Wine, cocktails, and beer: the unholy trinity upon which much of Cape Town’s “kuier” culture is not so stably grounded. But regardless of whether you’re a wine lover or a cocktail connoisseur, few can debate the merits of a cold, perspiring glass of fragrant craft beer on a hot summer day. Okay, so even if you’re not a fan of the bitter brew, stepping your toe into Cape Town’s roaring craft beer scene makes for a truly entertaining day out. For the rest of us craft beer lovers, no excuse is needed to visit a local brewery for an exceptional time. Here is the beer lover’s list of some of Cape Town’s finest craft breweries….
Named after the vibrant and artsy industrial suburb in which it’s located, the Woodstock Brewery is considered by many to produce some of the best craft beer the Mother City has to offer. The brewery itself is a fine place to spend a few hours, going on a tour and having a tasting of its delicious beers, of which they allow guests to try up to 10. And once you’re sufficiently saturated, head on over to the Woodstock Grill and Tap, where you can indulge in great food and even more beer!
Where: 252 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town
Contact: 021 447 0953
The Darling Brew was one of the very first places in the Cape to produce craft beer. Now that a thirst for the stuff has hit the city like a runaway fever, they’re doing better than ever! You’ll find Darling Brew’s selection of craft beers in many retail stores, restaurants, and bars but the very best way to enjoy it is to venture out to the tiny, quaint town of Darling and visit the Darling Brew Tasteroom.
Where: 48 Caledon Street, Darling
Contact: 021 286 1099
Urban Brewing Co., Hout Bay
If you would sooner poke your eye out than examine another “vintage” craft or useless trinket, then you can always head on over from the Hout Bay market to its boozy neighbour, the Urban Brewing Co. Here, a combination of innovative and classic techniques is utilized to concoct a range of five beers of unique flavours, aromas, and characters. You can find these beers in lucky locations around Cape Town but a visit to the market is the ultimate excuse to drink them straight from the source.
Where: 31 Harbour Road, Hout Bay
Contact: 021 791 1130
Aegir Project Brewery, Noordhoek
To outsiders, Noordhoek is known for its kilometre-long, white sand beaches and the Red Herring, which has been around for so long it’s considered an institution and a mainstay of the local restaurant scene. But did you know that the Red Herring is also home to the Aegir Project Brewery? This microbrewery turns out a range of creatively named brews (all made on site), which are served in beautifully adorned bottles or straight out the tap. These, you can enjoy alongside the restaurant’s outstanding pizza, seafood, or tapas and with incredible views of the ocean.
Where: 65 Beach Road, Noordhoek
Contact: 061 964 9535
Wild Clover Breweries, Stellenbosch
Wild Clover not only produces pure, handcrafted beers fit for the Gods, they have also succeeded in wrapping their product in branding that is totally enchanting and captivating. From the Eagle Weiss and Blind Mole Pilsner to the Double Owl Ale and Black Dog Porter, every beer tells a (true) story about the brewery and its family of friends (both feathered and furry). From Wednesday to Sunday, the brewery on Wild Clover Farm is open for visiting, so make a lengthy stopover to try their brews and maybe meet with the brands’ namesakes!
Where: R304, Wild Clover Farm, Stellenbosch
Contact: 021 865 2248
Most people travel to Stellenbosch to explore the famous region’s wine estates, but nothing sorts out a case of “grape depression” quite like a cold craft brew. If that’s what you’re after – or if you’re just more of a beer person – then make a stop at Stellenbrau to try one (or all) of their four beers and even go on a tour of the brewery. They take great pride in using high quality ingredients to brew their fine craft beer, which is also available for purchase at their Stellenbosch taproom, a great idea if you’re heading to a braai afterwards and can’t bring yourself to settle for anything lesser.
Where: The Woodmill Lifestyle Centre, Vredenburg Road, Devonvallei, Stellenbosch
Contact: 021 883 3622
Brewer’s Co-op, Woodstock
Also located in the industrial chic suburb of Woodstock is the Brewer’s Co-op, a humble venue consisting of a co-operatively owned microbrewery and bar. Aspiring and established brewers are invited to make small batches of their own unique beers in the microbrewery and then sell them to the public at the small bar out front. This philosophy really embodies the soul of the craft beer revolution, which is one of experimentation and artistic expression. As such, go in the spirit of adventure and with the understanding that while some of the beers made here are exceptional, others are a work in progress. Still, though. The Brewer’s Co-op is a great place with a great vibe and energy!
Where: 135 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town
Contact: 071 557 8366
Devil’s Peak Brewing Company, Salt River
Even non-beer lovers will have heard of the Devil’s Peak Brewing Company, which, in many cases including my own, has served as an official introduction to the craft beer scene. This trendy and exceedingly popular brewery provides wrap-around views of industrial Woodstock, really good food, a bright and cheery atmosphere, and, of course, celebrated craft beers. What their range lacks in numbers they make up for in diversity and even throw in a few seasonal brews every year.
Where: 150 Cecil Road, Salt River, Cape Town
Contact: 021 200 5818
Crisp, refreshing beers that are perfect for those dry, hot African days… and nights! This is what Striped Horse is all about. Located on York Road in Muizenberg (with head offices in De Waterkant), the Striped Horse Bar & Grill is an excellent venue to explore the brand’s delicious and cold craft beers (a lager, pilsner, and pale ale), paired with some mouth-watering pub food. It’s also right across the railroad tracks from the beach and who doesn’t love to see the ocean while they drink good beer?
Where: 12-14 York Road, Muizenberg
Contact: 021 418 1211
CBC (Cape Brewing Company), Paarl
Okay, so you’ve definitely heard of CBC (Cape Brewing Company). This craft brewery has successfully created a bit of a lifestyle brand around their delicious brews that can now be found in just about every bottle store, restaurant, and bar across South Africa. Once again, though, nothing beats a visit to the source of the brew and that’s the CBC brewery at the ever-popular Spite Route in Paarl. Here, you can embark upon a beer tasting, during which the charming taproom representatives will explain in detail how the beers are made and what goes into them to give them their unique flavours and aromas. Once you’re done and have purchased a six-pack or three of your favourites, you can grab some food from any of the Spice Route’s variety of restaurants, cafés, and delis.
Where: Suid-Agter-Paarl Road, Paarl
Contact: 021 863 2270