Top Breweries in South Africa

It is said that a truly great beer has an indefinable quality, reflecting the brewer’s art and passion. Here are the Top Breweries in South Africa:

South African Breweries

South African Breweries (SAB) was founded in 1895 and has been the leading beverage company in South Africa for over 100 years. This major brewing and bottling company is headquartered in Johannesburg. It was initially established to serve a growing market of miners and prospectors in and around Johannesburg. Today, SAB is South Africa’s premier brewer and leading distributor of beer and soft drinks. In fact, it is one of the world’s largest brewers by volume with more than 200 brands and brewing interests and distribution agreements in 75 countries across six continents. Among the most popular brands of SAB are Carling Black Label, Hansa Pilsener, Castle Lager, Castle Lite and Castle Milk Stout.

Mitchell’s Brewery

Mitchell’s Brewery is South Africa’s second-biggest brewery. Based in a beautiful region of the Garden Route, Mitchell’s Brewery has been brewing craft beers since 1983. It was founded by beer lover Lex Mitchell and is considered to be the original South African craft beer. Mitchell’s Brewery only uses natural ingredients such as water, barley, and locally sourced hops. This brewery has a range of full-bodied, refreshing and tasting beers. The most popular products of Mitchell’s are Forester’s Lager and Bosun’s Pale Ale.

top breweries in south africa

Newlands Brewery

Established in 1820, Newlands Brewery is the oldest operating brewery in South Africa and the home of great South African beer. Using time-honored brewing methods, Newlands spring water and only the finest golden grains and local ingredients, Newlands Brewery crafts international award-winning beers. Today, Newlands Brewery brews 9 famous beers. Newlands Brewery offers a fully guided #BeerExperience for those who want to discover stories and insights into modern-day brewing methods and expert craftsmanship. The Guided Tour will walk you through the journey of beer, from its beginning as a grain, to its end as a well-crafted, ice-cold pint, and the modern-day brewing methods used today. The tour ends with a beer tasting and a couple of pints in the brewery’s historic underground pub.

Clarens Brewery

Located in Distillery in the foothills of the magnificent Maluti Mountains, Clarens Brewery is one of South Africa’s first Brew-Pub, Cidery. With crafted ales, seasonal specialty beers and locally grown apple and cherry cider on tap, Clarens Brewery brews fine handcrafted beers and ciders. Clarens brew 8,000 liters a month on a 800-liter stainless steel system using the finest malts and hops sourced both locally and internationally. Their aim is to provide the best quality beers and ciders and to sway a commercial beer or cider drinker into starting the journey of discovery into the delicious world of craft beer and cider. In Clarens, tastings and brewery tours are conducted free of charge.

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Drayman’s brewery

In 1997, Drayman’s Brewery started out in a garage in Villieria, Pretoria. Today, Drayman’s microbrewery specializes in brewing a range of outstanding craft beers equivalent to the finest in the world. Each Drayman’s microbrewery craft beer is hand-crafted with pride, skill, and dedication through a brewing process which does not utilize pasteurization that will change delicate flavor profiles, but rather ultra-filtration which results in a true, all-natural beer, craft-brewed in the finest old-world traditions. The beers are distributed to various restaurants and pubs in the Gauteng province. Among the popular beers brewed at Drayman’s are Altstadt Weissbier, Jolly Monk, and Merlin’s Mild. Besides beer Drayman’s also brew a single malt whiskey.

Darling Brew

Darling Brew is one of South Africa’s first well established and award-winning microbreweries. This microbrewery was established in 2010 and has earned acclaim for its craft beers. This brewery brews a wide range of great craft beers that are loved for their flavor, high-quality ingredients, and slow brewing process. They have a wide range of traditional lagers, ales, oat ales, pale ales, IPA’s, wheat beers and exotic darks. Darling Brew is available across the country in 500ml bottles and available on tap at approved outlets.

