Tasting League crib notes: Vedett Extra White

Brewed only with natural ingredients including coriander and orange peel, this traditional Belgian white beer comes with its own ritual. Pour ⅔ of the beer into your glass, swirl the rest in the bottle to stir up all the natural yeast, then pour the rest in one movement.

Always remember, swirl before you pour!


The tasting experience

Appearance: Cloudy, light-blond with a creamy white head.
Aroma: Herbal notes to start followed by dominant citrus, and a slightly sweet finish.
Flavour & finish: This beer is creamy and refreshing with a fine bubble. Citrus and grainy flavours upfront, give way to a slightly sweet, honey-like finish.

Quick fire facts

  • This beer is refermented in barrel and bottle.
  • Hops are Saaz-Saaz, Hallertau Magnum, and Hallertau Perle
  • It has 4.7% ABV.
  • A polar bear is it’s mascot.

Overall thoughts

A highly drinkable, refreshing Belgian wit beer with a sweet, slightly perfumed finish. It may be hard to see through, but it makes up for it by sending all your other senses into overdrive.

#TastingLeague handle



Food pairing suggestion

Grilled salmon is a treat with this beer, and for the more adventurous, grab a slice of lemon cheesecake.

Where to drink

Anywhere the sun is shining, the people are smiling and the dance floor is grooving.

Get your hands on some Vedett Extra White craft right here, delivered free to your door.

Join our TastingLeague on Twitter or Instagram by sharing your tasting notes with us and you can win R1000 in beer. Check out the TastingLeague rules and get tasting.


Tasting League crib notes: Fuller’s Honey Dew Organic Ale

These days we like knowing exactly what is going into our beer, and with this one, everything down to the last drop is 100% organic. With its sunshine colour and sweet, zesty profile, this is an organic full of love beer, even for those who don’t like beer.


The tasting experience

Appearance: Honey and straw, crystal clear, with a warm-white head.
Aroma: Lager-like with honey, melon and slight citrus from the First Gold hops.
Flavour & finish: Honey, followed by medium malts and some zesty orange from the yeast. Sweet and clean, with low bitterness, medium carbonation and a dry finish.

Quick fire facts

  • 5% ABV
  • The organic honey used comes from Brazil.
  • Winner of the World’s Best Honey Beer 2008 (Beers of the World).

Overall thoughts

Best served chilled, this refreshing beer with a zesty edge is a great way to start the afternoon. It really is sunshine in a bottle. Simple as that.

#TastingLeague handle


Food pairing suggestion

Summertime meals for a summertime beer. Fresh, zesty salads with a little Thai inspiration are fantastic. Just make sure you are dining somewhere chilled and sunny.

Where to drink

Barefoot, on the grass at Kirstenbosch Gardens waiting for the gates to open at the Jeremy Loops concert, sponsored by Greenpop.

Get your hands on a case of Fuller’s Honey Dew Organic Ale here, delivered free to your door.

Join our TastingLeague on Twitter or Instagram by sharing your tasting notes with us and you can win R1000 in beer. Check out the TastingLeague rules and get tasting.


Tasting League crib notes: Vedett IPA

It’s IPA, but not really from India, and not really a pale ale. This extraordinary beer perfectly combines a solid Belgian ale with four varieties of American hops. Welcome to the best of both worlds.


The tasting experience

Appearance: Slightly cloudy with a copper-amber hue.
Aroma: All tropical fruit and citrus upfront, that harmoniously combine with fresh floral and green aromas.
Flavour & finish: Punchy grapefruit and tropical fruits make way for a soft yet outspoken bitterness that builds and builds, but just leaves space for the malty caramel backbone, and a long, effervescent finish.

Quick fire facts

  • 2 of the American hops used are only for dry-hopping.
  • Only speciality malts are used.
  • It has 5.5% ABV (and is sitting at 40 IBU’s).
  • The Walrus is this beer’s mascot.

Overall thoughts

This is an IPA unlike any you have tasted before, and once you get your head around it, it’s just an incredible, modern ale inspired by one of the oldest styles on the planet. Awesome beer.




Food pairing suggestion

Spicy oriental dishes are great with IPA, but to really amp things up, light the fire and get some quality thick-cut Karoo lamb chops, some fresh herbs, and a sweet-spicy basting sauce.

