By MIKE HALLS
I am very conscious that we are somehow halfway through February already and I am yet to post a review this year. This year seems to be flying by so quickly already, but rest assured I have been out there visiting breweries and have stacks of incomprehensible notes that need to be published in a readable format here.
On a recent trip to Johannesburg I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to revisit one of my favourite spots in GP, Mad Giant. This place is impressive, nestled in the center of Johannesburg, the surrounds can only be described as a bit rough around the edges. However, upon entering the brewery, this all goes out of the window. It’s a pristine giant, with an open plan kitchen on your left, huge dining area, seriously impressive bar with a huge Mad Giant stainless steel statue and a brewery that appears to go back forever.
” Mad Giant was an idea born in a man cave. It sprouted from the desire to conquer, the world, to make a difference and to take chances with no fear of the outcome. We drew our inspiration from those who came before us: aviators, rock stars and mad scientists-pioneers who flipped the bird to conventional wisdom, shunned the nay-sayers and went on to become giants among men. As our batches grew, so did our aspirations. What started as an idea hatched in a tiny town built on coal fields, today stands as a towering monument for the little guy in the heart of Jozi. We hope that Mad Giant inspires everyone who is crazy enough to pursue a massive dream.” Eben Uys
Mad Giant produce some of the best beers in the country, with Killer Hops being a firm favourite for hoppy Pale Ale lovers. You can read my reviews of their core range of beers below, but they also are not scared to push boundaries with some limited release beers. Towards the end of last year they released two barrel aged Porters, one aged in Whiskey barrels and the other in Cabernet Franc barrels. I had the pleasure of trying these at the Devils Peak warm up to CTFOB event last year and they are both awesome, with some really complex flavours and aromas. Both are uniquely different, for me I preferred the Whiskey barrel version, however I do know that Eben prefers the Cab Franc one! If you get the chance to purchase either, I highly recommend you jump at it, they will not disappoint.
As well as awesome beer, the food from their restaurant Urbanologi is some of the best you will get in the city. Their head chef is extremely talented and his creative and cleaver food combinations exude personality. And boy do they work! I had the most amazing spider steak, a cut of meat that you will only normally get from the finest of butchers. Potato wedges served with a divine seaweed aioli and some delicious Chimichurri Chicken.
I cannot recommend visiting Mad Giant highly enough if you are in Jo’Burg.
To check out my reviews of Mad Giants beers, click the link on the images below: