Know the name because Live Culture Grand Cru is officially the best craft beer on the continent. This is after the brew won the title and took first prize at the 2022 African Beer Cup competition, beating out 250 entries from 14 other African countries.
Produced by Soul Barrel Brewing – a small craft brewery in the Cape Winelands – the beer’s winning quality is that it uses 100% South African ingredients.
Live Culture Grand Cru is a barrel-aged farmhouse ale fermented with wild yeast indigenous to the Simondium-based brewery. It is brewed with barley from Caledon alongside citrus fynbos and hops grown in Soul Barrel’s beer garden.
Enthusiastic about this feat, Soul Barrel Brewing founder and brewer, Nick Smith says winning “Best Beer in Africa” is one of the most significant accomplishments a brewery can achieve in Africa.
“The African Beer Cup is the most competitive, intense beer competition on the continent with some of the best judges in the world. We are so proud to have won with a beer that features our very own malt and hops as well as fynbos from our garden. We believe in South African agriculture and winning best beer in Africa with a beer that’s brewed with 100% local ingredients is a testament to that,” says Nick.
The presence of the African Beer Cup competition is a sign of the growing market and interest for craft breweries and craft beer in the continent. 2022 marks the competition’s third instalment and the first time that international judges were invited to partake.
The competition also includes a special award for a brewery that showcases traditional African ingredients in a beer. The Beer Association of South Africa (BASA) sponsored award went to Botswana’s Okavango Craft Brewery for their Old Bull Stout, which uses locally grown millet alongside malted barley.
BASA also sponsored the Non-Alcoholic Beer Award – a first for the competition and a nod to the trending demand from health-conscious youngsters looking for low to alcohol-free beer options.
The silver medal was awarded to Heineken for Heineken 0.0 and the bronze went to Signal Hill Products for its Devil’s Peak “To The Sea” Non-Alc India Pale Ale (IPA).