Alan's Beer Tasting

Thoughts on speciality/craft beers tasted by friends and I, or maybe just me...

24 April 2016

Frank and I had a little session in which we tasted some new ones, as well as some that I had tasted before. This was the menu for the day, in the order they were tasted:

From l to r: Happy Pills, Pot Belge, Craven Craft Lager, Rum Finished Oak Aged Beer, Black Mist, LMB Porter (2) and Gilroy's Serious

To be continued...

(26 April 2015)

21 to 26 March 2016

The Thomson's visited us at the end of March, and Kurn and I tried lots of different beers!

Ambrosius: (Alpirsbacher), brought as a gift by Laurids on their visit earlier in March. An average sort of beer with good bitterness, we both thought it had a strange aftertaste. 3.5

Blockhouse IPA: (Devils Peak Brewery), nice nose, good bitterness, but it tasted too much like grapefuit. 3.5

Jozi Blonde: (Agar's Brewery), un unremarkable beer with a potato aftertaste. 3.0

Serious: (Gilroy's Brewery), good aroma and flavour, but as always, very poor head. 4.5

Urbock: (Namib Breweries), head also not very good, but good aroma and flavour, bitterness a bit on the low side. 3.5

Red Ale: (3 Frantzen St - SAB's craft beer division), a truly magnificent beer, only available at certain restaurants in Gauteng (we had it at Elephant and friends in Moreletta Park and Moo Moo in Brooklyn). 5.0

After a climbing around while doing the Sterkfontein Caves tour and trekking around the Cradle of Humandkind Museum, we stopped off at Gilroy's and got Serious:

Thanks to Bernie for the pic

Serious (on tap): (Gilroy's Brewery), as with the bottled beer, a very poor head, but still an excellent beer. 4.5

(28 April 2015)

7 February 2016

It's been a while since I updated this page. It's not as though I haven't been trying out new beers, it's more a question of being a bit lazy and feeling guilty about not working on the Namibia Trip report. Fortunately, I have been trying to keep all the tastings documented through the Android app "My Beer Notes", which helps my beer befuddled memory!

Frank and I had a little session at his place, in which we tried a few (mainly foreign) beers. Unfortunately, I took no pics of the dead soldiers! Here the beers and their ratings in the order that they were tasted.

Laughing Croc: (A local amber ale from Birkenhead Breweries), we both felt that this beer was a bit bland and rather sweet. 3.5

Baffo D'Ouro: (a lager from Birra Moretti, Italy), we both felt that this beer was also rather bland and had nothing to make us want to try it again. 3.0

Tripel Karmeliet: (a tripel from Brauwerij Bosteels, Belgium), head a bit small, nice aroma and flavour, not very bitter, but the highest rating of the day. 4.0

Urthel Saisonnière: (a farmhouse ale made under license by Bierbrauwerij de Koningshoeven, Netherlands), a cloudy beer with little aroma but a decent flavour, not very bitter. 3.5

Slow Brew: (a local lager from Darling Brewery), it looks ok, but that's all worth noting about this beer. 2.0

Goblin's Bitter: (a local bitter from Drayman's Brewery), nice hoppy taste and looks ok, but not as bitter as expected. 3.5

(8 February 2015)

13 June 2015

A few Drayman's beers tasted during the week by Zeke, Kappie and myself on different occasions.

Düsel Altbier: Fruity, with an apple taste. 4.1

Emperor India Pale Ale: Fruity. 3.6

Jolly Monk Rachbier: This beer was not well received, with Zeke saying it tasted like sucking on a piece of charcoal. 2.5

Kappie also gave Drayman's Berghof a score of 4.0.

(13 June 2015)

8 June 2015

Jeanie bought a couple of beers to cheer Zeke up while he is recuperating from his back op.

From l to r: Happy Pills and Milk and Honey Ale

The beers in the order in which they were tasted.

Happy Pills: (German Pilsener from Woodstock Brewery), Zeke: Nice aftertaste; Alan: Slightly cloudy for a pilsener, but a nice taste, different. 4.1

Milk and Honey Ale: (Mitchell's Brewery). Zeke: nice aroma; Alan: funny aftertaste. 3.3

(9 June 2015)

31 May 2015

Zeke is currently battling with back problems, but that does not relegate him to being incapable as far as beer tasting goes!

