|Mad Giant Beer
|Bars, Restaurants, Design, Interior Design
|Monday to Saturday 12.00 - 22.00 / Sunday 12.00 - 17.00
1 Fox Street, PO Box 61444
It’s not hard to spot the literal and figurative allusions in Mad Giant Beer’s branding. The South African craft beer company, founded by Eben Uys, a chemical engineer with a penchant for experimenting with science and flavour, is, in his own words, the result of “the small guy brave enough to dream big and do something crazy”.
So quite fittingly, the company’s new brewery and restaurant in downtown Johannesburg welcomes its visitors with a seven metre high Cyclops in zinc-passivated steel behind the bar that dwarfs the swivel bar stools lining the long communal beer-hall tables. An innovative, so-called “urban garde” menu, devised by Angelo Scirocco, bravely combines Asian street food’s umami flavours with craft beers.
Set in a high-ceilinged 80-year-old building that used to house an elevator factory, the industrial size of the structure meant that Haldane Martin Iconic Design, the practice called upon for the interior and all of the bespoke furniture, had a lot of room to play with. Riffing further on the ‘giant’ theme, the beer taps at the bar and the outdoor tables and benches, are built from custom scaled-up Meccano pieces in red and black, a colour scheme echoed in the red-painted steel supporting beams of the original industrial space and the red chair legs. The herringbone floor in the dining room is a recycled Rhodesian teak, while the other spaces are floored in different materials that look like outsized toy building blocks.
Graffiti artist Nomad sprayed the walls with four portraits – three of which are children, continuing to remind us that this Mad Giant brewery is a grown-up’s playground for a mad scientist who retains his youthful curiosity and enthusiasm.