About The Cape Brewing Company

Beer is an unusual human invention that has, for thousands of years, been a means by which human beings savor the taste and sensations of a good drink during good times. People all over the world have come to appreciate the flavor and sensations of good beer, from Egypt where ancient dynasties once used scrap bread to make beer to Japan where there are entire eateries dedicated to ensuring patrons have all the beer they could wish for. While over indulgence never leads to anything good, the fact is that a good beer can absolutely make for good times with one’s friends and relatives in the right situation.

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The problem, of course, is that not all beer is the same. While there are a wide range of beers on the open market, some are more palpable to dedicated beer drinkers than others. A lot of it can absolutely be cross cultural misunderstandings. Indeed, until recently, a number of low cost beers from the United States would, when exported to Russia, find themselves classified as soft drinks. While beer from the United States enjoys a less than stellar reputation, other nations such as Germany, Canada and Belgium enjoy a reputation as being among the best alcoholic beverages money can buy. Other countries such as Mexico and the United States tend to produce cheaper beers in greater numbers that some people none the less seem to enjoy.

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South Africa does not have a particular reputation as a beer producer. Still, the drink is manufactured across the world and South Africa is not an exception. Like many modern beer producers, a number of South African breweries have found themselves getting into the business of craft beers. Craft beers are an evolution of the microbrewing movement of the previous century. Where once making beer was a large scale undertaking that required bulk production to be profitable, now beer making can be done on a smaller, more personal scale, which most dedicated beer drinks consider to be a superior product in both taste and sensations. Craft beer makers are generally smaller breweries that take a great deal of pride in their product, oftentimes making their beers in traditional ways in smaller quantities with higher quality.

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One such South African craft beer maker is the Cape Brewing Company. Based in Suider-Paarl, the Cape Brewing Company manufactures a wide range of beers intended to taste good and be an intensely satisfying experience for the drinker. The core of the company’s product lines are their signature brews; pilsner, krystal weiss, lagers and amber weiss. However it is far from unheard of the company to produce seasonal beers such as madarina Bavaria, red weiss, imperial IPA and Oktoberfest for the times of the year when those beers are traditionally served in places across the planet. Drawing their water from a pure, untouched mountain spring and using the best hops and specialized malts, the company also has a specially cultured yeast for each of their beers, resulting in a wide range of drinks.

Started in 2012, the brewery, based on a mountain farm, takes in thousands of visitors each year as curious travelers come to the farm wondering just what South Africa’s contribution to the world beer scene tastes. Most drinks find that their beers are quite good no matter what time of year it is, but particularly in the summer heat of the Cape of Good Hope where the company is located. The company does not really ship its beers, but they often sell their beers at a wide range of festivals across South Africa, and frequently put their drinks to the test in global beer festivals and competitions.

The Best Selection Of Beers In South Africa – The Beerhouse, Cape Town

If you love Africa and you love beer then the perfect combination will be found at The Beerhouse in Cape Town in South Africa.

Cape Town is one of the world’s premier tourism destinations. Well known for Victorian Architecture, a laid back attitude and some of the most stunning scenery in the world this is a city that will rival New New for the accolade of ‘the city that never sleeps’.

Capetonians love their nightlife and overseas visitors will rapidly find out why. The balmy summer evenings and relaxed atmosphere make this the perfect environment to sit back, relax and enjoy your favorite tipple.

And where better than Africa’s most stylish place to enjoy that continental favorite – beer.

The Beerhouse in Cape Town is a Mecca for beer lovers. It has all the right ingredients (including delicious hops derived drinks) for a lazy afternoon or fun filled evening of enjoying some of the best amber liquids on the planet.

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For beer lovers, The Beerhouse is a fabulous destination. According to the management, this Victorian styles venue on 223 Long Street in the City Center The Beerhouse offers the best beers that the world has to offer. It’s difficult to argue the pint. With 26 taps and 99 bottled beers from around the world, this is a venue that will satisfy even the most jaded tastes of the world-weary beer traveler.

But it’s not only the beer that keeps people coming back for more at this fantastic venue – it’s the experience. With bartenders who will happily fill you in on the origins of not only the brands that you choose but also the history of the particular type of beer that you drinking this is more than a refreshing beer-based experience – it’s an education.

