Once a month the fantastic people over at Beerhouse host a special Meet the Brewers event. Lovers of beer are invited to come listen to and discuss the subject of beer and brewing with the people who work hard to make the objects of their adoration. The best part about these events is that they’re all inclusive – The beer and the talks are free!
We were invited to attend the second of these events. They had arranged for Morne Uys, from Lakeside Beerworks, to come speak to us and they had paired their beers with various delicious cheeses, which one could opt into for R150. The cheeses were provided by Jane Solander from Around Cheese. Two cheeses were paired with each beer, with one contrasting and one complimenting the beer in question. While definitely unusual, the result was great and very educational.
At only one year old, Lakeside is a fairly new microbrewery. Founded by home brewer Morne,and Pierre, the Beerworks started out in a garage in Zandvlei. Once they outgrew their workspace, a friendship with Mark and Analize ter Morshuizen from Honingklip brewery led to them using Honingklip’s equipment to expand their operation. This was at a time when Lakeside only brewed a couple of times a week; they have subsequently bought the premises of what used to be Valley Brewery in Kommetjie and now they brew full-time.
While I would never celebrate the closure of an existing microbrewery, I am definitely happy that Lakeside increased their brewing output! On their website they proclaim themselves The New Kids on the Block, but their beer would have you doubting that; each beer displays a quality of craftsmanship well beyond a meagre year’s worth of experience.
The talk began with Murray from Beerhouse giving us a brief overview of the brewing process, after which Morne took over and we dived in our beers.
The first beer was their London Ale. Originally a Valley Brewery beer, Lakeside have opted to continue producing it as one of their regular production beers. This beer dances around the midpoint between Lager and Ale style beers, with a Lager recipe and an Ale yeast. It is fantastically light and easy drinking, definitely one you could drink all day. At 4.5% alcohol and only 25 IBU, it is an easy drinker with a nose that hints of cold custard and jelly, with some grapefruit appearing as well. That being said, the nose is faint and inoffensive. You have to look for these scents because they aren’t jumping out at you. It’s taste and mouthfeel are those of one of lighter ales, which is followed by a slightly hoppy aftertaste.
The two cheeses paired with this wine were the Hard Goats Cheese and the Mature Boerenkaas. The goats cheese was paired to compliment the beer and had a flavour intensity similar to the beer, leaving its flavours intact and only overpowering the hoppy aftertaste. The Boerenkaas, a fantastic cheese in itself, contrasted with the beer as its creaminess made it difficult for the beer to reach your tongue again while also emphasising the bitter aspect of the beer.
Next, we moved onto the Heffeweizen, which contains 5% alcohol and has a 12 IBU rating. Beerhouse had been kind enough to provide us with tasting notes for all the beers and cheeses tried during the evening, and this beer’s tasting note was right on the money! The banana and bubblegum nose they describe leapt out at me as I brought the beer to my mouth, and that typical wheat flavour was also present on the nose. The fruitiness of the beer is achieved through the use of a low-flocculating yeast, which means a yeast that doesn’t clear well from the beer and therefore contributes a cloudy appearance and fruity flavour profile. Despite that, the taste was not excessively wheat-ish or yeasty and it was definitely followed by a pleasantly tart finish.
A Soft Goats Cheese and a Gorgonzola were paired with the Heffeweizen. The soft cheese was quite sour, making the beer taste sweet and delicious in comparison. It did, however, minimise the wheat and yeasty tastes, so if that’s what you’re looking for in your Heffeweizens then this is not the pairing for you.
Third, we tasted Lakeside’s American Pale Ale. I detected a biscuit scent on the nose, with a characteristic hoppiness but without heaviness. Morne explained that Americans like taking things to the extreme, using lots of hops, malt and american yeasts with high attenuation to make a drier beer. At 4.5% it is at the lower end of the style in terms of alcohol content. It contains 32 IBUs and was described as a malty, mildly hopped beer with a hint of honey brought in by the use of Munich malt. He uses the Munich and Vienna malts to add body and sugar to the beer, and crystal malt for colour. I found the beer to have a good head retention and legacy, with a dark-honey colour. There’s definitely some bitterness on the palate but not excessively so.
A Prince Albert Regal cheese was chosen to pair with the beer. It’s saltiness was intended to calm the hoppy bitterness on the palate and I definitely found this to be the case. Incidentally, it was also a thoroughly enjoyable cheese. The Karoo Crumble did the opposite – accentuating but in my opinion not over-expressing the hops. It definitely doesn’t bring much to the beer.
Next we tasted the Red Ale. This is the first beer Morne ever made and it sits at 4.5% and 24 IBU. The nose is very subtle, with sweet and malty scents. It has a slightly metallic taste to it, with the malt on the nose following through. The 6 Month Gruyere paired nicely with the beer, making one want to sip it more frequently, whereas the Soft Goats Cheese (the same as for the Heffeweizen) brought out its bitterness.
Finally, we tasted one of their experimental beers, a 6%, 40 IBU stout. Morne explained that he enjoyed experimenting with new styles, which is something he did frequently as a home brewer but less so as a commercial enterprise owing to the need to produce consistently high quality products in copious amounts. He says that experimenting helps remind him that it’s still a hobby and to remain passionate about his job. The beer has a lovely dark colour, and was brewed with columbus hops for lots of bitterness. It has a definite cold, black coffee taste with hints of rusk or biscuit. There is a hint of sweetness, which Morne explained is from the crystal malt.
Only one cheese was paired with this beer. They chose a 12 month Gruyere, which was a great tasting cheese! It brought out the sweetness of the beer and minimised some of the coffee without eliminating it from the aftertaste.
Following the tasting the floor was open to questions from the crowd. A number of good questions were asked, and the conversation was casual, interesting and informative. Finally, when asked where Lakeside Beerworks would go from here, Morne simply smiled and said “The sky’s the limit my friend”.
We attended Meet The Brewer by the invitation of Beerhouse. That being said we will be returning next month for the Apollo Meet the Brewer and will be very happily paying for ourselves because it is worth every cent! Tickets for the food pairing are available on Webtickets for R150, and as mentioned the talks and the beers are free! The next one is a curry pairing!
Thanks to Beerhouse for making such an awesome event happen, and to Morne and Lakeside Beerworks for such an interesting talk and especially for such amazing beers!
- Location: 223 Long Street, Cape Town
- Opening times:Every day from 12pm til late
- Contact details: 021 4243370
- Website: http://www.beerhouse.co.za/
- Location: 20 Fish Eagle Park, Kommetjie, Cape Town, Western Cape, 7975
- Contact details: 021 783 0169
- Website: http://www.lsbw.co.za/