With the end of the year in sight, everyone is tired and counting down the days to their summer holidays. If you aren’t, I salute you! So when I got the opportunity to get out of the office last Friday, I took it. And where did I end up? At the Darling Brew Tasteroom and Brewery in my favourite town of Darling.
Darling is just a 50-minute drive from Cape Town. A beautiful drive. A drive with good music always clears my head. I sing at the top of my lungs and by the time I arrive at my destination, I feel refreshed.
I arrived at 10 am and met up with Philippa Wood, co-founder, and co-owner of Darling Brew, who took me on a tour of the brewery while chatting about the history of Darling Brew.
The Darling Brew Story
Darling Brew’s story began in 2007 when Philippa and Kevin Wood left home to explore Africa. A chance meeting with Andre of Sneeuberg Brewery which inspired the concept of a microbrewery in Darling. In operation since 2010, Darling Brew is one of South Africa’s first well established and award-winning microbreweries. Kevin and Philippa envisaged a brewery which would not only become a business success but also a model of sustainability, supporting local and staying true to the old adage that with hard work success inevitably follows. Each beer in their range has unique characteristics and is dedicated in honour of an endangered species.
In July 2018, Darling Brew was announced as Africa’s first Carbon Neutral Brewery. In order to become Africa’s first carbon neutral brewery, Darling Brew has calculated their carbon footprint by means of a greenhouse gas audit. This carbon footprint is then offset through impactChoice, a provider of end-to-end environmental sustainability solutions, who also ensure the emissions are offset via responsible carbon capturing and reduction projects.
Darling Brew Spent Grain Crisps
The brand new Darling Brew Beer Crisps are made from spent grain, a by-product of the brewing operation. These Beer Crisps are available in Slow Beer and Bone Crusher and are made in-house. The little operation is based inside the brewery, and you can watch them make them from the Tasteroom. These Beer Crisps are so tasty and are perfect to use as a dipping chip or a substitute for nachos.
Darling Brew Tasteroom
After the tour of the brewery, we headed back upstairs to the Tasteroom. They opened their doors in December 2015, offering real food to compliment brewery visitors’ beer tasting experience. The Tasteroom supports local business by sourcing bread, cheese, olives, coffee, cured meats, greens and wines from within the Cape West Coast community. This is what I love about Darling. They support their own, from the artists to the artisans, each business builds up the next. Local is truly lekker in Darling.
I was met by Joyce, who walked me through the Darling Brew Tasting Flights. There are 5 flights available on the menu, giving you a chance to sample a few of their beers. I chose the Ladies Flight, which consisted of Golden Tail, The Ruby Jewel, Gypsy Mask, and the Rogue Pony. I am not a big beer drinker, I prefer to sip on a glass of wine over a couple of hours, but I really enjoyed the Gypsy Mask. I was pleasantly surprised by this red ale, with a striking rusty colour. The spicy hops balances with malty sweetness and a fruity aroma. It was exceptionally smooth and had a low bitterness, which makes this a sessionable, all-season ale.
The Tasteroom’s kitchen is run by the amazing people from The Flying Pig and offer a delicious menu. As you look at your options, you just know that you will be getting the freshest, most delicious meal!
Find Darling Brew Tasteroom & Brewery on the West Coast Way Culture & Foodie Route.
Distance from Cape Town: 76km
Address: 48 Caledon Street, Darling
Tel: 079 182 9001
Brewery, Restaurant, Tastings & Sales, open-air kids play area, MTB-friendly, Live Events
School Holidays & Flower Season: Open 7 days a week.
Tasteroom operating hours:
- Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9 am to 5 pm Kitchen closes at 4 pm
- Friday 9 am to 7 pm Kitchen closes at 6 pm
- Saturday 9 am to 5 pm Kitchen closes at 4 pm
- Sunday 10 am to 4 pm Kitchen closes at 3 pm
- They are also open for private functions. The restaurant works on a walk in basis but large groups are encouraged to book
They are also open for private functions. The restaurant works on a walk in basis but large groups are encouraged to book.
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