BREWED JUST RIGHT: Delicious beer at Bridge Street Brewery, Port Elizabeth
Beer, just like wine and whisky, comes in a huge variety of palates and aromas. Matching these to a particular meal is a real art. The beverage and the repast can both be enhanced through careful consideration.
Personally, I fail to see the rather juvenile loyalty some people have to a particular brand of beer and the image that the very clever marketers have woven. I like to vary the beer (and wine and whisky) I drink according to the meal, ambient temperature and mood.
Most restaurants have a very limited variety of beers on their menu but a substantial wine list. If the restaurant is any good then the wine list is carefully chosen to suite the food and the result is an enjoyable meal. If you’re more of a beer connoisseur than a wine fundi then you are probably disappointed by most restaurants.
Well, for all you beer swillers, experts, authorities and aficionados, Bridge Street Brewery at No. 1 Bridge Street in lower Baakens Valley, in Port Elizabeth, is just the place for you. Their beer selection is bigger than their wine options and, very importantly, their food has been designed to enhance their beers.
Lex Mitchell, the famous founder of Mitchells Brewery and master of the delicious Foresters Lager, Bosuns Bitter and Raven Stout is the incumbent brewer at Bridge Street. His new range includes Celtic Cross Pilsener, Boars Head Bitter, Black Dragon Stout and the Bowman Cider. These artisan brews are to the behemoth brands what a Harley-Davidson is to a scooter or Sonny Bill Williams to my own sorry high school rugby career.
Other famous micro-breweries are also represented including the aforesaid Mitchells beers as well as the increasingly popular Brewers & Union Beers. The Darling Brew range from the shores of False Bay is also on the menu as are the usuals from SAB Miller and National Brands.
What makes Bridge Street Brewery so outstanding is that it also offers a fantastic venue, great meals and live music. Thankfully, there is plenty of seating, ample bar counter and plenty of room to move because this restaurant is always busy. The outdoor area is particularly attractive and seldom affected by this cities dominant weather feature as the steep valley walls provide plenty of shelter.
My family and I (including four young girls) have spent many a leisurely Saturday or Sunday afternoon enjoying the Bridge Street Brewery experience. The kids have plenty to keep themselves busy including a playroom and the banks of the Baakens River while my wife and I, friends and office associates, particularly enjoy the vibrant and loud, post-work socializing that has now become an attraction of its own at Bridge Street.
Despite the fact that this is a very busy venue the service is good and the waiters are happy, efficient and very helpful.
Let’s not forget the food. The menu may have been worked to complement the beers but this does not mean that the food is in anyway overshadowed by the brews. My wife, who does not drink beer, says that this is one of her favorite restaurants and that the food is some of the best prepared in Port Elizabeth.
If love is an emotion that can be associated with a beer then to this love struck individual it is with Celtic Cross Pilsner and Foresters Lager. Try the Chorizo & Beef Koftas with the Celtic Cross and the Calamari Strips, Prawn & Chilli Skewers or Kingklip Croquettes with the Foresters and you too will be like Romeo to Juliet.
I cannot but give this restaurant and brewery the highest accolades and praise and after having read this article your expectations are no doubt sky high – no matter, because you will still be impressed. See you there!
Visit Bridge Street Brewery at 1 Bridge Street, South End or contact them on 041 581 0361 or visit their website, www.bridgestreet.co.za
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