Fun flavours from female brew crew
Foraged foods add to international beer-making collaboration
Bay women shattered several stereotypes when it comes to beer at the Food Studio in Walmer last Friday March 8, proving drinking – and brewing – the sudsy stuff really isn’t “just a guy thing”.
Dockside Brewery owner Jane Schlaphoff roped in some willing female collaborators – Weekend Post wine columnist Sam Venter and the Food Studio and Foodies co-owner Lecia de Villiers – for a fun event aimed at promoting the contribution of women on the global brewing scene.
Held on March 8 to coincide with International Women’s Day, the event title was rather a mouthful: International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day (IWCBD).
“Women who are involved in breweries come together to brew on this day,” Jane said.
“The idea is to educate. People always think of big steins but there’s more to beer than that. Beer is sophisticated.”
The beer our Bay gals came up with – with only the tiniest bit of guidance from Jane’s brewer husband Karl Schlaphoff, was a thing of beauty – a rose-tinged, multi-layered cherry and litchi “kettle sour” which they went on to label the Roseate Frenzy.
This is a reference to the rather scarce, rose-breasted little sea bird that occurs in the Bay, particularly in the Cape Recife area where there is a trail named after it.
Food Studio guests, male and female, got to taste this delicately-flavoured, elegant beer which the Schlaphoffs will now also bottle at their small brewery at 4 Rogaly Street, North End. Guests also got insight into the brewing process thanks to Jane and Karl’s small demonstration kettle which was quietly bubbling away at the Food Studio, emitting the most comforting, Horlicks-like aromas in the process.
Jane has participated in the international women’s brew day four times since it started in 2014, and in the past has made flavourful and fun brews with names like Women’s Prerogative and Pink Flamingo, using ingredients like raspberries, blueberries and even candy-floss.
It wasn’t only an all-woman team on the brewing front: Chef Erika Grebe, a Food Studio stalwart, prepared a four-course, forage-inspired dinner to tie in with the IWCBD’s 2019 theme.
Foraging is as old as Fred Flintstone but, Erika says, has become all the rage thanks to SA’s own Wolfgat in Paternoster being named restaurant of the year at the inaugural World Restaurant Awards in Paris in February.
The foraging-focused eatery headed by chef Kobus van der Merwe also took home the award for best restaurant in the Off-Map Destination category.
Erika took her inspiration from the yeast, hops and fruit components of the beer to create a menu incorporating wild ingredients such as purslane – a succulent weed which she foraged from the Bloomingdales parking lot; Cape gooseberries; and fennel plucked from the Buffelsfontein roadside.
Her menu included a starter of honey and olive oil marinated goat’s cheese with garden-foraged greens including the purslane, Cape gooseberry chutney, a scattering of roasted nuts and glistening honeycomb.
The fish course of fantastically fresh, herb-crusted mussels – a by-product off the Knysna Oyster Company’s lines in the PE harbour – was served with saffron alioli, wild garlic flowers, crisped capers and the foraged fennel.
The main course had wonderful autumnal flavours, textures and colours going for it: beef fillet with wild mushroom and barley risotto, roasted baby beets and black cherry jus.
Dessert was a picture-perfect classic: two layers of shortbread filled with vanilla-flavoured chantilly cream, rose geranium and berries.
The Food Studio has several other themed dinners coming up soon, while Dockside Brewery has become very popular among the tourists for their beer tastings and tours, for which prior booking is a must.
For more information, or to book for a tour and tasting at Dockside Brewery, contact Jane at Jane@docksidebrewery.co.za. For upcoming events at the Food Studio, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org