Boston Breweries, situated in Paarden Eiland, Cape Town, Western Cape has been brewing expertly crafted beers for many, many years now, but they were officially registered in 2000 when they took Slaapstad by storm. And man! Have they come a long way in 17 years! They won popular acclaim in South Africa so quickly that to keep up with the demand, they had to advance from a modest 100 litre system to the production of 8000 litres per month, and then even further to an impressive current brewing capacity of 32000 litres of beer in just 1 month.
Chris Barnard, the Chief Brewer and founder of Boston Breweries was always passionate about beer, but after travelling the world, tasting many a foreign beer and catching a mere glimpse of the potential that South African beer could have, he made a decision that would change not only his life, but also take the craft beer scene in Cape Town, and now South Africa, to a whole nother level.
Boston Breweries now boasts 12 different types of craft beer, that not only have beautifully designed labels to match that beer’s individual personality, but also offer their own unique flavours and distinct tasting notes that make them stand out from the rest of the craft beers on the market.
But what really makes Boston Brewery beers so special? If it’s not enough that their range of crisp, tasty craft beers offer something for everyone, even the non-beer lovers, then maybe the fact that all their beers are 100% hand made and naturally brewed using malted barley, water, yeast and hops will win you over? Or the fact that Chris Barnard himself personally checks and tastes every single batch of beer that is brewed before it is approved for production. Or maybe that the equipment maintenance at all their supplier restaurants and pubs is closely monitored by Boston to ensure it is methodically carried out in a meticulously timeous manner. What more could you ask for? Try one today!
But first let me tell you about the party that I had the pleasure of throwing last weekend, sponsored by Boston Breweries, centred around a taste testing of their 12 varieties of beers. Hear the opinions of the people, first hand, right here, right now.
We got the party off to a great start in the late afternoon. It was a typically sweltering hot and humid Durban summer day when even the evening approaching doesn’t offer any sort of relief. But we did have one form of relief. The hot and bothered guests arrived to not only a glistening pool begging to be embraced, but also an assortment of free freezing cold Boston Beers chilling in cooler boxes overflowing with ice blocks. Accompanied by some party tunes, girl talk and guy talk around the pool, there was nothing more we needed for a night we would never forget (except for maybe some Tequila shots to get everybody even more loosened up and into both the competitive and social spirit).
Why competitive you say? Well for the Boston Breweries Beer Tasting Challenge of course. It’s hilarious the different sides that come out as soon as you mention a test. All the super competitive over-achievers start filling in their forms before everyone else, looking over their shoulders to make sure nobody is copying them, the panickers get sweaty palms and start stuttering, and the cheaters stand out like sore thumbs. It was Team 1 vs. Team 2. Each team tasted 5 different beers and then had to guess the tasting notes. Team 1 consisted of 3 guys and 2 girls, and Team 2 of 2 guys and 3 girls. And the ages ranged from 25 to 41. We had a nice cultural mix of South Africans, Americans, Dutch-Indonesion/ Germans, English and Swiss to ensure we had a fair worldly case study (just kidding, that was totally by accident). All the ladies except 2 were beer drinkers, but those who did like beer said that they preferred lighter, more fruity beers with less of a hops aftertaste. Of course all the guys love beer and most also agreed that lighter, easy to drink beers were their favourite.
Each team had to rate the beers allocated to them on a scale from 1 to 5 and tell us what they liked about each beer. In Team 1 the Wild Honey Blonde came out tops and even when comparing what the 2 ladies liked vs. the 3 guys, this drink STILL took the top spot. The team described it as light, with very little hops aftertaste, and sweet with pleasant undertones of honey, mead and molasses.
In Team 2, Whale Tale Ale shot to first place by a long shot but when comparing the 3 ladies to the 2 guys’ opinions, even though the girls still favoured Whale Tale Ale because it was light, easy drinking, the guys raved about the Arid Light, giving it full marks, interestingly also stating that it was light, easy drinking with absolutely nothing to complain about.
Then came the really fun part, hearing who could guess the correct tasting notes or alternatively what the perfect paired food was for each beer. Well which team had the most sensitive and experienced palates? It was a close call, but in the end it was a fair draw, which meant Kit Kats for everyone! Woohoo…sugar!
In addition to that, there were some surprising outcomes from the girls. Alexa may have discovered her new favourite beer – the Wild Honey Blonde and Minette fell in love with the Pumpkin Ale. She really enjoyed the clear notes of Pumpkin & Cinnamon – something she said she could see herself serving to family and friends at Christmas time. Minette is an Art Director come Graphic Designer for Mr Price so it definitely means something when she says she also loved all the label designs!
After consuming a fair amount of beer, we were definitely ready to eat and line our stomachs for some more beer! As is customary with SA braais, far too much braai meat was passed around with delicious sides of Greek salad with homemade croutons and a blue cheese & bacon potato salad dished up onto paper plates with plastic cutlery (is there any other way? Roughing it & loving it!) The group spread themselves out around the pool, legs dangling in the water and sipping on their next beer, chatting about anything and everything, and feeling very excited about the band now having full bellies and getting ready to perform.
Johnny & Gabriel from the Holy Smokes & the Godforsaken Rollers, all the way from the States, graced us with an unforgettable acoustic performance and had us in a trance with their hauntingly beautiful voices, totally on-key whistling and catchy melodies you can’t help but tap your foot to. Their “dirty south” music fueled by a harmonica, a banjo, a guitar, and a violin was absolute goosebump material and we felt so honoured to have had them play and set the mood at our party (for free Boston Breweries beer of course).
We were having such a good time that we didn’t even get around to playing Beer Pong. Chilled vibes on the lounger chairs under the starry sky & banana trees, with crazy dogs entertaining you, tends to do that to you.
We finished the night off with some dancing around the pool and a late night dip. True friendships and tight connections were formed that night and it was all thanks to Boston Breweries. Thank you to Jacqui & the team for giving me this opportunity and for sponsoring the beers. It was an absolute pleasure hosting the party and exposing people from all over the globe to your gorgeous beers. Thank you also to all my friends especially Karen & Andre for opening up their home to us and Tatiana from lekkerness.com for spending all that time snapping so many of the party photos.
For more info on their range, please read on (descriptions were supplied by Boston Breweries, and photographs taken by myself). For any further info on Boston Breweries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org while their website http://www.bostonbreweries.co.za/ is under construction. Follow me @my_insatiable_appetite on Instagram for more non-stop food porn and subscribe to my blog to receive notifications of upcoming blog posts on recipes and product / restaurant reviews.
Now what you waiting for?! Go get you some of that Boston Breweries refreshment!