Up Yours at Gilroys!
Gilroy’s Pub and Brewery
“Some people take pictures on phones. I don’t know why people do that, it’s very weird. Everybody does that now, we all take pictures! It’s the same with holiday photos, you record something to look back on it…even though you’re not really there when you’re taking the picture because you are too busy recording it…so you’re retrospectively going to look back on where you weren’t… and tell yourself you had a good time.”
These were the drunken ramblings of Irish comedian, Dylan Moran and from my experience at Gilroy’s Pub and Brewery on Saturday, it would appear that the Irish are on to something.
The attraction of glaring at your phone despite entertainment on offer is increasingly shackling the millennial generation, making it all the more difficult for the entertainment industry to hold our attention. Brett might want to throttle me for forgetting to take photos but I’ve rarely been entertained to the extent that I managed to forget my phone in my pocket and take in what’s on offer. This was the extent of what was on offer at the Muldersdrift based pub.
Entertainment and Experience
Upon arrival we were greeted with the traditional “welcome home” taken to our table and offered the selection of the five signature beers – The Serious (dark ale), Traditional (ruby ale), Favourite (pale ale), Lager and Ginger Ale. Averaging out at about R33 for a pint, you won’t have to beg forgiveness of your wallet if you aim to sample each…which we did…obviously. Indeed their reputation as best beer in the southern hemisphere is well deserved.
Like Dylan Moran, Steve Gilroy, the owner, brewmaster and chief entertainer, has a sense of jovial Irishness to him. Unlike Dylan, Steve can sing…exceptionally well. Before Steve emerged from his brewery, as he is wont to on weekend afternoons, an awesome old ballie who goes by Nick the Tonic was rocking his guitar to backtracks of the kinds of 70s and 80s songs you came to love being driven between home and school.
Our food arrived as Steve came out to sing Ireland’s Call. Resisting the temptation to pledge allegiance to the flag of Ireland, we dug into our respective meals consisting of steak, ribs and fish (so large they rightfully describe it as a whale on the menu).
While having our own man vs food challenge, the entertainment continued consisting of the traditional birthday jiggling (you had to be there), the up yours cheers (you had to be there) and the – slightly naughty – poetry (you had to be there). The Gilroy’s experience is one that is hardly done justice by words and fie on anybody who would attempt to tell you of the amazing time instead of compel you to go.
“there is still good left in this world…”
It’s nigh impossible to recall all of Steve’s chirps, the entire list of groovy songs being sung and the words to all the poems. Equally, it’s nigh impossible to step out of Gilroy’s without feeling uplifted, satisfied and with a sense that there is still good left in this world. You may, however, not recall exactly why you left feeling so grand and that’s a rare and excellent trait of the experience.
There are precious few environments left where you’re allowed and equipped to just be and enjoy being. Gilroy’s, while boasting about being “120 years behind the times”, is certainly one of those environments. So while Steve may stick his middle finger up to challenge any other brewer to brew a better beer, I stuck mine up to my camera, phone and the outside world and allowed myself to be taken by the day’s activities.
One of South Africa’s greatest imports and up there as one of the best beer culture experiences one can have, the trek to Muldersdrift is certainly worth the day outing.
I’m tempted to simply end the traditional Gilroy’s way and shout “up yours!” but since I began this post with the words of a great Irishman, I’ll conclude in the same way.
“Let no man (nor protest action) come between you and a pint of the best. See you over the top of a glass.” – Gil