June 02, 2011
Newlands Brewery tour in Cape Town
Photo courtesy Coleen van Staden
The one-hour tour of the Newlands Brewery is a must for visitors as well as locals. It is the oldest commercial brewery in South Africa and was granted National Heritage Status in 1995. Today it brews eight award-winning and famous beer brands, satisfying this beautiful corner of our very thirsty land with 1.5-million ice-cold beers every day.
The popular tour takes you through the old brewery heritage areas and the impressive modern brewery. It had been highly recommended to us and my colleagues and I were not disappointed. We found it informative and fascinating and our guide, Lauren, was well versed in the current operations, as well as the history of the brewery – she clearly has a passion for brewing and all that goes with it!
We learnt so much on the tour and were surprised to find out that beer brewing is in fact older than our wine-making industry. Also, beer was an important part of mariners’ diets for very specific medical reasons! I thought beer was just hops – it’s not – and the tour that incorporates the whole brewing process is an eye-opener! Only spring water is used, as it has been since the 17th century, and then there’s the process of recycling, water, bottles, bottle tops and more.
There is still much to see of the old brewery buildings, the history of past brew masters, old modes of transport and old brewing methods. You work up quite a thirst but luckily the tour is rounded off in the pub with a good, cold one – not a minute too soon!
The tour costs R30 per person, and takes place morning and afternoon with a minimum of 10 people.
Read more about beer in Cape Town: