Alcohol

South African Breweries World of Beer

SAB World of Beer - Step UpAbout a month ago, Saturday 1st August 2009, I organised a tour of the South African Breweries. I had heard many good opinions about it and figured that it would be something fun to do. At least something different. In my opinion, getting ‘stuck in a rut’ is quite a sad state of affairs. Unfortunately, that is the trap that many people I know often end up falling into. Hence my constant drive to organise and participate in a variety of activities and events.

It should be noted, that I am truly not a big alcohol drinker. Partly because I do not see the appeal in losing my self-control through inebriation. Unlike most, I do not need a ‘relaxing’ agent in order to have fun or to lower my inhibitions. That just comes naturally. So it was quite a surprise to some that I would be organising a tour of the South African Breweries (SAB).

However, just because someone does not drink beer or alcohol, does not mean that they would not enjoy the tour of the breweries. All one needs is an inquisitive mind. After all, SAB produce 90 percent of the consumable drinks available in South Africa, from bottled water, to beer, to fruit juices and sodas.

When I made the booking, for the World of Beer tour , I really had no idea what it would be like. Other than the fact that the admission price included two free SAB produced drinks per person. Any kind of drink, I might add. Considering the admission price was only R25, I was not expecting much. I kind of figured that we would most likely just see how beer was made and perhaps taste test a few brands. I could not have been more mistaken.

The World of Beer tour ‘literally’ blew away every expectation I had. Seriously.

Not only does the tour encompass the full history of beer throughout the ages, from the times of he Egyptians all the way to the globalisation of various brews, but it also includes:

  • a virtual guide, taste testing of ancient and modern variants of beer, a 3D Cinema adventure,

SAB World of Beer - Virtual GuideSAB World of Beer - Ancient BrewsSAB World of Beer - 3D Theatre

  • a free beer glass, ability to watch beer being made, options to taste and feel beer ingredients,

SAB World of Beer - The group with free SAB branded glassesSAB World of Beer - Beer MachinerySAB World of Beer - Taste Testing Ingredients

  • and finally a 180 degree-sense-encompassing-theatre which showcases the entire South African beer industry.

SAB World of Beer - 180 degree Screen

All this, including any two free SAB made drinks, for just R25. Yes, that is right folks… ONLY R25! Well smack me sideways and call me Susan! The value for money is absolutely insane! I can honestly say that the World of Beer tour is, without a doubt, some of the most fun a person can have for less money than a single movie ticket. Furthermore, it is also an excellent tourist destination. If you have friends from abroad, take them for the World of Beer tour, they will not be disappointed (there is also a gift shop that they will love)!

In addition to the tour, visitors may also eat at the restaurant which makes surprisingly good food. However, it is important to note that that each person is only allowed to drink the two free provided drinks. They do not sell drinks at the restaurant or anywhere else at the World of Beer venue. This is an annoyingly small detail which the staff neglect to inform visitors about. So do not go thirsty or expecting to get ‘sozzled’.

Ultimately the SAB World of Beer tour is a fantastic experience and very wallet friendly – an absolute saving grace with regards to the current economic recession. I can heartily recommend the experience to all.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

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Wordy Wednesday: ‘Vocab101’

Vocab101 Emblem For those who do not know, Vocab101 is my daily attempt to find a new and interesting word which could potentially be used in everyday circumstances. The words I find range from the obscene, to the unbelievably true (which are hyperlinked in blue) and, of course, the colloquial. Thus, Hans’ Milieu now has a ‘Wordy Wednesday’.

Each Hans’ Milieu edition of Vocab101 will take place on Wordy Wednesdays and will contain all the words I have tweeted over the course of one week from the previous Vocab101 session (7 days, 7 new words). Furthermore, each Hans’ Milieu edition of Vocab101 will contain additional new words which did not make the original cut, but are just as tantalising/disturbing!

Vocab101:

  • Gymnophoria The word used to describe the sensation that someone is mentally undressing you.

  • Pisshap – A mishap which generally involves the mass consumption of alcohol and an unfortunate misdirection of urine.

  • Autotonsorialist – Someone who cuts his/her own hair without the aid of another individual.

  • Laatlammetjie – An Afrikaans word that loosely translates as ‘late lamb’.  It is a word that is often used to describe those unexpected and unplanned bundles of joy, which are gifted to couples that are often past their child rearing prime.

  • Dactylonomy – The act of counting on or using one’s fingers.

