Remember a time before craft beer? Strange to think that only a few years back, your local beer options were pretty much Castle or Black Label. Now beers come artfully packaged and flavoured with anything from cinnamon to pineapple. The craft beer phenomenon continues to froth across the globe and shows no signs of slowing down, so it really does seem fitting that the next logical step in the craft beer revolution is the fusion of beer and food.
Enter Ultimate Braai Master winner Piet Marais, who together with popular bar and restaurant Beerhouse, has introduced a new exciting food trend. Coined #BrewFood, this style of cooking includes beer as a core ingredient in every dish and is sticky, messy, smoky, malty, flavoursome food that you eat with your hands and wash down with a pint.
Beerhouse owners Murray Slater and Randolf Jorberg with Ultimate Braaimaster Piet Marais
You think you’ve tasted it all? Think again! Just when we thought that food couldn’t possibly be reinvented, along we came with #BrewFood. Beerhouse’s library of beers has always created a unique experience of exploration and discovery with our 99 bottles of beer on the wall and 25 on tap. Now we’re very proud to present a new era – an exploration that brings a fusion of food and beer together. - Randolf Jorberg, co-owner of Beerhouse
I recently attended a media launch and tasting of the new #Brewfood menu at Beerhouse in Long Street, and was impressed and filled to bursting point by the exciting new flavours and dishes on offer.
Smoking, fermenting, and pickling
The menu celebrates the holy trinity of smoke, meat, and beer. Beerhouse uses a stick-burning smoker, which uses hardwood as a fuel and flavour source, rather than charcoal mixed with wood chips and sawdust. This really gives the dishes a unique a multi-layered smoky flavour.
Beer is actually a food product and brewing shares many techniques similar to cooking. Beer’s raw ingredients include malted barley, hops and yeast; all of which provide flavour profiles that can enhance food in tremendous ways. Beer can therefore be used to season, pickle and even ferment food… smoking meats is a part of the culture in America and its growth and popularity is closely linked to the craft beer revolution that has become a growing trend in American culinary culture. But we’ve taken this way further than anyone else in the world has. We’ve come up with dishes and preparation methods that truly embrace the word ‘revolutionise’ - Ultimate Braai Master Piet-Marais
For starters noteworthy dishes include; the beerchos (Beerhouse’s version of nachos) with creamy beer cheese (an emulsion using molecular gastronomy with emulsifying salt that binds the cheese and dark beer) and the moreish BBQ bitterballen. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, the beer fermented flat bread with smoked aubergine, Beeracha creama (Sriracha that has been beer brined with fermented chilli fruit), pickled onion and feta will not disappoint.
For mains you can expect hearty fare such as burgers with tangy brew pickles (cucumber and carrots pickled using beer brine), boerie rolls with chakalaka salsa and pulled pork and brisket buns. However, I would recommend to go all out and sample the Brew BQ platter, perfect for sharing with a group. This platter gives you a taste of all the smoked meat on offer and includes a beer brined half chicken, tender brisket, BBQ pulled pork, sticky spare ribs and the Beerhouse boerie. This all comes with the Brew BBQ sauce and Beeracha as well as tangy smoked pineapple and charred pepper slaw and pap chips with chakalaka.
Beer float yolo
Beerhouse also offers beer and cheese pairings and if space for something sweet exists the Beerhouse beer float is a must try. This OOT dessert begs to be featured on your Insta feed and includes *deep breath* milk stout with salted caramel and bourbon ice cream, honeycomb, grilled marshmallows, whipped cream, dulce de leche, chocolate ganache and, oh yes, a cherry on top. Oh, just sugar rush me to heaven why don’t you? As sweet and overwhelming as this dessert sounds, it is well balanced and the addition of the milk stout keeps this from being too sickly. It’s the only dessert on the menu, but I mean would you need anything else?
Don’t get left behind, join the #Brewfood revolution today!
Beerhouse is open from 11am to late, seven days a week, in Cape Town (Long Street), Johannesburg (Fourways), and Pretoria (Centurion).
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