When you think of craft beer and gastro pubs, do images of well-groomed, bearded men clinking their glasses over a plate of over-priced charcuterie spring to mind? I’ve heard from many people that the craft beer scene can be pretentious and a little too ‘hipster’ for their liking but if you thought that the gastro pub scene isn’t for you then you obviously haven’t been to The Taproom. Sure, this unique gastro pub in Salt River is owned and run by The Devil’s Peak Brewing Company but that doesn’t mean that it is exclusively for beer lovers. It’s also a place for foodies to gather and munch on delicious gastro pub fare and for the inquisitive to discover unique beer hybrids they’d never dreamed existed.
I popped into The Taproom for a bite and sip a few weeks ago and was quite pleasantly surprised. The ratio of hipsters to regular people was quite favourable and the vibe was actually very laid back, with not a hint of pretense in sight! But what about the over-priced charcuterie platter? Well, despite the Taproom being a gastro pub, as far as I could see when examining the menu, there wasn’t a charcuterie platter in sight either. That’s right, it seemed that Devil’s Peak had completely ignored the pompousness that gastro pubs had become known for and instead decided to do things their own way. Of course, the main idea behind the spot is for the brewery to showcase their many craft beers but you’ll have a great time here even if you don’t enjoy a glass of hops and barley.
The brains behind this eatery-slash-tasting room have gone to great lengths to ensure that the food on their menu perfectly complements their beers and speaks to your taste buds. There’s something for everyone at the spot with a selection of burgers, sarmies, grills and snack platters to fight off tummy grumbles big and small. I got the chance to try a few items from the menu including the Cheese Burger (a classic burger with all the trimmings – R75), Corn Dogs (served with mustard and ketchup dip – R28), Hot Wings (R50), and Battered Crudités (3 per portion R12). The burger and fries were absolutely delicious (a great all round burger that is well worth ordering), but I must say the hot wings and corn dogs stole my heart. The wings were just the right amount of spicy and the corn dogs were just the right amount of fluffy and greasy. Both were a real winner and can be ordered on their own or as part of a snack platter.
As for the drinks, there are loads of great Devil’s Peak beers to choose from – if you love beer I recommend their new larger, it’s light and easy drinking! If you’re not a beer drinker then don’t stress because there’s plenty for you to discover on the menu. I loved the wine-beer hybrids which are served in 750ml bottles and would definitely recommend it to anyone with an adventurous palate. I tried the Grapes of Wrath Sour Saison (an adventurous wine-beer hybrid, aged for 12 months on Chenin blanc grape skins in white wine barrels – R140) and absolutely loved it. You can also enjoy yummy craft ciders from Cluver & Jack and Skollie Cider as well as a selection of wines, spirits and soft drinks.
If you’re looking for a great place to hang out with your mates then this is it! The Taproom can get quite packed on Friday afternoons and Saturdays, but it’s the perfect place to grab after work drinks with your colleagues or take out of towners.
After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.