Surrounded by the canola fields of the Swartland area we drive to Darling. I love travelling in South Africa the diversity of the landscape and even if it’s a long trip through stretches of green fields it always amazes me. I think it is because of the openness of the countryside …not all the villages are connected with each other and it has a peacefulness radiating from it. Here you still find those lonely roads that in my eyes look like they are never-ending….
Today we are going somewhere… we are actually heading to the main road of Darling, where we meet our friends with whom we will spend a weekend at the West Coast.
We park our car almost at the end of the road in front of the wine shop but we enter the Darling Brew. The Tap Room is a very nice place where grey, white and wood together with the modern art give you a comfy feeling. I love the way they decorated it!
Slow Beer is what they sell…hmmm…. I normally would go for fast wine, hihi. But sometimes you have to try something new!
The last time I drank beer was before my twenties and I can tell you … that’s a long time ago. I am definitely not familiar with the different kind of beers, so I decide to go for a beer tasting.
A bit later the waiter brings us a small wooden tray with 5 kinds of beer, all of them having a different color and what we found out later a very different kind of taste as well.
Compared with a wine tasting there is a proper amount of liquid in your glass and I happily share the craft beers with my husband.
Not knowing the difference between a white and a dark beer, I ask the lady to explain what she is serving us.
There is a Slow Beer known as an extreme lager, a Native Ale that’s a rusty brown, the Bone Crusher a “Wit Bier”, a Black Mist known as a Black Ale and a Silver Back the new “Black Wit”(Wit=Wheat).
Oh my …I can’t remember where the Mist came in, but beer is definitely not my cup of tea! For me even the slogan…’you have to drink it when it’s a really warm day’…doesn’t make sense.
All the beers are handcrafted and their specially designed labels are inspired by animals. Reading these labels my mind easily starts to wander….
The Verreaux Eagle gives me the feeling that after a few glasses of this beer you will glide in the air, circling around making a soft landing…. The Spotted Hyena makes me think of a beer for girls, after drinking this beer you would be giggling and laughing like these scary animals.
The Geometric Tortoise, mmm that could be me walking slowly, having the feeling of being almost home, not realizing that I am actually there!
The beer with the Honey Badger label is in my imagination a beer for the little bit older ones…the matured ones with some grey streeks through their darker hair…or the ones who appreciates different shades of grey.
And the Roan Antelope could be a beer for a young thirsty man probably surrounded by a herd of woman… which he tries to impress.
Too much fantasy in my head…
The real reason behind the design is quite different …if you are curious, have a look at their website or ask for the full story when you pay them a visit.
A good companion with beer is of course food and in the tap room they serve organic, free range and local produced food. And in case you prefer wine over beer, they allow you to buy your wine next door, without asking a corkage fee.
Although I am not a beer drinker and I didn’t become one…. it was a very nice experience … but if you are a lover of this thirst quenching refreshment than you won’t leave the Darling Brew without taking a few bottles home!
Tips from the Winelands, Western Cape
5 Main Road