Tag Archives: craft beer

Bratwurst from Hoghouse BBQ & Bakery at Spier in Stellenbosch (2016-09-11) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 08 NOV 2016

Based in Ndabeni, Hoghouse Brewing Co. started out as a craft brewery before expanding into artisan bread making and believe it or not, Texan-style smokehouse barbeque food. Following a successful season or two of their popular bakery at the ever beautiful Spier Wine Estate outside Stellenbosch, the Hoghouse BBQ & Bakery is now back bigger and better, with a giant new smoker and a tasty barbeque menu to go along with it!

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Having come to Spier for a bit of bird watching at Eagle Encounters, we decided to give the Hoghouse BBQ & Bakery a go for a lightning quick lunch – and pleasingly, despite the lack of a booking, they were able to help us out with a small table right before the lunch rush began!

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If you are looking for smoked meat decadence, then Hoghouse’s menu certainly doesn’t disappoint, but because we were a  little on the clock, it had to be something small – hence some handmade fries for the girls to nibble on (they were too busy rolling around on Spier’s lawns in any event to even bother with actual food!), a good looking salad for Chantelle, and a bratwurst hotdog of all things for me.

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Mind you, I wasn’t just content with savouring their food alone – no, I also enjoyed one of their signature craft brews which happily turned out to be well worth it in terms of flavour.

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The staff were awesome, the vibe really cool, and surrounded by the Cape Dutch architecture and beauty that is Spier’s grounds, pretty much everything now points to the fact that we need to head out that way again for a proper lunch as soon as the chance arises.

After all, have you seen that BBQ listing on their menu!!!

A handy map:

Related Link: Hoghouse BBQ & Bakery | Facebook | Spier Wine Estate

A Quick Craft Beer at Vredenhof Organic Estate in Somerset West (2016-09-17) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 17 OCT 2016

Driving home after having spent a lovely Saturday eating lunch at the beautiful Tokara wine estate, Chantelle asked if we could pop in at Vredenhof Organic Estate so that she could also see their cool play area that I was so enchanted by on a recent visit there with my girls.

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I happily obliged, but as luck would have it, by the time we walked through their gates, it was already pretty much closing time. (According to their website, they are open: Tuesday to Saturday from 08:00 to 16:00. Probably should have checked up on that first!)

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So no real showing off of this little hidden Somerset West gem to Chantelle then, but at least there was enough time for a quick coffee for her and a craft beer for me (a locally brewed, rather nice Stellebrau Craven Craft Lager if you must ask), while the girls enjoyed the already deserted, Disney-themed play area.

I guess then another future visit is in order?

As always, a handy map, and for more information, refer to my previous post on Vredenhof!

Related Link: Vredenhof Organic Estate | Facebook

Outside the Stellenbosch Brewing Company at Klein Joostenberg (2016-08-27) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 05 SEP 2016

One big addition to the picnic lawns at Klein Joostenberg that we spotted on our visit there the other day is the hard to miss home of The Stellenbosch Brewing Company, the craft brewery behind the ‘Stellies’ beer label.

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Known as “The Taproom on Klein Joostenberg”, this light lunch/pub venture is a collaboration between Joostenberg Picnics and The Stellenbosch Brewing Co (who actually brew from that very building).

Essentially it is billed as a family friendly space where the whole family can relax and children can run and play, all while one enjoys an al fresco meal, a chilled glass of organic Joostenberg wine, an ice-cold Stellies craft beer and the laid back farm setting.

Sounds good to me.

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As I mentioned, the 2013 established craft brewery actually brews the beer on site and tastings and tours are offered. Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to sit down and try some of their beer, so that just means I’ll need to head back that way the first chance that I get! ;)

Founder brewer Bruce Collins and Taproom manager Karen Collins list five different Stellies beers currently on offer: (source)

