Dubbed as the ultimate “South African beer experience” and boasting that they have “SA’s largest collection of beers on tap”, Mojo market in Sea Point has introduced Tap’d, a beverage bar with 100 taps, with beer, cider and gin on offer. I went down to take a look at the offering and the market in general.
The bar is a remarkable sight, with its banks of gleaming taps and the cold room, with the kegs and state of the art keg management system on display behind glass. The beer selection is massive and will slake the thirst of most drinkers, although I would like to see more small batch and collaboration beers in future. All the big players are represented, as well as some of the smaller breweries. Although they boast 100 taps, only 56 of them had beer when I was there, the rest either having cider, gin or a “Coming Soon” sign. Some were also out of stock, although it was opening weekend so teething issues are to be expected. I had a pint of the skillful Little Wolf Table Beer, which at R55 was quite pricey in my opinion, although if they keep investing in quality, local beer and proper sanitation then I’m happy to pay it. The beer was served well – in a clean glass with a two finger head and refreshingly cold. These might seem strange to mention, but not nearly enough bars, pubs and markets get it right.
The big question on most people’s lips is whether this amount of beers on tap is sustainable for the local market. I bumped into Bruce Collins, head brewer at Stellenbosch Brewing Company and he had this to say:
“These days, I’m bored when I go out to restaurants, pubs etc. who serve all the main brands with their mainstream beers. Don’t get me wrong, these are great beers but very boring. Tap’d is a huge platform to get liquid to lips, but good sanitation and education from brewers is, as always, key. Obviously the number of taps is a risk, but we see it overseas everywhere, so why can’t South Africa be ready for a place like this? At the end of the day, it’s about choice and this will be good for the collective craft beer industry if they continue to serve fresh beers.”
Apparently, Tap’d plans to host regular events like meet the brewers, beer fests and tap takeovers, so keep an eye out on their social media for details.
The market has lots of seating, with sea views at most of the upstairs seats. There is a wide variety of food on offer and there is a small stage for live music and events.
I’ll be curious to go back in November or December and see how they handle many more people and whether the offering maintains its current quality and variety but if it does, it will be a positive new entry to the Cape Town bar scene.