Where to drink

Any place, any time, when you are winning and feel like something different yet familiar. Like getting the girl at your high-school reunion.

Join our TastingLeague on Twitter or Instagram by sharing your tasting notes with us and you can win R1000 in beer. Check out the TastingLeague rules and get tasting.


Tasting League Crib Notes: Innis & Gunn Original

These Scottish brewers will oak-age pretty much anything. With a phenomenal range of beers to choose from, we asked the master brewer, Dougal (yes, seriously) what his favourite was and without skipping a beat, he reckons it’s the Original Golden Ale that started it all as a happy mistake back in 2002.


The tasting experience

Appearance: Deep amber-gold and crystal clear, with an off-white head.
Aroma: Rich, roast malts with prominent oak, light vanilla and toffee, and a few bready notes from the yeast.
Flavour & finish: Malty oak, vanilla and toffee, a little butterscotch, and very light hop fruitiness. A medium-bodied ale with light carbonation, and a smooth, warm finish.

Quick fire facts

  • A hefty 6.6% ABV
  • Won Grand Gold at the Monde Selection Awards 2015 (a pretty big deal).
  • It has 5.5% ABV.

Overall thoughts

A beer unlike anything you have ever tasted before. Malty, delicious and beautifully brewed. This ale has been treated with respect, and delivers on its promise 100%.

#TastingLeague handle


Food pairing

Coming from the UK, Indian curries work a treat with this beer. For us though, a big, quality burger with mature cheddar and chilli-dusted onions rings is the winner!

Where to drink

In an old sawmill, if you can find one. But if not, this beer is delicious anywhere, just remember that anything oak-aged deserves to be enjoyed in a big leather wingback.

Join our TastingLeague on Twitter or Instagram by sharing your tasting notes with us and you can win R1000 in beer. Check out the TastingLeague rules and get tasting.


10 good reasons to change to craft

Hey you! Yes you, the guy with the ‘big brand’ lager in his hand. Is that beer exciting? Is it the best beer you’ve ever tasted? Does it make you sit back and think, ‘I have to tell my friends about this’. If you answered yes to all of the above, then you can stop reading now because you’ve already found your unicorn. But if you answered no to any of the above, then come with me, because there’s a pot of gold waiting at the end of the rainbow and I know the way.

Congratulations brave adventurer! You’ve taken your first step down a tasty road. Before we get started let’s chat a bit about craft beer. Just like the seasons, craft beer is ever-changing. Brewers are constantly innovating new beers and styles. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a crime to make the same beer forever, it’s just not very interesting. Simply put, craft beer is exciting as hell. So, without much further ado, let me take you down a wonderful rabbit hole of the 10 beers or reasons to change to craft. The proof is in the pudding.

1. You’ll have a flawless transition to craft: Cape Brewing Company Lager

Yes, I know it’s a lager but this is a damn good lager. There are no watered down flavours here, just a full roundhouse kick of malt and hops that would make Chuck Norris proud. It’s a great beginner because it’s still familiar but better. It’s like tasting mature cheddar after growing up on processed slices.

2. You’ll have the best of both worlds: Devil’s Peak Pale Ale

Strap yourself in because we’ve officially crossed over to the tasty world of ales. This pale ale is bursting with citrus and tropical fruit. It’s packed with toasty malt and hop flavour, which leaves a lingering bitterness. It’s the perfect introduction to ales and the best part is, it’s only 3.5%. Whoever said a light beer had to taste light is a liar.

3. You can travel from your arm chair: Vedett Extra White

Pack your bags, we’re heading overseas. Vedett Extra White is a complex Belgian wheat beer that’s brewed with orange and coriander. It’s unfiltered and unpasteurized so the flavours continue developing as it re-ferments in the bottle. It’s loaded with layers of flavours and I guarantee you’ve never tasted anything like it. Dive in head first for best results.

4. You’ll become part of a cult movement: And Union Summer Ale

We’ve now jumped the border to Bavaria in Germany, where this local brand is brewed. And Union’s Summer Ale has only just come out and it’s already gaining cult status. This unfiltered wheat ale is crammed full of fruit aromas and flavours like orange, tangerine, lemon and tropical fruit. It’s robust yet deceptively smooth for a 5.5% beer.

