Craft beer in Mauritius! Flying Dodo Brewing Company

I've written about Mauritian food before so I wont go into how good the gateaux piment, alouda, mine frit or boulette were (really very damn good), but what I will repeat is that if you get a chance to visit Mauritius then please get out of your bloody hotel and explore a little. The street food is delicious, unique, exciting, cheap and easy to find.

On the drinks side of things Mauritian Rum is fantastic (particularly the spiced or oak aged varieties from Green Island and New Grove) but up until recently I had resigned myself to the fact that it's a bit of a good beer desert. But all that has changed. Craft beer now has a foot hold in Mauritius, and it looks to be here to stay.

The Flying Dodo Brewing Company is a new venture by the owners of Port Louis' international beer bar "Lambic" (more on that in another post) located next to the newly built Mall of Mauritius (aka Bagatelle), near to the town of Moka. It's a great looking bar/restaurant with the feel of an American brewpub and a Modern Mauritian food menu to complement the on-site brewed beers.

I tried a few beers before Colette joined me for dinner (having that shopping centre next door is a stroke of genius). To my massive disappointment the 9% coffee infused imperial stout had run out, but there was still plenty more to go at, with the beers well chosen to suit the hot climate and all served by keg (but unfiltered and hazy as explained in the menu).

I started with a glass of Marzen which was a cracking little beer, very much to style and in fantastic condition. Lightly hoppy in the finish with a big cereal malt body and clean flavours throughout. A good start.


I then opted for a tasting tray of 3 beers.

The cascade blonde lager is very crisp and dry with a nice clean finish. Very drinkable and very refreshing, as a lager should be, but a big jump up from your average Mauritian lager thanks in no small part to the cascade dry hopping.

Next up was the weisse type 1, which is, as you would hope, dominated by banana and orange in the aroma. The flavour is peppery and orangey with a very subtle yeast tang. It's delicious yet not overly heavy and again very drinkable.

Finally the Oktoberfest beer, apparently brewed to the same recipe as the breweries in Munich use for the festival. This was the beer I was most looking forward to trying, and which turned out be my favourite.

This beer has a great biscuity flavour that is nicely balanced between bitter and sweet in the finish. Great balance and very clean. It had loads going on and wasn't easy drinking in the bland sense but moreish in the very best sense, I.e. this tastes so good I want to drink a lot of it.

It also went amazingly well with the Pistachio stuffed gateaux piment (a sort of deep fried lentil and chilli cake). With the food bringing out the nuttiness of the beer, which, in turn, cleansed the palate of the deeply savoury salty gateaux piment.

For a brewery as new as this, and in a climate like Mauritius has, three fault free, clean tasting beers is an accomplishment in itself, but these were also full of flavour, to style, and a pleasure to drink. As for the choice available (three pale beers) I think playing to the local market and climate is a good way to go when starting out.

That said, I'd love to see these guys really flex their brewing muscles and brew a big hoppy pale ale or IPA - oh and get that imperial stout back on!

 

We also ate a very, very good ribeye steak, some delicious octopus snack type things and the missus had a cracking glass of South African red. So the place has plenty more to offer than just beer.

First picture courtesy of http://www.flyingdodo.com/


 

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