  • Bosch Weiss: a lightly hopped traditional Bavarian style wheat beer specifically fermented with a unique yeast strain lending notes of banana, clove and coriander. ABV 4.5% & IBU 11
  • The Avenue Lager: A bohemian style Czech pilsner brewed with Saaz hops and cold fermented for a minimum of 6 weeks. Full of flavor and balanced by a crisp, dry finish. ABV 5.0% & IBU 15
  • Born Free Pale Ale: An assertive American style Pale Ale with a unique blend of hops giving litchi, gooseberry and citrus notes. It’s perfect balance of malt & hops guarantees smooth drinkability. ABV 5.5% & IBU 37.
  • Hoenderhok Bock: First brewed in our original location in a humble chicken hok, this German style dark lager has a roasted malt backbone and pillowy white head. It boasts a rich ruby colour and is a full bodied and rewarding beer. ABV 6.5% & IBU 26
  • Eike Stout: A medium bodied stout with a balanced, malty sweetness. Vanilla beans added during maturation lend a delicious layer of complexity to the caramel notes and enhance the velvety finish. ABV 6.0% & IBU 25

Also, one can’t talk about Stellies beers without mentioning their gorgeous, award winning bottle labels either:

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Seeing as I didn’t actually make an effort in sitting down and enjoying a Taproom experience (the girls and I were far too busy running about and enjoying our weekend play time on the day), I grabbed some photos off the Quiver Tree website to give you a better look inside:

So there you have it. If you enjoy craft beer and are looking for a properly family friendly picnic venue with a polished finish, then a visit to the Stellenbosch Brewing Company’s Taproom should definitely be on your Spring to do list!

Related Link: Stellenbosch Brewing Company

Exploring the Spice Route in Paarl (2016-08-06) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 16 AUG 2016

Chantelle and I enjoyed a rather good weekend at the start of August, with the two of us enjoying a rare date night that saw us catch a South African production of the musical comedy “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” at Theatre on the Bay in Camps Bay. Unfortunately, despite being technically good and a well performed routine, neither Chantelle nor I walked out of the theatre having enjoyed the show, and so instead, took a scenic drive around the coast, before ending up back in Bellville where we let nostalgia dictate that we enjoy a midnight milkshake (and pizza) at the almost always dodgy (at night) Bellville institution that is Starlite Diner.

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Having spent the night at Monty and Cheryl’s place (that’s where the girls were sleeping), the next morning saw us pop through to the Willowbridge shopping centre in Durbanville, where we met up with the visiting Terrance over some coffee and tart at Pulp, giving Chantelle at last a chance to catch up with him and his travels.

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The girls enjoyed their time too (the outdoor jungle gym is always a hit!).

From there, leaving Terrance behind, we then next embarked on a drive along the N1 to Paarl, where despite some phone GPS hiccups, we successfully navigated our way to Paarl’s popular tourist attraction, the Spice Route.

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Located on what was previously known as the Seidelberg Wine Estate, the Spice Route is the brainchild of successful and well known South African wine producer Charles Back, who first started work on the project around 1997.

Home to the Spice Route Winery, the unique Spice Route is intended as a tourist and locals friendly hub that curates some of the finest artisans, allowing them to showcase their produce and share their knowledge with both the public and each other.

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Currently the Spice Route is home to thirteen fantastic ventures. In terms of restaurants, you have the Barley & Biltong, La Grapperia, DV Cottage Cafe, and the popular Bertus Basson offerings. There’s also cured meats from Richard Bosman, and treats from Brenda’s Deli. In terms of alcohol, you obviously have Spice Route Winery, Wilderer Distillery as well as one of the granddaddies in the current craft brewery game, Cape Brewery Co., better known as CBC.

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The Trading Company has all manner of interesting items for sale, while artists display their varied work at The Barn Artist’s studio gallery. Beautifully ornate glass creations are created and displayed at the exciting Red Hot Glass studio, while those in search of chocolate decadence definitely need to pop in to DV Artisan Chocolate for a tasting session!

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After strolling around and taking in all the sights and sounds, we settled on enjoying some handmade ice cream, with Jess immediately diving straight into her chocolate cone and Emily devouring whatever ice cream dared come close to her face!

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Although technically kid friendly (there is a kids area, though it caters better to the slightly older children), I think the Spice Route is better explored as an adult, meaning that this is now firmly on our list of places to visit the next time Chantelle and I manage to slip away for some weekend time without the kids!

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The views from the elevated estate are magnificent, the vibe is fantastic, and if you haven’t visited the Spice Route before, then you definitely should make a plan to do so, because it is simply put, fantastic.

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And yes, of course I took pictures!

