A Special Summer Is Brewing At ORT’s Airport Craft Brewers. Here’s Why.

by Mark Wasserman
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Airport Craft Brewers is celebrating five summers in operation at Africa’s busiest airport with an exciting new Summer Food & Cocktail Menu that sees a host of new dishes and drinks join the restaurants’ popular offering. Here’s what we thought when we were invited to enjoy everything they have to offer.

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Who Are They?

There are two Airport Craft Brewers restaurants at O.R. Tambo International Airport:  one ‘landside’ (before security) and one ‘airside’ (after security) in the Domestic Terminal. Passengers disembarking planes via the jetways will know the restaurant well as they walk alongside it in the corridor, en route to the baggage claim area.

Did You Know?

Airport Craft Brewers became just the second airport-based craft brewery in the world when it was established at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport in 2015, after one at Munich Airport. They remain one of only three airport-based craft breweries in the world, with the addition of one at Tampa International Airport in the US – but Airport Craft Brewers are proudly the only one in Africa, and in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Best Part?

The beer. Without doubt the beer. And the name says it all: Airport Craft Brewers brewing plant takes pride of place in the heart of their ‘landside’ restaurant, where three of their beers – Pilsner, Porter and Red Ale – are made. The freshness and flavour are signature here – brews in transit (and, for that matter, even in comparison to it’s other more terrestrial craft beer competitiors) have never been better. Another 5 beers – Blonde, Weizen, English IPA, Country Ale and Saison – as well as a Cider are produced off-site, because of space limitations at the airport brewery facility. The beers are as natural as possible, unfiltered and unpasteurized and hand-crafted in small batches to ensure that they’re always as fresh as possible. Guests are always welcome to request a tour from their friendly brewmaster, Malcolm du Toit, to gain an insight into the brewing process.

The Food?

The menus at these two restaurants differ slightly for operational reasons, but the refreshed and revised offering is largely available across both restaurants. With ACB 1 airside opening at 05:00 and ACB 2 landside opening at 06:00, 7 days a week and 365 days a year, Airport Craft Brewers remains a popular spot for hearty breakfasts and excellent single-origin Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee before catching early flights. The new menu sees the addition of Cinnamon Oat Porridge with apple slices, almond flakes & honey, as well as Eggs Florentine (Poached egg served on a bed of spinach & basil, served on freshly baked ciabatta) to complement the moreish Eggs Benedict which has been a firm favourite since the restaurants’ beginnings. A hallmark of our food experience is our ciabatta breads and burger buns – baked in-house, fresh, every day.

Lighter meals also get an update with a cheddar & mozzarella Grilled Cheese sandwich and Smashed Avo on Toast joining the lineup. The popular Tapas – perfect for a quick bite before dashing to catch a flight – gains three new dishes: Fish Strips with house-made Tartare sauce, beef teriyaki Short Ribs and lemon butter Mussels with ciabatta. Pea Soup also joins Carrot & Ginger on the menu for those looking for comfort food.

Airport Craft Brewers’ salad selection has been given a new look. Lettuce is now herbed, the Salmon Salad now includes a salmon steak, rather than smoked salmon ribbon, for example.

The ‘gourmet pub grub’ Baskets get a plating switch to Boards, with some small offering changes complementing the shift to a more contemporary presentation.

The famous Spatchcock chicken from Airport Craft Brewers is now marinated and cooked on site and Basil Pesto Penne is a new addition to the menu.

Wagyu fat-basted beef burgers are always a hit – few things go better with craft brews – so the lineup is boosted with gourmet Cheese, Bacon & Avo and Jalapeno, Cheese & Caramelised Onion variants.

The Drinks?

While Airport Craft Brewers is tremendously proud of their own craft brews, a Diners Club Silver-Awarded wine list and curated cocktail menu ensure that we are able to offer something for almost everyone. The Cocktail Menu boasts two new arrivals: a Midnight Mojito (white rum with a dash of cane sugar, activated charcoal, soda water, mint leaves and squeezed lemon wedges) and a Smoked Cinnamon Old Fashioned – Whisky served with Triple Sec, bitters and a cinnamon stick.

Did You Know?

Airport Craft Brewers is also home to the only two smoking facilities in the Domestic Terminal at OR Tambo, for visitors who need to satisfy cravings other than the one for a delicious craft beer! Both restaurants have plenty of plug points for charging vital electronic equipment on the go, and visitors are able to access four free hours of Airport WiFi service from either of its locations, to stay connected.

Overall?

WHilst it’s true that travel can be a drag, the outstanding beer, food, cocktails and atmosphere at Airport Craft Brewers breaks whatever drudgery you may encounter en route. We guarantee that you’ll not only to be ready to move on to your next destination refreshed and fulfilled, you’ll be as keen to return to what this great establishment is offering this Summer.

Visit them on facebook.com/airportcraftbrewers, Instagram at @airportcraftbrewers and Twitter @airportcraftbr

 

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