5. You’ll grow a crazy full beer beard: Jack Black’s Lumberjack Amber Ale

Alright it’s time to kick things up a notch with a big and beefy amber ale. Like the name suggests, Lumberjack will give you the strength to cleave a tree in two. Okay, I made that up, but it does pack enough flavour punch that it’ll make your beard visibly more full. With massive roasted malt character and a boat load of hops it’s the one that gives you an intense, bitter snap.

6. You’ll become an IPA addict: Fuller’s IPA

From malty to hoppy, we’re now in IPA territory. IPAs are known for their massive hop character, powerful flavours and big bitterness. There are two main types, English and American. Fuller’s is English and that means it’s earthy, spicy and bitter with a solid malt backbone. English IPAs are the original and this classic from Fuller’s is a winner.

7. You’ll become a raging IPA addict: Woodstock Brewery Californicator IPA

From English to American, Woodstock’s IPA is a true west coast style heavy hitter. It’s all tropical fruit, citrus and piney resin. It packs a mean bitter kick yet it’s surprisingly refreshing. It’s one of the finest IPAs in the country, so don’t be surprised if it becomes a favourite… after you’ve managed to tame it that is.

8. You’ll have a spiritual experience: La Trappe Dubbel

We’re heading back to Belgium but this time we’re going big. This deep brown dubbel is rich, malty, fruity and sweet. It’s like Christmas cake in a glass with a hefty 7% punch. It’s brewed by monks so don’t be surprised if you have a religious experience while drinking it.

9. You’ll have an excuse to get a kilt: Innis & Gunn Original

Hold onto your kilt because this Scottish ale is aged in whisky barrel oak for 77 days. The maturation process gives the beer a complex blend of vanilla, toffee and oak flavours. It’s a truly unique beer that will have you questioning, ‘where has this been all of my life?

10. You’ll be able to drink coffee and beer at the same time: Brewdog Cocoa Psycho

This imperial stout has all the subtlety of a Bakkies Botha tackle. It’s brewed with dark malt, crushed coffee beans, cocoa nibs and infused with vanilla pods and oak chips. It’s a 10% beast and it’s the perfect way to end off this introduction to the craft beer journey.
Keep drinking craft and happy trails!

Those are some pretty convincing reasons to change to craft beer, even if we do say so ourselves. So what are you waiting for? Go forth and be beery. There’s a kilt wearing, beer-coffee drinking, full-beared raging IPA addict just waiting to be unleashed.

Monthly mixed case

The #TastingLeague Take Over: The game is changing, see the new rules

We have 2 big innovations to announce with the Tasting League, the first is that you can win more prizes more often and you will given credit across our databases; the second is that we’re handing the reins of the Tasting League over to YOU.

Monthly mixed case

First things first – Prizes

Most popular post each week will be honoured and posted on League of Beers handles and receive a spot prize R200 voucher (most likes, retweets, favourites)

Our favourite post each week will also be honoured and posted on League of Beers handles and receive a spot prize R200 voucher.

How to Win:

1. Taste the beers in the current month’s mixed case (The Tasting League /
2. Share your photos, thoughts, comments about your favourites on Twitter or Intsagram
3. Use these 3 tags: @TastingLeague ; @LeagueofBeers ; @(brewer)

Each week the post with the most likes, favourites, re-tweets wins, plus we also choose another winner each week from the posts we think are awesome.

How do we choose our favourite of the week

  • Awesome comments
  • Interesting photos

The TastingLeague Legend Take-over

Each month a Tasting League Legend will be given the opportunity to take control of the @TastingLeague handles on Twitter and Instagram.

The Legend will converse with and handle all conversations and prizes. As opposed to waiting all month, the prizes will be given out more frequently and the winning posts will be re-posted across our handles to give credit to the work of the Tasting League members.

The Legend will be given free reign to work with all the members to turn the Tasting League into the biggest craft beer community movement ever.

Who is a Legend?

A TastingLeague Legend is someone who loves craft beer for the sake of craft beer. It is someone who takes part regularly and can benefit the Tasting League as well as their own followings by getting more involved. Each month we will select a new Legend with the help of the reigning Legend.

