In the early days of local craft beer, we would hold thumbs that we’d bump into Ross at one of the slow markets, paying dues and selling Jack Black Lager out of an old wine barrel for R10 a beer. Then came Darling Brew and for us, seeing the big, yellow SLOW on the side of a 550ml bottle meant that you were in for a treat, Darling.
Today we are living the Beer-Rush and this means more choice than ever. There are plenty of places to grab some delicious hoppy, malty goodness. But what you drink is just as important as where you drink it. So here are our favourite spots to get our hands on the best craft SA has to offer:
Banana Jam Cafe
A small Caribbean spot, with the biggest selection of local and international craft in the country! Chilled reggae vibes, great chow, and thirty taps of awesome craft beer.
Try this: Hopsession by the Craft Beer Project, or for the brave… a Rogue 7 Hop.
Devil’s Peak Taproom
Malty brew aromas, massive copper kettles, eight beers on-tap, a killer menu, and the view from the balcony ain’t bad either.
Try this: If the Devil ever walked in here, he would order the Black IPA. Tastes like hoppy fire and brimstone.
Woodstock Beer Route (it’s not a thing yet, but it should be!):
Forget that you own a car and get your walking shoes on. Start at the Neighbourgoods Market for some ice-cold Jack Black, then head to Woodstock Brewery, make a pit stop at Garagista, hang out at Gallows Hill, and then end off at Riot Brewing Co.
Try this: Anything and everything… you’re not driving!
Darling Tap Room
Only an hour out of Cape Town and worth every second. Taste the full range of Darling Slow-Brewed Beers and snack on the awesome platters available. As if you needed an excuse to head up the Weskus.
Try this: Darling Bone Crusher.
Handcrafted craft beers to the very last drop. Meet the brewmaster, Ampie Kruger, and you will see the beers are just like the man that makes them… big, warm, friendly, well-rounded, just a little bit English, and very hairy (OK maybe not the last one).
Try this: Smokey Black Dog Porter, make sure you are next to a fire.
C.B.C. (Cape Brewing Co.)
The most beautiful brewery in the country, with faultless beers, made with only the very best ingredients, on the very best equipment, by an amazing team of beer-lovers. German engineering where you need it most in a beer.
Try this: C.B.C. Bavaria Mandarina IPA, or if you are in the right place at the right time, C.B.C. Red Weiss (seasonal).
The biggest hidden gem you will ever find. Friendly people, great food, a hand-built stone cottage, Karoo hospitality… and a good few beers as well.
Try this: California Steam Ale, but be wary of the “steam-stagger”.
Long Street is party central in Cape Town, and Beer House in smack bang in the thick of it! The only pub in the country with 99 bottles of beer on the wall… literally.
Try this: Beer ‘O Clock (a 12 shot tasting tray).
If craft beer is a religion, this is the church. The beer fridge is a spiritual experience. The biggest selection of local and international craft beer in the country.
Try this: Too many to call it, but we are digging the Harviestoun Range of Whiskey Barrel-Aged Stouts.
South-Yeasters Festival (15th March):
Over 50 home-brewers, over 100 beers. This is craft beer SA’s R&D department. Crazy beers, passionate people, and no rules!
Try this: Atlantic Storm Irish Coffee Stout.
League of Beer
No ordinary beer store! Shop online for a massive selection of local and international craft beer, delivered to your door. Awesome.
Get this: The monthly Brewer’s Mixed Case.
Eat. Drink. Be merry.
Written by: Beer Country, two of the thirstiest guys on the planet - Greg and Karl. Follow their fire-side journey as they crack open the brew culture of South Africa, discovering awesome beers and cooking great food along the way. This hoppy adventure is coming soon to a TV near you!
- Beer Country