  • Bandgasm – An orgasmic like feeling brought on by a magnificent musical moment. Similar to a Flavourgasm, but brought on by music instead of food.

  • Snart – When a person uncontrollably sneezes and farts at the same time.

Vocab101-isms which missed the cut:

  • Grundle – The spot between ones scrotum, or vagina, and the anus.

  • Mulligrubs – A state of depression or low spirits which results in the act of sulking.

 

I do hope that you enjoyed this edition of Vocab101 and that you will return for some more Vocab101-isms in the near future… but wait, there is more!

Adam Jacot de BoinodLast week an author known as Adam Jacot de Boinod stumbled upon Hans’ Milieu and discovered my Wordy Wednesday: ‘Vocab101’ posts. Coincidentally, Adam also has a penchant for excavating and using extraordinary words:

Adam Jacot de Boinod, hunter of perfect and obscure bon mots, is a true linguistic bowerbird (a person who collects an astonishing array of – sometimes useless – objects). He trawled the languages of the world for exotic specimens in his bestselling book The Meaning of Tingo and hit follow-up Toujours Tingo and has now turned his attention to his mother tongue in The Wonder of Whiffling.

Knowing that we both have an uncanny affinity for obtuse and entertaining words, Adam introduced himself to me and his current work in progress, The Wonder of Whiffling:

The Wonder of Whiffling is a tour of English around the globe (with fine coinages from our English-speaking cousins across the pond, Down Under and elsewhere).

Discover all sorts of words you’ve always wished existed but never knew, such as fornale, to spend one’s money before it has been earned; cagg, a solemn vow or resolution not to get drunk for a certain time; and petrichor, the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell.

Discover why it is you wouldn’t want to have dinner with a vice admiral of the narrow seas, why Jacobites toasted the little gentleman in black velvet, and why a Nottingham Goodnight is better than one from anywhere else.

 

The Wonder of Whiffling will be available from Tuesday 24th September 2009 from both Amazon (UK) and Amazon (USA). I, personally, cannot wait to get a hold of a copy of Adam’s new book and I hope that the fiendishly verbomanic among you will do the same!

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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Madam Rosmerta’s Butterbeer

I am a great fan of the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. Anyone who knows me or who has followed my Twitter feed or Facebook status updates, can attest to this fact. Perhaps more so than they would like.

Ever since the third book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, there has always been one aspect of Harry’s universe, an aspect I always considered could be a real possibility, that, more than anything, I wish I could experience. The longing has always been there, at the distant edges of my psyche, buzzing around my stray thoughts like a hard to catch ‘Snitch’. Not magic. Not the Time-Turner. Not even a draft of Felix Felicis. Nothing but the warm and slightly intoxicating taste of Hermione Butterbeer!

Alas, I hear your cries of doubt, but fear not Millieunairs for the fabled drink of drinks does indeed exist.

For the last two weeks, I have taken to scouring the Internet in search of the perfect Butterbeer recipe. Some have certainly come delectably close, but none, that I can tell, appear to have perfected a brew like Madam Rosmerta’s. That is, I dare say, until now!

Through hours of gruelling brewing, I have managed to create, what I believe to be, the drink J.K. Rowling herself envisioned. Two variants, each unique, but both filled with delicious near butterscotch-like, tipsy house-elf inducing, goodness. Just in time too, for what better way is there to celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday (31st July) then with a mug of warm tingly Butterbeer?!

Stroking metal ‘cocks’, sucking ‘marrow’ & hitting the floor with ‘Tequila’ (or The Upper Palatte ingests: Mama Tembo’s Cafe)

For those still not in the know, The Upper Palatte is a group created to get ‘friends’ together, at least once a month, to try out new places to eat thus broadening our palate sensations – whether it may be a trendy bistro at a five star hotel or an  undiscovered earthy ethnic eatery. Members of The Upper Palatte are affectionately referred to as Upper Crusters. An Upper Cruster is a member of The Upper Palatte and consequently a part of The Upper Crust (TUC), which is the title given to the body of individuals who belong to The Upper Palatte.

On Friday 20 March 2009, The Upper Palatte (TUP) had its second ‘eat’. The venue was Mama Tembo’s Cafe, an ethnic eatery located in the suburbs of Linden, Johannesburg. A total of twelve Upper Crusters were able to attend The Upper Palatte’s second meet.

