SA Trip – Aug 6-7, 2014

For some time now, I’ve wanted to know the difference between ale, lager and dark beer.  So Wednesday we had a tour of a local brewery, and now I know. Yay.  This was no ordinary brewery; it was built on a local farm, 30 minutes outside East London, that also raises sheep and cattle on a huge property.IMG_4709 IMG_4707 IMG_4706IMG_4666

I love a good success story that goes ‘man loses construction job and turns hobby into a business.’  Chris originally supplied the Barefoot Cafe in Chintsa with 50 Liters, an entire batch, of his home brew, and when that sold out in a day, he knew he had a market.IMG_4653

Operating as a business only since 2012, he now has a 12,000 Ltr capacity, although his production is currently at 5,000.IMG_4642IMG_4644IMG_4647IMG_4648

What we particularly like about this beer is that they follow the German Purity Law, written in 1516, which specifies that the beer be made with only 3 ingredients: Barley malt, hops and water. No additives, although they do add their own yeast.  And they use only rainwater collected off of the corrugated tin roof to provide the yeast with the only mineral it must have: zinc.IMG_4663

Their hops are from the Southern Cape or the US, and the barely (which has it’s own enzymes) is malted, which is a process of soaking the barely until it sprouts and then cooking it to lock in the proteins and sugars that are created.  A dark roast is used for the darker beers. IMG_4656

So here’s what I found out. Ale (special yeast) ferments fast at a low temperature for 14 days, while lager (different yeast) goes for 21 days and at a higher temperature.  And because Ale has no residual flavors because of the fast fermentation, it can be served at a lower temperature (even room temperature like they do in England) and taste good, while lager is served colder to mask any of those flavors.  Ale is milder than the stronger lager. The darker beer has more depth of flavor because of the roasted malted barley used.

After the tour, we enjoyed a great sandwich and a flight of 3 beer samples.  We enjoyed the dark one the most and ordered another glass.IMG_4655

Yalli made a great gourmet sandwich and served the beer.IMG_4649

When the tour and lunch were over, we just wanted to hang around in the fresh air and open space, and I got a chance to photograph some of the local birds.

The Brown-hooded Kingfisher was beautifulIMG_4705 IMG_4702as was this colorful Black-collared Barbet, which I’ve photographed before but not so close. IMG_4673This bird of prey was circling overhead for the longest time. I finally figured out that it is a Palm-nut Vulture morphing from the juvenile to the adult.  My bird book says it’s a ‘rare visitor and local resident.’ I feel privileged.IMG_4695 IMG_4693 IMG_4685 IMG_4683On our way leisurely back to East London, a couple of other birds of prey caught my eye. IMG_4719

This Jackal Buzzard (different from what we know as a buzzard) is probably the female, because when I got too close, she flew across the road to what looks like a juvenile, who stayed only a short while and flew away.    IMG_4741IMG_4759IMG_4755

Further down the road, before we turned to go to Glengariff, I saw this Long-crested Eagle. I’ve seen it twice before but never got to photograph it until today. IMG_4778 IMG_4775IMG_4784

The small community of Glengariff is stunning!IMG_2053IMG_2072 IMG_2069IMG_2090

As we turned around to leave, we waved to someone on his porch and acknowledged, “This is paradise.”  We exchanged greetings and info on where we were from – San Diego.  He had lived in Poway!  “Do you want to come in.” Sure, and we spent a delightful 3-4 hours with Steve and Mary, who was baking ginger cookies, and swapped stories about our world travels.  This is the view from their house.IMG_2113IMG_2112IMG_2110IMG_2108IMG_2098IMG_2099IMG_2095

And two more birds on the way home, a Speckled Mousebird and a Cape Weaver.IMG_2079 IMG_2075

Just about 15 minutes outside of EL, we were delighted to see where our veggies come from.IMG_2049  IMG_2046IMG_2047

Another full and rewarding day.

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1 Response to SA Trip – Aug 6-7, 2014

  1. Michael says:

    Reading this blog makes me feel as if I was there with you, Ahh I was, great this will be a great reminder of time we spend here.

    Like

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