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Where to go for beer tastings and tacos in Constantia

Aegir Project Ale House at Constantia Uitsig is a pleasingly simple new place in the southern suburbs, where you can go for a laidback craft beer with unbeatable views of Constantiaberg and the Silvermine mountains. It’s one of several boutique food spots created out of the old farmworker cottages bordering Spaanschemat River Road. Other spots to try in the ‘Heritage Market’ include the Uitsig Wine Shop, Nest Deli, Alexander Avery Chocolates, Kristen’s Kick-Ass Ice-Cream and Sushi Box.

Fast facts

Cost: R75 average main meal and R55 for beer tasting
Food type: Tacos and fish and chips
Star ratings: Food and drinks: 4; Service: 5; Ambience: 5

Food

It’s all about the beer here so the menu is tiny, but it perfectly complements a beer tasting (or several, while you watch the sun set over the mountains). The easy winner is the beer-battered hake made with their own Red Rye beer. Chef Jonathan Phippen has elevated the potentially disappointing dish to a delicious medley of tastes you’ll go back for. The batter on the generous portion of fish is light and crunchy, with a pronounced beer flavour. It’s topped with a complex Thai black pepper sauce and finished off with excellent chips. Our enthusiastic waiter assured us this was the best hake in the city and he was right.

 

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There are also two kinds of tacos – pork belly and fish (which is also battered in the Red Rye beer), with a vegetarian one in the works. The tacos are quite small so you’ll probably want to order a portion of chips for the table as well, which come with a very moreish, garlicky aïoli.

Drinks

After apprenticing at breweries in New Zealand and Scotland, Rory Lancellas came home to create the Aegir Project Brewery in Noordhoek (Aegir, pronounced ‘ayger’, is a sea giant and the Norse god of brewing). The newest outlet on the Uitsig estate opened in September 2018. There’s a full range of beers all made with no preservatives or shortcuts. The tasting includes a pale ale, an Indian pale ale (Extra Pale Uil and Giant IPA), the classic Red Rye, a very easy-drinking steam beer (California Steamin’) and Midnight Porter, a creamy dark beer that tastes almost like coffee. Its recipe dates to 1836, and was founded by a friend in the Edinburgh archives. (If your palate is educated enough, you could even opt for the sour beer.) There’s also cider on tap and a lager is in the pipeline. Wine-drinkers can relax – Constantia Uitsig wines are available.

 

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Service

Very friendly, cheerful and refreshingly proud of their food, their venue and their beer.

Ambience

Aegir is in a little white-washed Cape vernacular cottage with thick walls and wooden beams. Kids can play on the grass in front of about eight wood and iron tables under umbrellas. The view is of the green estate and straight up at the mountain. The bar and a couple more tables are inside, with a big fireplace that will be fabulous in winter.

 

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Best for…

Lazy afternoons with friends, or a sundowner beer and a quick bite in a magnificent setting.

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