Everything crafty is cool right now. DIY crafts, craft gin, craft furniture and good ol’ craft beer. Luckily for beer drinkers, craft beer isn’t just a fad, and since it took South Africa by storm, it definitely does not have any plans to leave.
South Africa is one of the top tourist destinations in the world – if you know where to look and what places to visit. The small nation is surprisingly full of different cultures and scenery, making it perfect to travel for locals too. Craft breweries are a perfect destination for a visit. The craft brewery industry is not just there to make beer – the breweries educate visitors on the process, offer tastings and sometimes even a meal.
Being the awesome, creative nation that we are, we very quickly picked up on the craft beer evolution a few years back, and since then the flood of hops and barley into the country has seen nearly 140 craft breweries open – from Cape Town to Durban.
Break away from the norm
There are many famous brands of beer to come out of South Africa – Black Label and Castle being two of the favourites, by why not take a step away from the tried and trusted brews and pay a visit to some of South Africas top craft breweries.
P.S – call an Uber – you will not want to leave without tasting all the brews on offer!
Nottingham Road Brewery
The KZN Midlands is famous for being a beautiful holiday destination. Filled with green, rolling mountains an dainty shops to visit on the Meander, it is a dream just outside of Durbans doorstep. One of the most famous stops in the Midlands Meander is the Nottingham road Brewery. This particular brewery can be very proud of the fact that they didn’t pop up as a result of the new trend, but have been brewing their own beer since 1996. They have 8 brews on offer, each with a distinctive, crafted taste. Ranging from the Whistling Weasel Pale Ale to the Pickled Pig Porter, there is a beer for every taste. Why not take a seat at their cosy fire-warmed pub and have a taster board of their best beers.
Drifter Brewing Co
Brews for the hipsters. Trending, cheeky new-age branding fronts these hand crafted brews. The colourful and young labels are only the tip of the ice berg. Created by a sea-loving owner, the micro-brewery is nestled in Cape Town and offers tasting with a view of the ever famous Table Mountain. The micro-brewery is a must try for all those young beer connoisseurs who are looking for a bit of creativity and fun.
Standeaven Brewery is fast becoming a household name in South Africa. Found in Hillcrest, KZN, the beer can be bought in most restaurants that offer craft beer. It is a family owned brewery that was founded back in 2012 – so they have a good 6 years of beer brewing experience under their belts. They have a dedicated stand at the Shongweni Farmers Market every Saturday – so you won’t miss a tasting when browsing around KZN’s local craft and fresh produce. What is so lovable about this brewery so that they also take the ladies into consideration – they offer the most delicious watermelon brew! Everyone can join in the craft beer fun.
Robson beer started out as just another micro-brewery, but have now firmly cemented their place as one of the leading craft-brewers in the country. Their restaurant near Durban Point is one of the locals favourite hangouts, for both beer tasting and their delicious food. Founded in 2006, their Hammer of Thor beer has been crafted to perfection, and can be enjoyed sitting in the Durban sunshine listening to the sounds of the Waterfront. Robsons is a good place to start if you are venturing out into the world of craft beers – and their beers can be found readily available at many local restaurants and sold at bottle stores.
You will definitely recognize these bottles from your local bottle store or nearest pubs. Darling Brew have taken the craft beer market by storm, and are pushing to be the top of all fields. The hops and barley magic started in 2010, in trendy Cape Town. They have just continued to grow because of their solid taste and unfailing reputation. Their Bone Crusher beer is a real mans beer, it is a citrus infused Wit Beer with a spicy aftertaste. The Indian Pale Ale Warlord is a definite for connoisseurs. The tasting room is worth a visit, where you can taste all of their large range of brews. If you are in Cape Town, this brewery should be at the top of your ‘places to visit’ list. You will never look to normal beer again!
With so much to see in South Africa, it can be difficult to decide on a destination. Why not taste your way through the country instead? Trying out the local beers from the breweries will give you a feel of the real life of South Africa. Find what the people love, and how they want their beer to taste.
Not only can you sit down for some seriously good craft beer tasting, but most breweries have a pub. Here you can find some of the best food around. Sit back with a board of ales, weiss, porters and whatever else, chomping down on a juicy, beer inspired burger. These venues are also mostly placed in proper South African hubs. They are prime for tourists and those who want to immerse themselves in the country’s culture.
If you are new to craft beer, start slowly. The taste can be a bit overwhelming at first, but you are sure to be converted soon enough. You might surprise yourself. Who is to say you won’t fall head over heels in love with craft beer. You could start up your own micro-brewery at home. You can actually buy the kits at DIY or hardware stores, or even online. Why not try your hand at brewing beer perfected to your individual taste – what could be better?