How to become a TastingLeague Legend

1. Drink craft beer
2. Love craft beer
3. Join the movement
4. Take part and engage in the TastingLeague
5. Spread the gospel for craft beer

Why TastingLeague Take-over

  • To give it more community control
  • To add more variety of content
  • To build Tasting League & give it a life of it’s own
  • To help build the brands of the Legends
  • To establish the Legends as experts within the craft beer community at large

Handle or Hashtag?

The # still counts, but we want to move the conversation to the handle @TastingLeague.

Why move to @TastingLeague?

  • So that we can fully engage in the conversation
  • To prevent some big corporate from hi-jacking our conversation one day
  • To enable #TastingLeague members to take more control of the movement
  • To enable TastingLeague Legends and VIP’s to more directly engage in the conversation and add their own flavour

So where to from here?

Get tasting, get posting, get involved in the movement and get winning – for the love of the good craft!


#tastingleague results and winners for February

February can be a tough month for those without loved ones. You know the feeling, the loneliness, we’ve all felt it before. Whether it be from going to a braai alone or just from an inability to share mutual experiences, it’s pretty kak. Thankfully, the #TastingLeague has at least six loved ones and many more people to share them with. No more lonely braais!

(there’s even a Dead Pony included). Chantelle knows how it’s done, “Beer My Valentine”:

Beer my valentine. 💘 #beermyvalentine #bemydarling #beermance

#tastingleague #valentines #valentine

A photo posted by Chantelle Kerr (@chantskerr) on

Jokes aside, love really was in the air this month as #tastingleague has given birth to its first ever power couple: That Last Drop & The Beer Bug. Make no mistake, they are a force to be reckoned with as their love for craft beer is almost as strong as their love for each other.

My heart is yours Missy ❤️ Happy 2 months! Thanks for making me feel

so special😍 #beerbroughtustogether #beerlove #thatlastdrop #thebeerbug #tastingleague

#leagueofbeers #darlingbrew #bemydarling #bemyvalentine #love #girfriend #picnic #roses

#rosepetals #ballons #red #hearts #lovecraftbeer #candles #park #myspeciallady

A photo posted by ThatLastDrop

(@thatlastdrop) on


Our new power couple weren’t the only one’s feeling the love though, we see you Shae:

In fact, Donald loved his Darling Pom Lager so much he refused to share it (bad Donald):

However, they weren’t the only one’s bringing the heat as South Africa’s hottest month gave no excuse to miss the opportunity to indulge on &Union’s SUMMER Ale.

For others though such as Dave, Feb was all about good food and even better beer. “No horsing around!”

Winners Despite the fact that Chantelle (@chantskerr) had a spot of bad luck in Feb, we think that the well deserved R1000 League of Beers voucher coming her way will probably make up for it. Well done Chantelle for leading the Twitter race.

On the Instagram front That Last Drop had an extraordinarily close race to the top of the leaderboard with his significant other, The Beer Bug. Between them they managed to garner

a whopping 5090 likes. R1000 League of Beers voucher coming your way @thatlastdrop, don’t forget to share.

Well done to all #TastingLeague participants. You’ve all done brilliantly in sharing our passion for craft beer – we love you!

Here are your leaderboards for February’s #TastingLeague.

Instagram total likes

1. thatlastdrop 2553
2. thebeerbug 2537
3. craftygrammer 1395
4. hopsonhopsoff 1388
5. waynedreid 707
6. beerclubsa 514
7. thebeerbug 237
8. henrilroux 232
9. beercountrysa 99
10. geoffchisnall 51
11. etiennefouriedrums 49
12. kleurlingbierman 42
13. gerhard1321 41
14. michael_most13 23
15. russ_sprang_beer_tast 20
16. ironyandgum 20
17. rich_dawkins 16
18. simonjames777 12
19. monique_brune 11
20. half_frog 9
21. chantskerr 8
22. jurgenlauer 8
23. donovan_sa 4
24. magdelenehugo 2

Twitter total favourites and retweets

1. chantskerr 241
2. Grantyork77 168
3. wayne_cpt 159
4. BeerCountrySA 77
5. DaveStarley 77
6. donaldevans11 66
7. beerclubsa 61
8. shaeleigh911 52
9. kleurlingbier 50
10. half_frog 19
11. tortoiseMurray 4
12. craftgeekSA 3
13. boetie99 3
14. adan_IaironiaM 3
15. milliedv26 2
16. rich_dawkins 1

Here’s to the love of craft.

