Here at Beer Country, we count ourselves pretty lucky. We get to run around in our old Landy (Thirsty) to meet the brewers, check out the beers, and get seriously stuck into the craft beer culture of Mzanzi. We get to live our passion, light the braai fires, and cook with beer… sometimes we even use it in the food!
Our journey so far has kept us down South and so our top 10 spots were admittedly a little like an Aussie ref, leaning in one direction. That was something that got our beer brothers and sisters up North a little hot under the collar. But, we are gonna fix that! And what better way to do it than with ice cold, locally brewed craft beer.
The Jozi beer scene is exploding, and KZN has it’s very own beer route. As such, it is our duty to put our livers on the line and head up there, and as far as we’re concerned, the sooner that happens, the better!
Here are just a few of the places we are looking forward to visiting. If we have missed ya, let us know and we will swing by to light the fire, eat, drink, and be merry.
So much awesome beer, so little time!
Nottingham Road Brewery
Tucked away in the Midlands shire of Nottingham Road, Notties has been making great, independent beers for way longer than we have been drinking ‘em. Beautiful old-style pub full of Pie-eyed Possums, Pickled Pigs, Tiddly Toads and Whistling Weasels (yep, those are beers). Look out for hobbits.
This farm at the entrance to the Valley of 1000 Hills (and the new home of SplashyFen Festival), is where you’ll find the family owned and run Standeaven Brewery. Try SA’s first African Pale Ale, brewed by maverick brewmaster Shaun Standeaven and sold at all great local beer festivals. Hide your daughters.
The last time we saw brewmaster Brian he was on a Cavemen-for-Cancer mission (no shaving or haircuts for a year). He looked like he meant business, and so do his beers! Brewed at Shongweni Brewery, the range includes seriously drinkable ales, a Weiss, and the Hammer of Thor (Double IPA).
Legendary man. Legendary place. Legendary beers. Weekend afternoons are properly epic. A massive sense of humour, serious thirst, and designated driver are mandatory. Good times ahead!
This is THE place! Go once, and you will go back again, and again, and again. Great beer selection, great food, good vibes. Sign us up.
Three guys who believe in the art of brewing, and that great artisanal beer is art in itself. With a love for brewing and the Jozi inner-city, they embrace the exciting revival happening there, and it shows in their beers. “Be Different. Drink Bold. Forge the Future.” SMACK Rep.
“Every beer needs a home!” And Mzanzi’s first township-based beer, Soweto Gold, has found one at uBuntu Kraal Brewery in Soweto. These movers and shakers are reviving an ancient African tradition, and are only training female master brewers. Watch this space!
The Ale House
Get out of the big city for a while and head to this brewery near Hartbeespoort. Order a pizza from their wood-fired oven and chow down with your favorite Trailer Trash Blonde (that’s a beer by the way).
We can’t wait to get up to this brewery, one of the first on the Jozi craft beer scene. Looking forward to some of the experimental seasonal beers. Choc-Cherry Stout? Imperial IPA? We’ll have one of each please.
Brauhaus am Damm
Head to the Magaliesberg to get your hands on real German beers brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot, and they have the food to match. You will never want to leave, seriously.
At the foothills of the Maluti Mountains, this is a brewing town with a small art problem. The town square is beautiful no matter the time of year, but to see the real deal, go during the Clarens Craft Beer Festival every February. Taste the beers and ciders direct from the brewery.
Ok, so that is it for now. Time to hit the road… Cheers!
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