I was working through a selection of ‘trying to be clever’ intros to this post. Something about the South African beer scene coming of age…or there was a dreadful labour/giving birth analogy that would have had you unsubscribing from the blog in minutes. So I decided to stop trying to be clever and to get to the point: Jack Black Brewing Company has opened their own brewery at long last.
Why is this such momentous news? Well, if you’re new to the SA craft beer thing, Jack Black was one of the instigators of South Africa’s beer boom. The brand launched in 2007 and over the years have installed tap after tap, poured pint after pint and made quite a name, becoming one of the best-known craft beers in South Africa. What you might not have known (though most of you probably did since you’re such a well-informed bunch) was that from its inception until just a couple of months ago, Jack Black was contract brewed – first at Birkenhead, the Boston and most recently at CBC. But now they’ve got their own premises, their own brewhouse and their own team of brewers.
“We’re so excited to finally have a place to call home!” says Jack Black’s co-founder Ross McCulloch. I’m pretty excited too, since the brewery and tap room is a mere 15 minutes’ walk from my house. It might seem a slightly odd location but perhaps this Diep River industrial park could potentially become the next Woodstock. There is already another microbrewery close by (Harfield) and I know of a third with the licence currently in progress. “We’re really looking forward to welcoming people to our new space in Diep River,” says Meghan – the other half of the Jack Black founding team. “It’s an amazing feeling to have something you’ve poured your heart into come to fruition. As a family business, this is a project we’ve been working on for years, and we’re grateful to have this opportunity to showcase what Jack Black Brewing Company is all about.”
So what is the tap room all about? Well it is of course about the beer (it’s even written on the wall, to remind you) but it’s also about keeping things local, about bringing something fabulous to an area with not much to do in the food and beverage department.
The design and feel of the new brewery and bar fits well with the surrounds – I like to call it industrial chic. The furniture is fashioned from the packaging materials used to transport the brewhouse from Germany, a local artist has sprayed some awesome street art onto the wall and there are tons of shiny taps waiting to dispense your first cold beer (the current range includes pilsner, pale ale, amber ale, IPA and weiss alongside the flagship lager that we all know and love. Stay tuned for the release of their brand new pale ale, coming out of the tanks soon). Taster trays will be on offer (from R45 per flight) and once the tap room is fully up and running there will be good food, good coffee, free Wi-Fi and perhaps later on a place for kids to play.
The tasting room hours will increase as word spreads – look out for special weekend events from mid July, including the inaugural Food Truck Friday on July 15th. The tap room opens July 1st – I hope to see you there to raise a toast to two people who played an essential role in the South African craft beer scene.
Jack Black Brewing Co, 10 Brigid Road, Diep River, Cape Town. Tel: 021 286 1220. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tasting room open Wednesday-Friday 3pm-7pm. Off sales Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. Brewery tours Wednesday-Friday – bookings essential.