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TThe Bridge Street Micro Brewery in Port Elizabeth, a venture of South Africa's famous brewmaster, Lex Mitchell, combines a trendy location with a firm commitment to the finest of beer-making traditions.
Craft beer is as much about tradition as it is about innovation. Lex Mitchell, who established South Africa's first microbrewery in 1983, has managed to combine the two perfectly in his foray into the world of craft beer – the Bridge Street Micro Brewery in Port Elizabeth.
When Mitchell sold Mitchell's, the microbrewery he established in Knysna in 1983, he spent many years creating new brews and trying out recipes in his 50-litre home brewery. In 2011, some of these brews found a home at the Bridge Street Micro Brewery, a partnership with restaurateur Donovan Noyle.
The Bridge Street Micro Brewery is situated in an old fibreglass factory that has been revamped and refurbished into a modern pub and restaurant, with a small brewery on site and great views over the lower Baakens Valley, a green space that runs through Port Elizabeth.
Bridge Street’s signature beers are completely new creations made under the Mitchell family crest (the Boar’s Head). You can choose from the Boar’s Head Ale, Celtic Cross Pilsner, Bowman Apple Cider, Pink Lady Pear Cider and Black Dragon Stout.
TThe names of these beers are rooted in Mitchell’s love of all things medieval – in fact, each year he hosts a medieval fair in Port Elizabeth. His passion for brewing has also been influenced by his visits to small breweries in Britain.
The Boar’s Head Ale is a balanced, classic brew that pays homage to the British beer-making tradition; the Celtic Cross Pilsner is the brewery’s best seller; the Bowman’s Apple Cider is dangerously easy to drink on a summer's afternoon or evening; and the Black Dragon Stout is richly aromatic, with distinctive notes of dark chocolate and espresso.
Along with its own creations, the Bridge Street Micro Brewery sells a range of other South African craft beers. This is fitting, perhaps, as the number of specialist breweries popping up in cities and towns around the country is a tribute to the man who started it all with his microbrewery Knysna.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Bridge Street Micro Brewery
Tel: +27 (0)41 581 0361
How to get here
The brewery is at 1 Bridge Street in South End, Port Elizabeth. Take a taxi there so that you can imbibe with abandon.
What will it cost?
Enquire with your waiter about the cost of beer tasting.
What to eat
Choose from a huge selection of gourmet pub fare and tapas-style platters. If you are not looking for a full meal, the flat breads with a selection of dips goes will with the beers.
The Bridge Street Brewery hosts regular live music events. See its Facebook page for regular updates.
The signature beers and ciders.