Road tripping for the hops: Craft breweries of Free State and Northern Cape

2018-09-11 17:25 - Gabi Zietsman
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Jackal drinking water

Free State and Northern Cape has a growing craft beer scene that's small but lekker. (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 golden veins of the craft brew are slowly inching its way to other provinces from the meccas of Western Cape and Gauteng, with small microbreweries popping up in the local pub or a wine farm branching out to reel in the non-grape lovers. One day hopefully you'll be able to order a home-brew in every pub across the country.

SEE: Extreme exploring the eastern Free State of Adventure: 5 Things to do

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 Free State and Northern Cape's independent brew scene?

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

Free State

The Dog and Fig Brewery 

Try the wild side of beer in Parys with The Dog and Fig's unfiltered, unpasteurised beer made only with malted barley, hops and water. The alcohol content of their beer varies between 5% and 7% with each batch, and when you visit you can try their Stewige Stout, Wicked Weiss, Aardige Ale or Boisterous Buchu ale among others.

SEE: Parys: The perfect small town weekend escape from Joburg

Clarens Brewery

Set in the Maluti Mountains, this brewery brews 8 000 litres of full-grain ales a month and Trappist style ales get them through their severe winters. Their range includes their English Ale, Stout, Clarens Red and Weiss, and of their seasonal beers you try the hazelnut-infused Clarens Goes Nuts, brewed specifically for the annual Clarens Craft Beer Festival.

Famous Brew & Still

Just outside Bloemfontein you'll find The Famous Brew & Still, a family-owned brewery and distillery. They only produce in small volumes like lagers, blondes, ales and stouts, and they also do spirits like whiskey, gin and rum.

SEE: Jozi breaks: A Free State road trip

Northern Cape

Bushman Brewing Co

In the small town of Kakamas, the Bushman Brewing Co is hard at work to get Northern Cape on the craft brew scene. Their flagship beer is their Choje Ale, and they also have a Kalahari Blonde to fight the heat.

Kalahari Craft Beer 

In Upington, you can quench the heaviest of thirsts with a Kalahari Craft Beer inspired by the harsh climate that surrounds this hot city. You can taste a Puffadder Weiss, Meerkat IPA or Gemsbok Lager, all ice cold of course.

SEE: SA Road Trips Mapped: Exploring the Wild Flower route of the Northern Cape

Kimberley Diamond Brewing Company

In Kimberley you'll find its Diamond Brewing Company, a new-ish kid on the scene producing small batches of beer. They offer a lager, IPA, pale ale, Belgium ale, read ale and weiss.


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