From l to r: Copperlake Dark Lager; Saboteur English IPA; Berghof and Goblin's Bitter

The beers in the order in which they were tasted.

Copperlake Dark Lager: (Copperlake Brewery), Zeke: Not bad, I'd definitely buy again. 3.5

Saboteur English IPA: (Citizen Beer). Zeke: little fruity; Alan: sweetish after the first beer. 3.1

Berghof: (Drayman's Brewery). Zeke: nice aftertaste. 4.0

Goblin's Bitter: (Drayman's Brewery). 4.3

What is quite interesting that Frank and I rated Saboteur English IPA much higher than Zeke and I did. I think this had to do with the order in which we tasted the beers - your palate is influenced by the bitterness/sweetness of the previous beer. Still makes it a fun exercise!

(2 June 2015)

12 April 2015

Frank and I had a major session with these local beers on 12 April. To make the session more fun, we rated each of the beers out of five, and made a few comments on each. I include the average score we gave.

From l to r: Bohemian Pilsener; Diplomat Czech Pils; Antibiotika IPA; Saboteur English IPA; Red Ale; Goblin's Bitter; Urbock and Brewhog's No 3 IPL

The beers in the order in which they were tasted.

Bohemian Pilsner: (Standeaven Brewery), Bottled conditioned and cloudy from the yeast. Sharpish fruity taste. 3.3

Diplomat Czech Pils: (Citizen Beer). More hoppy than the first beer, but with a rather unpleasant bitter aftertaste. 3.0

Antibiotika IPA: (Sir Thomas Brewery). Nice hoppy taste with a bit of fruitiness (Frank thought it was a bit sweet). 3.7

Saboteur English IPA: (Citizen Beer). Slightly cloudy, but it is a bottle conditioned beer. Not as sweet as the previous beer. 4.0

Red Ale: (Agar's Brewery). Sweetish. 3.5

Goblin's Bitter: (Drayman's Brewery). Bitter with a pleasant aftertaste (Frank found it not as bitter as expected). 3.8

Urbock: (Namib Breweries). Very malty, super taste. 4.2

No. 3 Black IPL: (Brewhog's Microbrewery). Really awful. The only beer thrown away during the session. No rating.

(1 May 2015)


I found these two from Robson's Brewery (in Natal) at the local Top's.

East Coast Ale

A really pleasant, fruity tasting beer. This will definitely be on my list as something to drink in the future.

Hammer of Thor

The Hammer of Thor is supposed to have an alcohol content of 8.5% by volume. However, it had a really unpleasant sharp taste to it. I have a feeling that they added cane sugar to the brew to up the alcohol content. With the excessive foaming during pouring, I wonder if this sugar was not added during the bottling process, as these were both bottle conditioned beers.

(1 May 2015)


Drayman's have a nice range of beers, made in Silverton, Pretoria. My favourites are Berghof, a light ale, pale in colour...


...and Goblin's Bitter, an English style bitter. This was one of Stephen's favourite's but the poor bugger is no longer allowed to drink beer. Fred and I still go out of our way to get this for our sessions on his veranda!

Goblin's Bitter

I really enjoy both of these beers.

(4 April 2015)


Bought these from the local Top's bottle store to comfort myself after the bad experience with the Little Brewery's beers yesterday...

From left, a porter, a red ale and a pale ale.

These are great tasting beers, but unfortunately, the head retention is not very good. To really get a proper feeling for the beer, visit Gilroy's brewpub in Muldersdrift.

Here are two pictures showing the lack of head on the beers:

Gilroy's Favourite

Gilroy's Serious

(17 January 2015)

Little Brewery on the River

Fred brought these beers up from Port Alfred after a recent visit to the area. We tasted them yesterday.

From left, a porter (in the glass), a pale ale and a pilsner.

The porter and the ale had a medicinal aftertaste, and the pilsner was just weird.

Cannot recommend.

(16 January 2015)