Mini craft beer mecca smacks of big future thirst

CRAFTY LASS: The Beeryard's manager Gabriella van Wyk with some of the tasty brews on offer for dry-mouthed slukkers. PHOTOGRAPH: EUGENE COETZEE
CRAFTY LASS: The Beeryard’s manager Gabriella van Wyk with some of the tasty brews on offer for dry-mouthed slukkers. PHOTOGRAPH: EUGENE COETZEE

WITH bars being bars and slukkers being slukkers, it is not unusual to hear those colourful four-letter words you would otherwise not hear at home or at church, when you stop off for a sluk at your local.

But when this stand-in slukker heard the “P” word while slukking at a brand new watering hole in the Bay this week, he was immediately – and quite understandably – left dry-mouthed and somewhat panicked.

Prohibition is a dirty, 11-letter word generally not heard in bars since it was thankfully outlawed in the US in the early ’30s. And as any seasoned slukker will attest, Prohibition, along with politics and religion, is, according to unofficial slukking rules, simply not discussed over tipples.

But as it turned out, Matt Repton, the multitalented owner of the new Beeryard tavern and eatery in Cooper Street, in Port Elizabeth’s Richmond Hill has very good reason for his liberal use of the “P” word.

Like moonshine and mampoer, craft beer and micro- breweries – as all self-respecting slukkers should know – were heavily influenced by the Prohibition, which saw tipples and their production temporarily banned at various dark times in slukking history.

And as a respected restaurateur who established the popular and national Vovo Telo franchise and a budding brewer himself, Repton has crafted his latest venue offering around beer and more specifically – craft beers from around the country and abroad.

And the very watertight reasoning behind this, according to Repton, is his appreciation of beer.

And that the Prohibition of course played a significant role in the development of the many different flavours of craft beer.

That “We are all about beer!” as Repton states unequivocally, and the Beeryard being the only venue in Nelson Mandela Bay which focuses on craft beers, makes it somewhat of a slukkers’ paradise.

While standard commercial brews and spirits are available, Beeryard has made the five craft ales that are readily on tap, along with a number of other bottled craft beers, the centrepiece of the expansive establishment.

Beeryard’s beer presentation – an integral part of the beer experience on offer there – along with their prices, are as smooth and palatable as the tipple.

Patrons can choose glasses holding different quantities of beer. They can also choose to have one or all the craft beers served at once. These are served on small wooden pallets which attractively hold five beers glasses – at a reasonable R19 for the collection of smaller glasses and R39 for the larger glasses, which collectively make a pint.

The roomy interior of the Beeryard offers plenty of seating, friendly staff and an interesting mix of decor from a pop art poster section to shabby-chic seating, while “backyard slukking” can be enjoyed around a large swimming pool.

An interesting addition to the experience at this laid-back pozzie, is a graffiti wall in the bar section where patrons – of all ages and vocations – are free to write and draw.

Ablutions are clean and easily accessed.

And Beeryard, which also offers a comprehensive menu anchored by dishes of massive burgers and pizzas, will certainly come into its own as a mini beer mecca within the next few months when a new micro-brewery is set up there and begins to produce its own Beeryard brews.

If not just to take a stand against any future Prohibition, Beeryard is highly recommended for its tasty sluks and its fantastic, friendly atmosphere.

 

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