Brewers & Union is a South African label showcasing the craft brewing of the Gabriel Collective, who do most of their brewing in Europe. B&U also has a pub/restaurant in Cape Town, but their beers are available throughout South Africa.
The Brewers & Union range of off-centre lagers are a great introduction to craft beer for the uninitiated, since most beer drinkers are familiar with the more mass-produced commercial lagers. If you want more of your friends to get into craft, I’d recommend Brewers & Union as a perfect place to start.
You can visit the B&U website by clicking here. Now let’s get into the beers!
B&U Unfiltered Lager
(5% ABV; 500ml bottled)
Appearance: Hazy light gold.
Aroma: Clean, spicy hops.
Taste: This is a very crisp, lovely little lager with the yeast still in the bottle, giving it a hazy appearance. Look out for initial flavours of honey and spices, with an after-taste of crisp, hoppy bitterness. The suspended yeast lends a nice bread-like flavour as well. This is a well-balanced beer that leaves most commercial lagers far behind. Try it!
B&U Beast of the Deep Helles Bock
(6.5% ABV; 500ml bottled)
The Bocks are a sub-variety of lager beers that generally are higher in alcohol and feature more robust flavour profiles–perfect for cold winter days.
Appearance: Clear pale straw.
Aroma: Fruity, slight malt.
Taste: The Beast of the Deep (nice name that) is a full bodied beer with a toasty flavour, and slight marmalade or fruit cake notes, only not as cloyingly sweet. While this is technically not 100% to style, it is still a flavourful, solid winter warmer. After-taste is slightly sweet, but pleasant.
B&U Berne Unfiltered Amber Lager
(5% ABV ; 500ml bottled)
Appearance: Hazy amber, rich orange-red.
Aroma: Clean malt
Taste: Initial tastes are malty and rich, with a slight toasty flavour. The Berne is a great beer to introduce to people who are only used to yellow fizzy stuff. It’s not exceedingly weird, but is definitely different and interesting. This beer has a great mouthfeel: silky and complex. It is a great accompaniment to spicy food or rich, buttery sauces. A slight toffee after-taste rounds out what is a refreshing, yet full-flavoured beer that deserves several tastings.
B&U Dark Lager
(5% ABV; 500ml bottled)
Appearance: Dark red cola.
Aroma: Slight roasted malt.
Taste: This is an interesting lager that has a crisp flavour and slight notes of roasted malt and liquorice. Despite the dark malts, it is a relatively light tasting lager, and will be refreshing on a hot day. Aftertaste is very crisp; almost non-existent. Overall a solid offering, adding something special to the B&U lineup.