Kim van Niekerk of Fusion Design headed up the #WestCoast to Darling Brew for a sneak preview of whats on offer at the Darling Winter Festival coming up on 30th June.
Have a read and save the date, you don’t want to miss the tastes and fun in this funky little town. A perfect winter escape.
RAINY DAY ROAD TRIPPING
A successful road trip requires three things: excellent company, an exceptional rest stop and an inviting destination. I enjoyed all three on a recent rainy day drive up the Cape West Coast with foodie and photographer Nita from Shutterbloggin, tour guide Rupesh from Eat like a Local and Sascha the ‘beertograher’ aka Dinkie Buck.
Our exceptional rest stop was Route 27 Roosterkoek opposite Jakkalsfontein Nature Reserve, roughly 25 minutes drive from Melkbosstrand. We enjoyed generous portions of piping hot roosterkoek served with jam and cheese before hitting the road again for our intended destination; the Darling Brew Tasteroom and Brewery.
SLOW BEER IN DEAREST DARLING
Darling is my favourite small town on the West Coast with its delightful mix of quirky eateries, quaint B&B’s and creative residents. Darling Brew can be found on the outskirts of town and is a favourite spot with locals and visitors alike. Our warm welcome included a delicious cup of coffee to thaw us out before we explored the brewery with our host Philippa Wood, cofounder of Darling Brew.
The first stop on our brewery tour was the storeroom where the malt is kept. Philippa grabbed handfuls of grain from different sacks and encouraged us to smell and even taste. Some were dark as coffee beans and some were light like wheat. The flavours were distinct and delicious. Malt is the ingredient that gives a beer flavour, body and colour – the things that make a beer a pale ale or a pilsner, a weisse or a witbier. It also provides the sugars that the yeast converts into alcohol and CO2.
As we tour the brewery, I realise that what seemed like a simple 4 step process is actually a very precise science that is much less forgiving than the art of making wine. Timing and temperature control are key and there is little room to adapt and adjust once the beermaking has begun. The steel tanks and myriad of pipes take up a larger space than I’d imagined and it is here, I learn, where the popular Darling Winter Beer Festival takes place on 30 June 2018. Local bands and local beers come together for an epic, all-weather day of music and craft beer tasting with Darling Brew pouring their beer directly from tank to tap, affording beer enthusiasts a chance to taste the freshest beer possible.
TASTING TIME AT DARLING BREW’S TASTEROOM
The time had come to taste the end product. The Tasteroom offers a wide variety of tasting options as well as knowledgeable staff to guide you. We each choose a different tasting and as a newbie to the world of beer, my favourite was the Ruby Jewel from the Spirited Flight range. A classic radler (or beer shandy as it’s known in South Africa) flavoured with real ruby grapefruit.
We rounded off our Darling Brew experience with a generous charcuterie platter and a plate of sticky ribs, courtesy of The Flying Pig who run the kitchen at Darling Brew.
FIND DARLING BREW TASTEROOM & BREWERY ON THE WEST COAST WAY CULTURE ROUTE:
Darling Brew Tasteroom & Brewery: 48 Caledon Street, Darling
Distance from Cape Town: 76km
Contact: +27 (0)21 286 1099 | [email protected] | www.darlingbrew.co.za