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Strand Hotel Swakopmund dominates the culinary scene at the Mole in this quaint coastal town. Its three restaurants – the Brewer & Butcher, Ocean Cellar and Farmhouse Deli – boast the most coveted view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Upon walking into the Brewer & Butcher it is impossible to miss the two metal tanks that decorate the interior of the restaurant. The mash tun and the lauter tun, as we later learned, are not for aesthetic purposes only. It is, in fact, a micro-brewery, a subsidiary of Namibia Breweries Limited. Right here in these two tuns, or casks, the beer brewing process starts, mashing and stirring away while locals and holidaymakers enjoy German delicacies enhanced with Namibian favour.
We met up with Ronn Rittmann, Swakopmund Brewing Company’s beer brewer, for a beer tasting and to learn more about this exciting craft. Ronn started as an apprentice at Namibia Breweries Limited in March 2009 and received extensive training in Bavaria, Germany. He proudly states that he brews German-quality Namibian beer. After teaching us the step-by-step procedure from mashing and fermentation to the lager process, and letting us take a whiff of all the different malts stored upstairs, we got to taste five beers, including bacon beer!
Join the brewer for a beer tasting and take a tour of the micro-brewery, because sometimes you need to slow down and smell the malt, available in flavours ranging from bacon and straw to chocolate and caramel. After your tasting, you can pair your favourite beer with one of the many dishes on the Brewer & Butcher’s menu, sit back and enjoy the view while the sound of crashing waves amplifies your holiday mood.
SIX FOOD AND BEER PAIRINGS RECOMMENDED BY RONN:
1. Altbier is great with roasted chicken or pork chops.
2. Helles/Lager for the win with a lighter dish such as chicken, fish or salads.
3. Try India Pale Ale (IPA) with spicy foods like spicy chicken wings. Ronn thinks that it goes well with carrot cake too, but that is yet to be tried.
4. Bockbier is a great dessert beer. Apparently, it tastes best when paired with chocolate. Who would have thought?
5. Hefeweizen is great with seafood and salads.
6. The Märzen beer goes down well with pizza or any meat dishes.
RONN SHARES SOME FUN FACTS ABOUT BEER:
1. The Egyptians were the first to start brewing beer.
2. Beer contains all the minerals the body requires, but do enjoy it in moderation.
3. Many years ago nuns used to brew beer to generate an extra income for the church.