Franschhoek is synonymous with wine and French cuisine, but that’s not all this little town is about.
Just outside town, at Wilder, gin, schnapps and grappa are distilled. At Huguenot Fine Chocolates and the De Villiers Chocolate Café on the main street, chocolate in just about every form imaginable is available on the menu, and, at the Tuk Tuk Microbrewery, beer-lovers’ taste buds are tantalised and refreshed.
At Tuk Tuk, you get Indian decor with Mexican cuisine. Owned by Analjit Singh, the paintbrush of artist Siraj Saxaman reinforces the atmosphere at the boutique brewery and restaurant.
Five different types of beer are brewed here – a pale ale, lager, dark lager, weiss and Indian pale ale.
As he pours five tasting glasses of beer, Hector Maramwidze, the manager, explains that you can’t take the beer home – you can only drink it at the brewery because they only use natural ingredients when brewing the beer, don’t use any additives and also don’t pasteurise the beer.
A tasting session costs R46 and, with Hector’s insightful explanations, the golden liquid on your tongue makes all kinds of sense.
Once you’ve decided which is your favourite, Hector will have a pint (about 470ml for R42 to R57) or a half pint (about 230ml for R32 to R42) poured for you – which you can then combine with the delicious Mexican-inspired pub snacks out of the restaurant’s kitchen. The dishes are top-notch. If you’re battling to choose, order a variety for the table.
The menu includes nachos, chilli and lime chicken wings, tuna tortillas and sweet potato fritters with a chipotle dipping sauce.
The brewery is just a short distance from the Huguenot Monument on the town’s main street. If you can’t get a seat over the Bastille Festival weekend, go ahead and get yourself a glass full of beer from one of their pavement beer kegs.