Airport Craft Brewers (JNB Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa)

One of the downsides of our frequent travel at Offbeat Eats is that international travel means spending a lot of time in airports, which often aren’t exactly focal points of good cuisine, and usually “expensive” and “mediocre” are the order of the day. But every once in a while I find a refreshing exception to this, and that was definitely the case for our return trip through OR Tambo International Airport on our return to the United States. After checking in to our flight, we had a few hours to kill, and wandered down to the south end of Terminal B, where we found Airport Craft Brewers.

“Peace and Quiet” is one of those commodities in short supply at an airport, but Airport Craft Brewers pulls it off: they’ve got a nice split dining room (two sides, one air side, one ground side, not connected) with spacious seating and plenty of space for your luggage, and we found ourselves poring over a pretty decent selection of both house-brewed and guest beers. I started with their ABC Weizen, a pleasant hefeweizen, reminding me that German beer styles still remain a bit unpopular in this era of heavily-hopped IPAs. Refreshing and relaxing.

For food, I opted for the chicken burger. Conceptually a simple grilled chicken breast on a bun, like a lot of grilled chicken in South Africa, this one was done up with a light piri-piri sauce, so the end result was a slightly spicy but tender chicken breast with a good seer on it. Add in a small basket of rather nicely done fries, and this was a great light lunch, at a great price (R85, around $5 USD on this trip).

Carol went for a slightly more ambitious lunch, settling on the Chicken-and-prawn curry: a Cape Malay-inspired buttered chicken and prawn curry served with up with basmati rice and a toasted papadum, this was a very flavorful and well-rounded curry; one of the better experienced on our trip.

So I was pleased by our short visit to Airport Craft Brewers: it’s a nice, calm oasis in a bustling airport, with good, reasonably-priced food and a very good beer selection. It’s definitely one of the airport’s gems.

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