Top picks from Karl & Greg of Beer country

Top picks from Karl & Greg of Beer country

This week we were swept up by the energy and spirit of meat-loving mates, Greg and Karl. They are the brains behind Beer Country, South Africa’s first TV show dedicated to beer, braai and the open road. Hosted by these self-proclaimed ‘thirstiest guys on the planet’, they will explore SA’s brew culture, cooking some fabulous food along the way. We can’t wait!

Beer Country

Drinking beer and braai-ing for a living? Greg Gilowey and Karl Tessendorf must have one of those top 10 best jobs around. Known as Rust n Dust, you might remember them from being finalists in the Ultimate Braaimaster show. Their show, Beer Country, was produced by Justin Bonello’s company, Cooked in Africa Films. We chatted to the team about their food passions, the merits of ostrich penis and the “ceaseless persecution of carbs.”

DUDES21. What would your 10-year-old self say about the job you do right now?
G: Hey bud, so this tv-show thing? All you do is roadtrip, drink awesome craft beer, cook some chow and play with fire… Are you sure this is a real job? Kinda looks like cheating to me!
K: I had high hopes of us becoming a professional Super Mario Bros player, but beer and braai is a great second choice.

What’s the absolute best thing and the absolute pits about your job?
G: Best: The incredible people we meet on the road. Worst: Admin and chasing the cash to launch your own show.
K: Best: eating, drinking and being merry. Worst: maintaining my super model figure.

What is a food aroma you love?
G: Fire! Like when you pour just a little beer on the coals and you can smell the brewery.
K: There are few aromas as sexy in the world as wors fat dripping on the coals.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever eaten?
G: Hands down… a Pilchard Smoothie while filming at SANCCOB! They feed it to the baby penguins, and we figured we would give it a go. Not even the brewers yeast could save the fish, cod liver oil and Husky combo. Worst. Idea. Ever.
K: Ostrich penis while judging the Ultimate Braai Master Auditions. It was a bad decision and I blame Justin Bonello for giving it to me.

Is there is food trend that you wish would go away?
G: Grilled lettuce! We know everything tastes better on the fire, but c’mon.
K: The ceaseless persecution of carbs. Set the bread loaf free!

Favourite spot for lunch?
G: Banana Jam Café. Chilled reggae vibes, great chow, and the biggest selection of craft beer on tap in the country!
K: It depends on whether I’m having beer or food for lunch. For beer it has to be the Devil’s Peak Taproom. And for food you can never go wrong with ol’ Dias Tavern.

Banana Jam

Photo: Banana Jam

Where is your go-to place to shop for food or ingredients?
G: Carnivores Unite! Head to Bill Riley Meat Co. in Brooklyn, ask for Dave Jnr. Tell him Beer Country sent you. Best meat in Cape Town, possibly the world.
K: I am going to have to agree with Greg on that one. It pays to know your butcher.

Favourite ingredient to cook with right now?
G: Chipotle chillies, hands down. Spicy, smokey, smells like fire, tastes great on anything… that stuff is like fire-foodie crack!
K: Our Karoo-Dust spice mix. It’s American style dry rub and I use it on everything.

Favourite food or wine hero?
G: So many… The Griz, founder of San-Fran Brewcraft. Homebrew pioneer and part-time beer philosopher (RIP). Andrew Zimern from Bizarre Foods America, fearless! Also, Keith Floyd, for not taking himself too seriously.
K: For food there are simply too many to pick one. For beer it’s the homebrewers that have taken the plunge and created SA’s craft beer scene.

Andrew Zimmern

Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods. Photo: Travel Channel

If you were a flavour of ice cream, you would be… (and why?)
G: Braaied toast, cookie-dough, double cream vanilla, aged and served in an old oak whiskey barrel, with a Rogue Hazelnut Brown Ale on the side.
K: Smokey Guinness dark-choc with bacon bits… served on a chainsaw.

If you had R1000 to spend, where would you go or what would you cook? (and drink)
G: Roeland Liquors! Then light up our Big Green Egg, and spend the next five hours tasting and debating local vs. international craft beer, while we wait for the low & slow beef short-ribs.
K: I could easily spend R1000 on chilli sauces from around the world. I’d even consider giving someone the grand for just one bottle of Huy Fong Sriracha sauce.

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life it would be?
G: Is beer a food? I reckon so.
K: It’s a toss up between boerie rolls and pepper steak pies.

Your last supper would be (don’t forget the drinks!)
G: A smokey wild boar on the spit… around sunset in the Tankwa Karoo, with a few good mates, great tunes, and a bottomless selection of Amber Ales from our mates at League of Beers.
K: I am a sucker for a great cheeseburger paired with an epic selection of IPA’s (India Pale Ale).

Follow them on Twitter @BeerCountrySA and watch the trailor:

With thanks to CrushMag Online for providing the image of Beer Country.