Road tripping for the hops: Craft breweries of Western Cape

2018-09-11 17:24 - Gabi Zietsman
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african penguin sleeping

Western Cape is the heart of craft beer scene in South Africa. (Photo: iStock)

When a Castle or a Windhoek isn't enough to satisfy your beer cravings, we are lucky enough to have access to a growing craft beer industry that will make you spoilt for choice - if you find yourself in a province with a healthy brewing scene that is.

The Western Cape is the heart of South Africa's craft beer scene, and is still far ahead Gauteng when it comes to the number of craft breweries in the province. The oldest craft brewery in the country - Mitchell's Brewery - can be found here on the Garden Route, and in Cape Town craft beer is as prolific in stores and restaurants as the big breweries.

SEE: Bar hopping through Cape Town in style

Many travel to the Cape winelands specifically to taste their way through their vineyards, so why wouldn't you travel to hop your way through Western Cape's independent brew scene?

Just don't try to order a Hansa at these craft breweries or you might make a brewmaster cry.

Cape Town

Devil's Peak Brewing Company

One of the most popular craft beers in the city, it would be difficult to travel through the city without a stop at Devil Peak's Taproom in Salt River. Their beer options range depending on the season, but their stalwarts include their lager, pale ale, First Light Golden Ale and King's Blockhouse IPA.

SEE: Conquer Cape Town. Slay the 3-Peaks Challenge

Striped Horse

On the shores of surfer hotspot Muizenberg, Striped Horse is inspired by African mythology and its iconic zebra brings some class to the beer world. Their stalwart beers are a lager, pilsner and pale ale. 

Drifter Brewing Company

A very unassuming brewery, doing a tasting here makes you feel very special as you have to make an appointment to try out their range. Their Stranded Coconut is a must-try, and you won't go wrong either with their Cape Town Blonde ale, Legend Lager, Scallywag IPA and Stormy Smoked Porter.

WATCH: Quick guide to the street galleries of Cape Town

Woodstock Brewery

In the heart of the hipster suburb, Woodstock Brewery has a large selection of brews, including mainstays and seasonals. In autumn you should try their Mr Brownstone, but if you're out of season you can drink up on their Happy Pills, Hazy Dace Belgium wit, Californicator IPA or the Pot Belge amber ale.

Cape Winelands

Wild Clover Breweries

A small brewery with a big punch, this brewery started because its brewmaster fell in love with English ales and couldn't find anything close back home. The hobby has now turned into a business, and you should definitely go wild with their Eagle Weiss, Blind Mole pilsner, Double Owl brown ale and Black Dog porter.

SEE: #DoStellies: Four ways to eat, drink and relax in the winelands this summer

Sir Thomas Brewing Co

While Stellenbosch might be far from the coast, this brewery takes its name from the explorer that founded Pringle Bay. The nautical theme continues into the beers, with a Hangklip Ale IPA, Light House Weiss and a Rooi Baard amber ale.

Cape Brewing Company

Nestled on the Spice Route near Paarl, CBC is a common fixture in the restaurants of Cape Town. Their weisses come in Amber, Krystal, Red, Peach, Raspberry and a limited edition Mandarina. Other beers include a lager, pilsner, pale ale, IPAs and various other limited edition beers.

SEE: Cheers! Here's to the SA craft beer revolution

West Coast

Maaskam Brewing Company

Far north near Lutzville you'll find the farm setup of Maskam Brewing Company - complete with farm animals to entertain the kids. They have a blonde ale (the best one!), amber ale, weiss and their own apple lemon cider. 

Darling Brew

Darling Brew has exploded in terms of volume, and they recently became Africa's first carbon-neutral brewery. Their range is extensive, but the most popular is their Slow Beer lager, Bonecrusher weiss, Thunder Bird IPA and Rogue Pony pale ale, but they are always coming up with new additions.

SEE: Darling Brew goes green as Africa's first carbon neutral brewery

Garden Route

The Sedgefield Craft Brewery

As tiny a brewery as you'll ever find, the Sedgefield Brewery is a one-man show running next to a petrol stop - but the beers are a must-try when road tripping through the Garden Route. You'll find on tap a Blond Ale, Irish Red Ale, IPA, weiss, porter and, if you're lucky enough, their special occasions American pale ale.

Mitchell's Brewery

The one that started it all - this was the first craft brewery in South Africa and has been going strong since 1983. They are an icon in Knysna, and the legendary beers you can try include the Forester's Lager, Bosun's Pale Ale, Milk & Honey Ale, 90 Shilling Ale and the super strong Old Wobbly Lager.

SEE: Take a break in Knysna

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