Here’s to a long life and a merry one.
We discovered this brewery by pure chance! We went to Hilton for the Pecanwood Oktoberfest 2013 with Ruaan and Amanda from Chameleon Brewery to help behind the taps and after we arrived late Friday, we went looking for a place to eat. To our surprise the closest place turned out to be a brewery – The Old Main Brewery situated only a few meters from where we stayed.
The dining area was divided into two sections – the cozy pub section and the dining area with the most beautiful red and yellow copper mash and fermenting tanks on one side. We found a table in the pub section where we could keep an eye on the rugby between South Africa and New Zealand. It had a nice and inviting ambiance and we quickly felt at home. The food menu was in a printed news paper style which was very cute and well executed. It took a while to decide what to eat since they offer such a variety of food, definitely something for everyone. We decided on a selection of finger-food which we shared while we were tasting the beer the brewery has to offer.
The Beer Sluts immediately zeroed in on the beer menu, starting with the FOXX Lager. This is one of the original brews from the days when the it was called Firkin Hobhouse. When the pub relocated to the idyllic Hilton, they continued to brew this crowd pleaser. The lager is light and fruity with a slightly bitter after taste.
It turns out that Rob Mitchells had the Firkin Hobhouse brewery, situated on the top level of the Pavilion shopping center in Durban since 2006. Rob is part of the RD Mitchells Fine Dining Experience group which includes Dublin Breing Company, Sam Brown Cafe, The Firkin Pub Company and of course Old Main Brewery. The Firkin name was renowned for being the first brewpubs in South Africa. Moritz of Dayman’s Brewery, also started in Firkin, Pretoria! Well, a brewery in a mall just doesn’t work and Rob decided to move the pub to the beautiful Hilton, taking with him brew master Paul Sims and assistant brewer Colin Ntshangase with him. It is a pity we never met any of the people mentioned above. Maybe next time.
We ordered the 1806 and finally the Honey Badger Imperial Stout before we head home. On our way out we bought some take-aways to taste and report on at a later stage.
This brewery has the most amazing potential. Why does not many people know about this place? Marketing maybe?