the way through to the bottling process:

This machine can bottle about 400 beers per hour. Impressive.

I must say, I now know way more about beer than I ever thought I would care to know.  But I reckon it’s going to give me a bit more cred with die manne. ;)  Plus it was actually really nice to get out of my “wine comfort zone” and try something different.

Wanna organise your own tasting and/or brewery tour?  Contact them on:

  • Tel:  028 341 0183
  • Email: chrisb@birkenhead.co.za

xxx