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But, as they say in late night advertising – that’s not all. The Beerhouse also has some fantastic nonbeer menu options. The food menu is also fantastic with some great bar snacks as well as some more hearty fare. For those who want to keep it traditional(ish) then the Currywurst is heartily recommended. With some friends – then don’t hesitate to order the ‘Schnak Platter’ which gives you a choice of 6 items from the ‘Schnak Menu’. Of course, if you’re in the mood for something more substantial then you simply won’t go wrong with the burgers, pizza, pork belly roll or ribs. It’s all good. Just depends on what you want at that particular point in time – or how many of the delicious beers you’ve consumed.

As an added incentive to order from the extensive menu (and it’s all good) the barkeeps will be more than willing to recommend the appropriate beer or ale that best matched your choice of menu item. This adds a real sense of occasion to any of your choices.

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Adding to the attractions of The Beerhouse is the opportunity to watch some sporting events on the numerous flat screen TV’s. If you’re visiting from overseas try taking in a rugby match at The Beerhouse – it’s a great opportunity to see why South African’s have a reputation for being sports crazy.

And Friday nights mean free beer. The Beerhouse social media gives away a free phrase – quote it and your first beer costs you zero. If that’s not a reason the visit the Cape Town landmark then you need to surrender your beer lovers card right away.

Take some time off and take a turn at The Beerhouse. It’s unpretentious fun and a beer based adventure that you will not regret.

5 Craft Beers Brewed In South Africa

It is estimated that, as of 2015, there are more than 180 commercial craft breweries operating in South Africa. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact number of craft brewers as many constantly enter as well as leave the industry. This is great for beer aficionados who can look forward to probably a couple of hundred new brewers aspiring to take their craft to new heights with their creations. Craft beer authorities have sent in their top five favorites for the year which does not necessarily include craft beers that were newly launched during the year, but rather beers that stood out for them.

The official all-time top five craft beers 2015 from CraftNation includes some craft beers that are virtually unknown but definitely merit a try. Others are beers on the list you would expect to find ranking in the top five. Either way, these are the beers that are CraftNation-approved and are available at local craft markets or order them from League of Beers. If all else fails, you can visit the brewery and get more information on where these beers are distributed in your local area.

One of the best ways to explore and taste beer in South Africa is on a Cape Town bike beer tour.

CraftNation’s Top 5 Craft Beers For 2015

CnGeXJuXgAAE2cY1. Californicator from Woodstock Breweries is CraftNation’s Beer of the Year for 2015. Seemingly out of nowhere, Woodstock Breweries came out with a great range of superior beers during 2015, including the Californicator, an American IPA which has become one of the most affordable, drinkable and session able craft beers on the South African market.

c24d0625280281.563437e82dc2f2. Tears Of The Hipster by Garista is a pale American ale with a delectable smooth taste and bold traces of grapefruit bitterness. It is quite costly but this a beer that will be relished every time one takes a sip. Garista’s Tears of the Hipster features one of the top iconic craft beer label designs and an award-winning advertising campaign.

3. Darling Brew’s White IPA is a dry hopped festive beer made with Hull Melon hops and infused with orange peel and coriander. A White IPA beer is brewed by combining the brewing techniques and hop character of an IPA with the spicy additions and wheat base of a Belgian White beer. This mixture of aromas delivers a strong wheat beer flavor with a tomahawk-82-3-pull-tab-beer-can-3lovely hoppy aftertaste. With the hint of coriander and orange peel, one is made to wonder whether Darling Brew White IPA is, in fact, an IPA.

4. Agar Brewery launched Tomahawk at craft fairs in November of 2015. This is one of South Africa’s best IPAs of the year on the 2015 craft beer scene. With an IBU rating of 2015-07-19-14-04-09100, it features as one of the most hopped IPAs available in South Africa, at the same time surprising one with its smoothness and easy drink-ability.

5. Frost Hammer by the 400 Brewing Company is a relative newcomer to the scene and is an easy-drinking beer ideal for newcomers to craft beer drinking, while also satisfying the tastes of more seasoned craft beer drinkers. Frost Hammer falls somewhere between an ale and a lager giving it the characteristics of a hoppy, malty lager.

