Beer, Steak & Kuier at Wild Clover
We’re not sure what made us feel more welcome on our recent visit to one of our favourite places, Wild Clover Brewery. It may have been the massive hug and handshake from half-boer-half-viking-looking owner and brewmaster, Ampie Kruger. Or it might have been the pints of delicious Double Owl that welcomed us. Either way, we were happy to be there, we were hungry, and ready to put a dent in the BIG Steak & Beer Dine-Out.
Wild Clover have put in some serious effort to crank their branding, beers and their Stellenbosch home up a few notches. Some great design work means the beers look world class, and the brews inside the bottles deliver on the promise of the premium packaging.
With the new brewery working foot-flat, the beers are better than ever. We tasted every one just to be sure and the results were smiling faces and empty glasses. As well as the new shiney brewery, they’ve also built a kick-ass tasting room and restaurant. The interior is modern and beautifully designed, and there’s even space for live music. Outside they’ve built the perfect setting to watch the sunset over the Cape Winelands, complete with a massive fire pit.
We started our evening with tasters of the Eagle Weiss and Blind Mole pilsner. Even though it was a chilly night on the farm, these summertime brews went down a treat. The Eagle Weiss is an unfiltered wit beer that’s brewed as a lager. The result is a crisp yet fruity ale that’s seriously refreshing and lekker. The pilsner is a fruity unfiltered lager with a honey-like character, as well as spicy and floral notes from the Saaz hop. It’s a crowd pleaser that’s perfect for those long, lazy summer days. From there we moved onto one of our favourite Wild Clover beers, Double Owl. It’s a traditional brown ale with a malt-forward nuttiness and a warm citrus kick. We had more than a few of them and we can safely say they paired perfectly with the roaring fires outside.
Back inside the tasting room and the smell of steak and chips was beginning to fill the air. Wild Clover are trying out a new concept in dining that is easy-going and friendly – a lot like their beers. You buy tickets online and order your meal at the same time.
The size of your steak, how you want it cooked, and any sauces you want with it is all taken care of when you pre-order. Say what you want but there is something refreshing about not having to slog through a fifteen page menu. The idea is that you know exactly what you are getting before you get it, which gives you plenty of time to focus on the beers.
Dinner was a 300 g sirloin cooked medium-rare with a creamy mushroom sauce, and a big pile of chips. No more, no less, just what the doctor ordered (the doctor of what we ain’t sure). We usually prefer our slabs of meat cooked over the coals, but a smoking hot cast-iron grill comes in a very close second. The steaks were well caramelised, beautifully cooked, and they went down like a homesick Blind Mole.
The evening was a roaring success and we love what Wild Clover is doing. The approach is no frills way of dining out and you get exactly what you order. There is no pretense and no space for chips-on-shoulders, finicky changes or picky requests. When you are at Wild Clover, you are part of the family. There are no waiters or waitresses and everyone who works there gets stuck in. The food comes out as it’s ready and you get your own drinks from the bar.
It really is a jovial atmosphere and the only thing louder than the live music is the laughter. These are not amateurs, this is pro-level kuiering of the highest order. If you leave not having had a blast, it’s no one’s fault but your own. We can’t wait for the next one!