Taste of Cape Town with CMS

 A perfect pair : Castle Milk Stout & food

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This year at the Taste of Cape Town I was handed a challenge: tour this gourmet food and wine festival, tasting and pairing foods with Castle Milk Stout. For a wine loving, fine dining foodie such as myself this was a tremendous challenge. I often try to remind myself that if I am curious about food (or a beverage), perhaps there are others out there too with similar questions and wonders. So I started with, What is Castle Milk Stout and what does it taste like? Will I like it? Will it pair well with food, and where do I start?


Castle Milk Stout, or CMS to the regulars, is a locally brewed stout beer. The dark rich colour of stout comes from the roasted malt, that is roasted almost to charring point. This crucial step gives stout beer its distinctive colour and coffee-caramel aromas. The beer is warm and toasty on the nose with toffee, butterscotch and roasted coffee flavours, finishing with a full creamy mouth feel and with a slight caramel bitterness, just to remind you that it is still a beer.

The most logical place to begin my pairings was in the desserts section. The CMS lounge at Taste of Cape Town was practically brimming with beer and chocolate treats. On hand were delicious, moist chocolate brownies and almost- too-rich chocolate truffles, all made with CMS as an ingredient. The Castle Milk Stout certainly added an earthiness to the chocolate profile and got me thinking about CMS not just as a beverage, but maybe also as an ingredient.

With a CMS in one hand, and my food coupons clutched in the other, I headed out into the festival, in search of perfect pairings for my CMS. Here’s just a few that I found:


Lamb potjie pies. Crumbly pastry added buttery texture, with the rich lamb filling: warming and delicious. Perfect pub lunch pairing for my CMS.



Springbok boerie roll with tomato and garlic salsa. This glammed up South African classic with the richness and juiciness of game sausage, was a familiar pairing for my CMS.


Blesbok carpaccio, pickled beetroot and fresh micro herbs. This refreshingly delicate salad had hints of smokiness from the carpaccio, and made a surprisingly interesting combination with the richer, creaminess of my CMS.


Chocolate tart with lavendar crème. Rich creamy chocolate tart was just the thing to finish off the evening, highlighting the warming coffee depth of CMS.

At first, I thought the beautiful Cape Town summers day was going to be an obstacle for all my planned Castle Milk Stout pairings. Despite the heat, a chilled beer was quite refreshing and looking past the dark, opaque appearance CMS is a very good partner to food. I am particularly excited when I think of all the delicious winter dishes that I can prepare with Castle Milk Stout: the casseroles and pies, the cakes and puddings, the sauces and stews. And when summer rolls around again, I’ll be waiting with my chilled CMS and boerewors roll. Because Beer & Food is something South Africans do best.


CMS012Katy enjoyed the Taste of Cape Town event, and Castle hospitality, as an invited guest of Castle Milk Stout. This post originally appeared on www.castlemilkstout.co.za


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