Initially, Mama Tembo’s was supposed to have been the venue at which TUP was meant to have its inaugural eat. However, just before the eat was to take place, it was brought to my attention that all current Mama Tembo’s had been disenfranchised (coincidentally, all within the same week of TUP’s inaugural eat) but that a new branch would be opening at a later date. Seriously… what were the odds? I may add that this was extremely annoying and a major inconvenience. As a result, I had my reservations about rescheduling another TUP’s outing at Mama Tembo’s, yet, for some odd reason, I found myself drawn to the mystique of the place. Honestly, I was most curious to find out how ‘ethnic’ the place really was.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At first glance, Mama Tembo’s may be said to resemble a restaurant from the ‘Cool Running’s’ chain of party venues. However, once inside, patrons are transported to a 1960’s flavoured South African ‘shebeen’, with tin roof and all, which is filled with memories from the ‘good old days’. The place is 100% South African and proudly so. I must say, that it would be the perfect place to bring an international visitor. Not only will visitors be able to learn about our history and culture, but, cleverly so, they are also able to purchase any of the exorbitantly priced item which litter the venue’s floor, walls and tables. Furthermore, all cutlery is wrapped within ‘dish cloths’ and served within old coal driven clothing irons. The place is very funky ,with great little touches, and oozes a deep ‘African’ warmth. The experience is not unlike standing in a queue at the airport, surrounded by people who have no concept of personal space, while sipping a strawberry daiquiri.

With regards to the food, I was rather disappointed with the menu. Although Mama Tembo’s toots being an ethnic eatery, the place has no special or unique cuisines. I was expecting meals along the lines of ‘Crispy Chicken Feet’, ‘Goats Brain’, ‘Lamb Knuckles’ or even ‘Tripe’. Our domestic worker would have been immensely dissatisfied. With regards to food, I will try almost anything at least once. Sadly, the most interesting meal on the menu was that of the ‘Marrow Bones’ starter, which I obviously ended up ordering. The meal was great, delicious in fact. The best part was the sauce of the marrow, which had a sweet balsamic spin to it. Dillon and myself ended up polishing it all off and were even tempted to lick the plate clean *lick*.

 

For my main course I ordered the ‘Lamb Stew’. Although I found the meal to be far too salty, I did enjoy the overall taste. My meal was served with traditional ‘pap en sous’, which I laced with Balsamic vinegar, and, as Tammi put it, ‘el dente’ vegetables. I also ordered a side of the rather
unique and unusual ‘pap’ chips. Pap chips are tendrils of mielie meal which have been deep fried. Unfortunately, they do not really taste like anything, perhaps oil, but that is as good as it gets.

Service at Mama Tembo’s leaves a lot to be desired. It is not unlike going to Cool Running’s or News Cafe when it is really busy. Myself, and several other Upper Crusters, had to continuously ask for drinks or meals, again, and again, and again… and again. You know, I understand that being a waiter is hard, I get it, but that really is not my problem. If you are a waiter, it is your job to ensure that the customer is happy and well fed, and not left trying to gain your attention through various charade like hand gestures or even, through sheer desperation, smoke signals (yes, we burnt quite a few things with the candles… who doesn’t? *snicker*).

Despite the gripes with the service, the rest of the evening was a great amount of fun. We literally danced and sang while being offered free tequila shooters. I am not talking about the good kind now, after all we were supposed to be in a ‘shebeen’, but the kind that feels like it has lacerated your oesophagus while it burns a hole into you stomach lining.

The ‘feel good’ effects were immediate which resulted in, among other things, Freddy feeling up tiny metal ‘cocks’, while Simon made ‘vaginal shaped chickens’ out of dish cloths, which left Dillon trying to smoke the papery ends of straws, all with Tammi absentmindedly making ‘sperm’ out of tissue paper and candle wax. Yes, good times!

 

At the close of the evening, The Upper Palatte unanimously adjudged Mama Tembo’s Cafe with a delicious rating of eight out of ten. This ‘ethnic eatery’ is trendy and has a fantastic vibe. Although the service does have its flaws, the food is good and a great time can be had by all. Endorsement: Deliciously Recommended.

Although all of The Upper Crust who were able to attend had a fantastic time, we do hope that the next venue to be visited by The Upper Palatte will be just as much fun or perhaps, even better! Please do have a look at the album from ‘The Upper Palatte Ingests: Mama Tembo’s Cafe.

 

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