Although I try to keep things as nationwide as possible, the blog does tend to be a little Cape Town-heavy so it’s nice to review something from the other side of the country. Stimela is the baby of Tsikwe Molobye who gave up the day job and launched his brand last year. The beer is currently contract brewed, but there are dreams to open a taproom or ideally, a brewpub to showcase the beers later down the line.
Straight Arrow Amber Ale is a beautiful shade of copper, with not a hint of haze. In fact I struggled to do it justice photographically, thanks to the general lack of lighting in my house once the sun has gone down. In the end a carefully balanced torch somewhat saved the day.
On both aroma and flavour you get a pleasing bite of toast, toffee and just a touch of mocha. It’s a crisp and clean beer, almost lager-like in its crispness in fact. It’s hugely refreshing and my only criticism is that it’s a little light in the body department. I’d love just a little more mouthfeel. It was a little overcarbonated, which undoubtedly contributed to the lack of mouthfeel.
Still, overall I enjoyed the beer – the earthy hop character, the lingering malt/hop bitterness and the fact that it gave me a mad craving for caramelised pork belly (for me, a better paiting than the mogodu (tripe) suggested on the label, though I do love this little local touch).
(Note: thanks to Ivor “Kleurlingbierman” Swartz for bringing the beer down in his hand luggage for me to sample – it’s currently not available in Cape Town)