Last week Thursday, 24 July 2014, saw The Beerhouse open in Pineslopes, Fourways in Joburg. With the flagship store already being open in Long St, Cape Town, with great success, I wish nothing but the same for the Jozi branch of The Beerhouse.
As an avid beer drinker, when I see a sign that rings true to the nursery rhyme we as kids chanted, 99 bottles of beer on the wall, I nostalgically start singing my evenings activities in my head.
On the opening day or night of any eatery or drinking establishment, we must lower our expectations because imminent disappoint lingers in the air like the stale scent of smoke, sweat and spilt beer. However, when your expectations are kicked to the curb like a R10 hooker and you are met with unsurpassed service of the 21st century, it is overwhelmingly inspiring.
There is a certain type of warmth that comes with a full wooden décor setup of timber slats on the walls and wooden flooring. It feels homely, it has a natural scent and a slight smokiness the sits almost dormantly in your nasal cavity. As we arrived, we secured a suitable spot to set up camp for the evening ahead and decided to take beverage acquisition into our own hands. This entailed a slight wait at the bar – which behind it, housed in a wooden plank facade, taps of approximately 20 different barley, hops and water combinations.
Weissbier, Ale, Pale Ale, Cider, Lager, Draught, Blonde, Amber Ale, Stout or IPA (to name a few) are all ordered through an iPad POS system, piloted by a refreshingly friendly, helpful and patient food and beverage distributor. The best part is that before your old beer had a chance to be housed in your belly, your new one is at your fingertips, cold and ready to make friends with the already consumed contents of your stomach.
Something needs to aid in the absorption of the alcohol besides the lining of your stomach, so the very least we expect is some kind of snack menu. The Beerhouse has exactly that and some. It’s all the typical pub grub you would expect, making it a less than desirable location for a first date with the Queen, but if I can recommend only one menu item, it would be the onion rings. Thick slices of golden battered and deep fried heaven. The outside of the batter is as crisp and light as a tempura batter found in the best Sushi bars in town. Well seasoned and “al dente” the onion rings are accompanied with a dipping sauce of sorts (beers were flowing nicely).
So, it’s a home run for The Beerhouse then? Very close, but there was minor hiccup and the rectification of this is no easy solve. The main vein draining solution, is the exact opposite, its the one and only problem. As one would expect, the clientele is predominantly male and for the first time in my entire life, the echos resounded in the ladies lavatory, while the gents was jam packed with a queue that extended to outside the bathroom door. 3 urinals when beer enhalding man folk are throwing them back by the pint, breaking the seal is going to present a problem. The best part of the 3 urinal challenge is that one is right next to the beer keg themed basin. If you are the shy type, you may need to sport your favourite adult diaper for the night, but insecurities aside, you may also need to politely ask the guy with poor aiming less than a meter from your hands that you are trying to clean, to knyp for a second or two. And we all know, once you get going, stopping is like trying to hold back Victoria falls with piece of single ply bog roll.
Cape Town is often given first dibs on up and coming cultural social trends and once the traction is gained, those trends are exported to the rest of South Africa, mostly Joburg and Durban. So, lets support OUR local Beerhouse. The Beerhouse is not just a fad or a fly by night watering hole, its a culture. Its here to stay… As long as we keep putting through our orders for a cheeky beer or few. Keep that cash register ringing and the beer flowing because The Beerhouse put in a lot of effort for something we all want and need, a Beerhouse Jozi can finally call its own.