Title: Beer Safari
Subtitle: Delectable vanilla, caramel, chocolate and fruit treats
Author: Lucy Corne
Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa
Imprint: Struik Lifestyle
Cape Town, South Africa 2015
ISBN 9781432304867 / ISBN 978-1-4323-0486-7
Softcover, 19 x 25 cm, 256 pages, 250 photographs
When people bought my previous book, African Brew, they plotted beery weekends away, they booked family vacations that were conveniently close to some South African microbreweries and at least one person took a road trip from Cape Town to Durban, stopping at every brewery along the way. With this book, Beer Safari: A journey through the craft breweries of South Africa, I wanted to tap into that. Beer Safari: A journey through the craft breweries of South Africa is set out geographically and within each province the breweries are laid out to represent a provincial ale trail. Of course, you can tackle the breweries however you wish, but the idea is that if you're in a certain spot, or you're planning a visit to a particular place, you can easily dip into the book to find any other breweries in the vicinity.
This time around I opted not to include tasting notes for every beer. This was largely because there are just so many beers now that if every pint had a description there wouldn't be much room left for the stories, and these journeys from homebrewing or beer appreciation into microbrewing are just as important as the journey you'll follow as you attempt to taste every beer featured here. You will find tasting notes, but just for a few select beers. I've called them 'Big 5 Pints', the ones that you'll really want to tick off along your journey. They're the beers that are true to style or that are generally flawless. They're never disappointing, always drinkable and they're worth seeking out. Fortunately, like unmissable animals in Africa, there are more than five of them, but I kind of liked the name.
The rest of the beers are listed in each brewery's beer menu, with just their ABV (alcohol by volume) percentage alongside. Rather than list the beers from light to dark or light-bodied to full-bodied, I opted to list each brewery's beers in order of my preference. If you agree with my choices, that's awesome. If you don't, even better, for beer is a very personal thing and I love a good discussion, especially when it involves beer. At the start of each brewery write-up, you'll also find a selection of icons indicating what facilities you might find at the brewery - here's what they mean: accommodation, food, tastings, accommodation within walking distance, merchandise tours, family-friendly off-sales, tours by appointment.
About the book
The renaissance of South African beer
What is beer?
Peach, pepper and pine, the many, many flavours of beer