Durban Poison Cannabis Lager. What a great name for a great beer. These four words, on closer inspection, tell you all you need to know about this very tasty brew, its origins and its brewers.
It takes balls to call your beer poison, rebellious to use cannabis in your recipe, a love of your home to add Durban and a finger in the face of other craft brewers to focus on a lager.
On a European road trip in the ‘90s I found Durban Poison hemp on the menus of most Amsterdam coffee shops. Durban dagga is world famous. We thus have a revelation about the marketing acumen of the brewers too.
The brewers of Durban Poison Cannabis Lager
Poison City Brewing is owned by two mates, Graeme and Andre.
To quote their website, “And together they make exceptional beer– beer made for people who give a damn about what they drink, beer that never compromises on taste or quality, beer that lives where edge meets class, and beer that pays tribute to the soul of Durban.”
They brewed their first lager in May 2014 and perfected their beer making skills in the craft beer industry over the years.
They noticed the enormous global potential of an industry they both had a great deal of personal interest in – the cannabis beverage industry and so, just as South Africa legalised the use of marijuana, the guys then launched their first commercial beer, Durban Poison Cannabis Lager.
The beer itself
Giving credit where it is due, Castle Light was, until I tried Durban Poison Cannabis Lager, the top lager on my list. There are many really good craft lagers but when it comes to beer-around-the-long-afternoon-braai you have to admit that Castle Light, for all its mass production, is excellent.
I seldom, if ever, voiced my opinion on Castle Light to my fellow aficionados as many thought that anything mass produced lacked good taste.
The only good taste that concerns Graeme and Andre is that on the palate. And as kiss-my-arse as the brewers may be, you have to pucker your lips and take a sip of this lager.
It is delicious and, well, edgy. This is an American style lager and thus light, crisp and easy drinking. Some of the hops have been replaced by Cannabis Sativa which gives it a very unique flavour that is hard to explain. Think of your normal lager as an English stew and of Durban Poison Cannabis Lager as a good Durban curry. Both will satisfy your hunger but we both know which is the tastier.
An added bonus to drinking this beer is that it has all the health benefits that come with hemp.
Different beers, just like different wines, suite different moods and different foods. So when and with what do you enjoy this lager.
My advice is to think of Durban Poison Cannabis Lager in the same way that Lily Bollinger thought of Champagne, “I drink Champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it — unless I’m thirsty.”
This is a great brew, well done Graeme and Andre – see you around a braai sometime.
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