South African craft beer pundits have sent in their top five favorites for the year which does not necessarily include craft beers that were newly launched during the year, but rather beers that stood out for them. Below are five from those picks:

Top Five South African Beers

1. The Devil’s Peak King’s Blockhouse IPA craft beer is a well-balanced IPA that is an almost perfect beer, packed with just the right amount of bitterness so as not to become overwhelming, and refreshing aromas.

2. No.3 Fransen St.Cream Ale is an easy drinking beer that is ideal for those who do not like the bitterness of beer but are also not into ciders, as it has a creamy sweetness.

3. Two Oakes Pilsner has a crisp finish and is low in IBU and ABV, making it ideal to enjoy at a braai, for drinking and for marinating the meat.

4. Newtown Nemesis Smack Republic is a light stout with vanilla and bourbon hints that can become addictive. This is a beer that one can indulge in liberally.

5. True Grit Amber Ale by Mad Giant is a definite winner with truly balanced flavors and full-bodied taste.

Whether you are a craft beer fundi or new to the craft beer scene, you will love the interesting things that brewers get up to with their beer creations. Explore and examine the wide range of South African craft beers on the market by putting some of these on your shopping list, and enjoy the ever-changing scene that is presented by newcomers to the craft.

Explore Cape Town’s 5 Best Bars

Cape Town, South Africa has a reputation as one of the most scenic places in the world. It is also one of the best destinations for those who want to just kick back and relax and take in the ambiance of what is know as South Africa’s ‘Mother City’.

It’s after dark that some of Cape Town’s greatest attractions come alive, including some of the best bars for really getting rid of those big city blues.

Here are some of the best that Cape Town has to offer.

#1 The Cape Town Club.

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Established in 1858 The Cape Town Club on historic Queen Victoria Street was for more than a century a men’s only bastion of tradition. However, even the most staid of institutions must move with the times. Today the club has thrown open its doors to all – and is one of the most majestic places to enjoy a tipple. The old school decor and the view of the company gardens makes this the perfect venue to just sit back and enjoy a quiet drink with some close friends. Marble tiles, wood paneling, chandeliers and genuine leather seating give this venue a gravitas that is simply too good to miss.

#2 The Beerhouse.

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If you enjoy beer The Beerhouse is the place to be in Cape Town. The management claims that this venue has the largest selection of beers on the African continent. Situated on Long Street in the city and boasting 26 taps this is really the only place to spend some time out of the sun during Cape Town;s sometimes blistering summer. A selection of 99 different bottled brews from 13 countries also rounds of a spectacular beer themed drinks extravaganza. Match your food to a beer recommendation and enjoy the best of both worlds.

#3 Mother’s Ruin Gin Bar.

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A unique approach to one of the British Empire’s favorite tipples – gin, this Bree Street drinks establishment has quickly gained a cult following. With gin from (among others) Austria, England, Ethiopia, Germany, Southern Spain, Tanzania, Sweden, Scotland and South Africa and seven different styles of tonic water there’s enough here to keep the night funky and fresh till the early hours of the morning. It’s your choice whether you want to enjoy your tipple in the old school lounge or enjoy your drinks in the alfresco courtyard – either way this is a great way to enjoy a balmy Cape Town evening.

#4 Tjing Tjing.

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Home to some of the best cocktails in Cape Town Tjing Tjing on Longmarket Street is a roof bar that has captured the hearts and imaginations of Cape Town’s smart set. With Japanese inspired offerings like the cucumber martini laced with gin and thyme it’s not difficult to see why. The tapas is also exceptional.

#5 Mount Nelson’s Planet Bar.

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Go back in time to a gentler more refined age at Mount Nelson’s Planet Bar. This bar in the Mount Nelson hotel serves a dollop of colonial elegance in the form of champagne cocktails as well as a variety of other classic drinks. This is where the rich and famous of Cape Town’s elite go for drinks. you should too.

A night out at one of Cape Town’s great bars is the perfect way to round off a day in this most wonderful of African cities – get there and raise a glass to South Africa’s Mother City.