A polar bear, a walrus and a penguin walk into a bar: Meeting Vedett

A polar bear, a walrus and a penguin walk into a bar: Meeting Vedett

Besides loving a 5am swim in icy waters, what do a polar bear, a walrus, and a penguin have in common? Vedett, that’s what! These beer-mascots represent the three awesome brews to come out of Belgium’s coolest brewery. Beer Country chatted with the guys about beers, braais, and the mischief we might get up to on a night out in Belgium.

A polar bear, a walrus and a penguin walk into a bar: Meeting Vedett

So, do you know any good penguin jokes?

One or two…

A penguin walks into a bar and says, “I’ll have a Vedett or nothing at all!” The bartender replies, “Why you penguins always gotta be so black and white?!”

Classic! And if a thirsty penguin walked into your brewery, what beer would you give her?

A Vedett Extra Blond, of course. We figure she’s seen enough “white” already. And an Indian Pale Ale would be a bit of a stretch from the South Pole. Of course, we can go more exotic, once we’ve broken the ice (wink).

There is a bit of a ritual to go with the Extra Wit, tell us about it?

Step 1.
Stare into the cloudy depths of a Vedett Extra White while contemplating the meaning of life.

Step 2.
Realise that neither the beer, nor the meaning of life, are transparent to human enquiry. So pour 2/3 of the beer.

Step 3.
After that, swirl the rest in the bottle and pour it into the glass. Enjoy your Vedett Extra White the old-fashioned way: by drinking it instead.

Step 4.
Realise that enjoyment is in fact the answer.

Too true! We know you guys love music. Give us a few tunes to check out while drinking Vedett?

A good opportunity to sing the praises of some classic Belgian tracks. OK, here goes the unofficial Vedett top 5:

5. Get up by Technotronic (Yes, that’s right, they’re Belgian!)
4. Heading for a Fall by Vaya Con Dios
3. Clouds by Django Reinhardt
2. Alors on danse by Stromae (Belgium’s favourite son)
1. Marieke by Jacques Brel

Adding to the playlist now. Ok, so we love your IPA, it’s the best of both worlds.

Well, it’s definitely not Indian (but we did get the idea while watching a really bad Bollywood movie). And it’s not that pale (at least not compared to the average Belgian in shorts). But as far as ales go, we’re quite proud it. Extra bitter, extra refreshing!

What’s your favorite thing to do while drinking a Vedett?

Going through the thousands of pictures, stories and ideas people submit for our back labels. And realising that there is no greater accompaniment to a great beer than human creativity!

Cheers to that. Was there one beer that changed your life?

Definitely Duvel. Devilishly divine!

And did that lead to dedicating your life to brewing great beer?

Well, it certainly lead to a lot of beer drinking!

What is your beer philosophy in a sentence?

Better brews, fewer blues.

Belgians are notorious for putting anything in beer. What is the weirdest ingredient you have ever brewed, or would like to brew with?

Actually, hops is a pretty weird ingredient, and it does so many weird, wonderful and sometimes unpredictable things to a beer! That said, we do throw coriander and candied orange peel into the mash of our Extra White, things you’re more likely to find in a fruit cake than a beer. The results speak for themselves!

So the ice-caps have melted and we’re all going down. What is your last meal and what beer would you pair it with?

Well, if there’s going to be a beach party on Mt. Everest, what better way to bow out than with a proper South African braai?! Seafood, of course, since 99.9% of the Earth’s surface will by then be covered in water. Let’s say lobster infused with chili, garlic and ginger with a tall glass of Vedett White to freshen the palate and intensify the aromas.

You had us at braai! We love fire, great food, epic craft beer and awesome music. If we came over to Belgium for one night, what would we get up to?

What a coincidence! Belgians refuse to do anything or go anywhere without the offer of good food and great beer as an incentive. If you’re ever in the neighbourhood, drop by for a festival or two in the park on a long summer night as the beer flows freely. Later on, we’ll take to the streets and give the newspapers something to write about in the morning!

Sign us up! We’ve heard you are in the business of making people famous?

Behind every great beer is a great bunch of people. And since we get our inspiration from the people who enjoy our beers, we thought it more than fitting to put them on our back labels!

