The other day I wrote about our first stop, Clarens, which is a quaint little art town in the heart of the Free State. One of our little adventures in this sleepy town included visiting the Clarens Brewery.
Started by master brewer Stefan Meyer in 2006, this little pub-like brewery creates fine hand crafted beers and ciders. We just had to try it out, because a) we were thirsty after covering the town by foot, from corner to corner and b) it offers free beer tastings. I am yet to meet a person who would say no to free beer.
The waiter brought us the little samples and explained that we would now taste:
Clarens Blonde - a beer with a biscuity aftertaste and the brewery's flagship beer.
Clarens English Ale - a smooth, medium-bodied caramel ale. 'One for the boys'
Clarens Red - an amber ale with fruity finish. It won the most popular beer on show at the SA On Tap Craft Beer Festival 2012.
Clarens IPA - an Indian Pale Ale with delcious, distinct hop character. It won the same award as the Red, but this year.
Clarens Stout - classis stout with creamy texture and coffee aftertaste. 'A real winter warmer'
And the Clarens Weiss - a German wheat beer with spice notes. 'Very refreshing.'
If you think that I remembered all this, you are mistaken. It was all on the menu. There were also a number of ciders, including an apple, cherry and a pineapple flavour. Oh my greatness.
He also mentioned that if I mix the cherry and apple flavours, I would get a chapple flavour. Not a fan. But I did order the delicious cherry cider on its own. I would drive the four hours back there just to have another one of those amazing ciders. Gee whizz! Flip opted for the Clarens Red, which was also a firm favourite.
The little brewery makes a 5000 l batch a month of beer!! which half is bottled and half served on tap.I really loved the character of the place, which was covered in currencies from around the world, like Ten trillion dollars from Zimbabwe. Could you just imagine having that much money? And it having an actual worth?
I also met this gentle giant outside, but I forget his name. His owner, a Scotsman, had ordered a vienna basket and kept slipping him a few pieces. He was the sweetest little pup!
AT R25 a pop, they are decently priced and well worth a visit.