Richmond Hill Brewing Co.
The home of Port Elizabeth’s iconic beer, Car Park John. RHBC was established next to BeerYard on Cooper Street back in 2015.
By MIKE HALLS
So, I return to review yet another brewery in the Eastern Cape (and I can hear Capetonians thinking they didn’t realize there were so many breweries outside of CT!) It frustrates me when people say that the only good breweries are in Cape Town, this is really not the case. Yes, Cape Town has the most breweries and some fantastic ones at that, but I’ve found some absolute gems on my travels around the country.
I’ve been spending a lot of my time in Port Elizabeth lately and Richmond Hill Brewing Co. has become somewhat of a second home for me. I visit lots of breweries (I aim to visit all that South Africa has to offer), but this one is special, this is the one that excites me every time I hop on that plane to PE. I can’t wait to call in for a beer (or three) after a hard days work. RHBC ticks all the boxes for me, great people, awesome beer and a really cool taproom (although they prefer to call it a Gin bar!)
RHBC started life in 2015 next to Beeryard at 1 Cooper Street. Owner Matt Repton bought a Brew-Magic brewing system from the States with the idea to brew a house beer for a number of his restaurants. This occurred around the same time that Head Brewer; Niall Cook, returned back to South Africa from his brewing internships overseas. A partnership was formed, with Niall heading up the brewing operation.
RHBC has grown organically over the last couple of years and in August 2016 they moved into their current home in Baakens Valley. They brew the house beer, namely Car Park John, for Matt’s other resturants; Beershack, Beeryard as well as Charlie’s Pizza and Pasta.
Car Park John is by far their most popular beer, with approximately 90% of their 550L brew length being used to keep up with the demand for this iconic beer. Another cult favourite is Two Rand Man; an Irish Red Ale that is nitrogenated. Both beers have interesting stories behind their names, check out my review of these beers for the stories (below).
RHBC have gone through quiet a few experimental brews such as a; Vanilla Old Ale, Raspberry Blond, Chamomile Wheat Ale, Pineapple New England IPA, Biscuit Ale, Pumpkin Ale, Spiced Winter Ale, Smoked Red Ale, Black IPA, Black Impala, Amber Weiss and a Raspberry Stout. Niall is sure to have a couple of ideas up his sleeve for some other awesome beers in the near future.
You don’t have to be a beer lover to visit RHBC either, they brew the most phenomenal hard lemonade called Jane Doe. This tastes just like a traditional lemonade your granny would have made, with no really alcoholic taste whatsoever. If Jane Doe doesn’t tickle you non beer drinkers fancies, RHBC has one of the best Gin selections I have ever seen. The talented bar tenders will whip you up a cracking G&T with a selection of tonic waters and aromatics. They also serve Rhino Rum, a rum made just minutes up the road from them and a must try with a dash of ginger ale.
RHBC don’t have their own kitchen, but you can order food from any of the restaurants that surround them, and eat it in the taproom. The burgers from Frederick & Son directly below the tap room have always been a hit for me.
To check out my reviews of RHBC’s beers (and non beer!), click the link on the images below.