What would you love the guys and gals back in South Africa to get out of your beers?

In a word, happiness! A moment of enjoyment. A moment when you can take a step back and take a lighthearted look at life. See it in all its beauty and absurdity all at once. And smile.

Proost! (that’s cheers in Belgium)

To get a taste of this awesome Belgian beer, get stuck into this Month’s Mixed Case, packed with Vedett. Or better yet, sign up to the club so we don’t have to keep reminding you and you can be ahead of the curve with us.


Our first #Ciderleague competition results

Our first #Ciderleague kicked off well with a lot of interest in the new movement. Considering the crisp and refreshing flavours that only cider provides, especially in the summer heat, it was no wonder that the #tastingleague titans joined in on the revolution.

It was especially awesome to see how cider has allowed non-beer drinkers (dare I say it) to be apart of the tasting experience.

However, #tastingleague heavyweight Wayne Reid (Craftbeer Research) was doing a absolutely stellar job at starting the #ciderleague conversation.

@leagueofbeers #Ciderleague 6% abv apple cider. This is how cider grows

on trees.

A photo posted by ⚔Wayne

Reid⚔ (@waynedreid) on


We had a few new faces though – welcome Troye May:

Cheers to Shae Leigh who was willing to share her Everson’s apple cider, that really must be true love.

You know it’s love when you’re willing to share, especially

when it’s @eversonscider 🍻🍏 Fresh with an apple bite, this cider is exactly what I’m looking for in summer. #ciderleague #leagueofbeers #eversonscider #craftbeer #craftcider #applecider #fruit #love #weekend #summer #goodtimes#capetown #stellies #elginmagic

A photo posted by Shae

Leigh (@shaeleigh911) on


#CiderLeague Competition Winners

Wayne Reid came out tops on both twitter and Instagram with a considerable margin to spare. Very strong start to the league. However, on Instagram there was a tight battle for second spot with Shae Leigh and Crafty Nectar having just 10 points separating them. Well done Wayne, R1000 in yuppiechef vouchers coming your way.

Here are your leaderboards for #CiderLeague

Instagram total likes

1. waynedreid 587
2. shaeleigh911 257
3. craftynectar 247
4. beerclubsa 246
5. thatlastdrop 91
6. beercountrysa 81
7. andreafedder 26
8. bigd691 16
9. tbone_troye 16
10. etiennefouriedrums 12
11. eviecm 5
12. squashed_tomato 4

Twitter total favourites and retweets

1. wayne_cpt 131
2. BeerclubSA 71
3. DaveStarley 60
4. kleurlingbier 25
5. chantskerr 19
6. shaeleigh911 10
7. LucyCorne 5
8. BeerCountrySA 4
9. IvorSwartz 3
10. _jebspringfield 2
11. hencakes 2
12. CeeceesTravel 1
13. oconnor_mel 1
14. eviecm 1

Thanks everyone for sharing in the #ciderleague fun and for making sure that good craft is celebrated.


Tasting League crib notes: Fraser’s Folly Soutie Pilsner

Ten points to Fraser for calling his pilsner, ‘Soutie’. If you’ve never heard the term, Google it now to appreciate the fact that he’s an Englishman living in Struisbaai – funny stuff. Soutie is Fraser’s first dip into the world of pilsner and we’ve loving it.

Tasting League crib notes: Fraser's Folly Pilsner

The Tasting experience:

Appearance: Rich clear gold
Aroma: Malt, spice and biscuit
Flavour & finish: Malty and spicy with a decent bitter finish. It’s medium-bodied, smooth and dry.

Quick fire facts:

  • It’s brewed with all English malt
  • It has 4.2% ABV
  • It’s hopped with Goldings

Overall thoughts:

The Soutie lives up to its namesake, it’s an English style pilsner brewed to quench an Africa size thirst. Good thing we’re always thirsty.



Food pairing:

Some crusty bread and a big wedge of nutty gruyere cheese.

Where to drink:

Take a trip to Struisbaai and sip on one in the harbour while looking at the boats.

Get going on those tasting notes with a case of Fraser’s Folly Soutie Pilsner or February’s Mixed Case.

Join our TastingLeague on Twitter or Instagram by sharing your tasting notes with us and you can win R1000 in beer. Check out the TastingLeague rules and get tasting.