Drayman’s is a German-inspired microbrewery in Silverton, Pretoria, run by brewmaster Moritz Kallmeyer. Today I’m reviewing his Rauchbier, the Jolly Monk. It’s a seasonal brew available during the winter months here in South Africa.

Jolly Monk Rauchbier

(4% ABV; 1L bottled)

Appearance: Very dark amber
Aroma: Slight roasted malt and smoke

Taste: This beer starts off with roasted, BBQ-like flavours, ending in a smoky, char-grilled aftertaste. Prominent dark malts are also present, and the overall mouthfeel is very smooth and balanced. Unlike some darker beers you may be used to, rauchbiers use smoked malts, which are less bitter and more toffee-like in character.

Overall, I think this is a lovely craft beer, perhaps one of the best available at the moment in SA. It is light enough to be a good session beer, especially in colder climes without being light-weight. I’m happy to give this one the Beginner Brewer’s first (!) award. The only problem is that it’s not available all year round! Drayman’s, please take note!