(I wanted to also pay a visit to the iconic Taalmonument while in the area, making it as far as the gates at the top of the hill, but unfortunately by that stage both girls were tired, grumpy and half asleep – meaning that I will have to tackle that trip another day!)

Related Link: Spice Route | Wikipedia | Spice Route Winery

Catching up with Terrance at Wild Clover and Weltevreden (2016-07-30) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 09 AUG 2016

It has been five years now since good friend Terrance (I’ve known him since school days) left our sunny shores for a life of teaching English in Japan. He has of course subsequently made a life for himself over there (Ryan and I were lucky enough to attend his wedding in Komagane back in 2014), so I doubt that he will ever call this part of the world home again.

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He has however been pretty good in coming back to South Africa in order to spend time with his folks from time to time, and as circumstance would have it, this year we got to catch up twice – back in February where I introduced him to the Vergelegen Estate (and caught a screening of Deadpool in the process), and now again at the end of July.

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This time around though, as both he and I were flying solo (more or less – I still had the girls with me), I opted for a kid friendly venue which lead to us meeting up at Wild Clover, a frequent favourite spot for the Gordon Bay Lötters!

The girls and I arrived a little early, so we did a spot of exploring around first, but pretty soon we grabbed a table (they have a new chef, so the place is pretty popular again!) and were joined by an eager Mr. Brown for some craft beer, pizza and a great catch up session!

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Still eager for some more time swapping stories, I next suggested that we move up the road to Weltevreden, as the play area at The Carnival (which we only recently discovered) is nicely shaded and makes for a better afternoon play spot than Wild Clover.

Pleasingly he was keen, and so a quick drive later (Jess enjoyed being his passenger in the Citi Golf), we were once again seated and chatting, with the girls happily running around searching for ladybirds and whatnot.

All in all, not a bad way of catching up on all the news from the Land of the Rising Sun! :)

Related Link: Terrance Brown | Weltevreden | Wild Clover

Lunch at Wild Clover (2016-07-09) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 23 JUL 2016

If you have kids and find yourself in the Stellenbosch area, then Wild Clover situated on the R304 makes for a great stop. The kids have plenty of space to run around and things to play with, while the laid back, shaded outside eating area (which is often accompanied by live music) really makes for a relaxing afternoon out.

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Apparently the old chef that used to work there has now been replaced, meaning that the kitchen is making quite good food again, and these days I usually find myself tucking into one of their delicious pizzas every time we head out that way.

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There’s a small brewery on the premises as well (Wild Clover Brewery), which produces a nice selection of craft beer for you to taste and indulge in if you are into that sort of thing.

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There is a small farm animal enclosure which the kids can explore, as well as an equine center right next door, perfect for those of us who enjoy the prospect of trotting about on a horse!

The local archery club also calls Wild Clover its home, and just behind the archery butt, you’ll find a model aircraft flying strip of all things! (Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, Wild Clover also had accommodation available, and if you like destroying things, there’s clay pigeon shooting on offer as well!)

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On this particular day out, we’d already spent some of our energy playing over at the gorgeous kids play area called The Carnival on Weltevreden Estate, but because we had found the service their slightly poor on the day, we ended up at Wild Clover for lunch instead.

(I have no idea why Chantelle opted to eat a salad on the day though!)

Related Link: Wild Clover

Park First, then Funky Frogs (2014-05-11) Photo Gallery 09 JAN 2015

Last year I celebrated my birthday by of course, doing things with my kids. Stationed in Bellville following a great night out with Chantelle (burgers and the big wheel at the Waterfront) the previous evening, we kicked things off with a trip to the local Ridgeworth park, before discovering a gem of a place in the form of Funky Frogs.

Funky Frogs is conveniently located in Tygervalley, tucked away in one of the shopping pods in the underground parking section of the shopping mall. Essentially it is one big space filled with all manner of kids’ entertainment, which you access by handing over a little bit of money for a set period of play time.

Plus, whilst the kids have an absolute ball, you can pull up a chair, grab a magazine, and drink a nice refreshing cup of coffee to pass the time. (If of course your child allows you to relax!)

So if you have small kids, then definitely a thumbs up!

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(Thankfully, not all was lost in terms of at least some adult entertainment on my birthday. I received some pretty good craft beer from Peter, and as we all know, beer always makes everything better!)

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