Like our wine, we take our beer very, very seriously. It’s a work of art that takes time, expertise and love to perfect, because Capetonians and visitors want variety and quality.
We look at the breweries and tap rooms, drinking (and eating) establishments and festivals not to be missed if you love beer in Cape Town.
Breweries & Tap Rooms
There are a number of breweries around Cape Town, some even offering walkthroughs or tastings so you get to know your beer better. CBC in the beautiful Paarl does a walkthrough, while other breweries include Woodstock Brewery, Garagista, Hautespoit (Franschhoek), Hoenengklip, Birkenhead, Red Sky Brew and Apollo Brewing. Taprooms are a great way to sample craft beers and Cape Town has some incredible ones to choose from with Devils Peak, Trigger Fish and Wild Clover all top spots for tastings.
Allow us to highlight three of our ultimate favourites and why we love them:
Jack Black’s Brewing Company
Since 2007, Jack Black’s Brewing Company has been changing the landscape of local craft beer. Book a beer tasting and tour and their crew will take you for a walkabout through their brewery with a glass of their refreshing beer in-hand. Their taproom is a vibey space where you can grab a bite to eat and savour their seven year-round beers on tap and their seasonal and limited releases. On the last Friday of every month, they also have a food truck Friday that has become a local favourite rivalling First Thursday.
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The beer brewing history in the Newlands area dates back to the 1600s, with this brewery being established in 1820. Run by South African Breweries (SAB), the Newlands Brewery has stood the test of time with a proud beer tradition that keeps on delivering some of the best golden beers in the world. Now a National Heritage, the Newlands Brewery invites beer fans to see how the magic happens with their daily beer tours.
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A free guided tour and a complimentary cold one at the brewery’s historic pub with a City Pass.
The charming town of Darling is home to the award-winning Darling Brewery, where you can have a beer tasting experience while overlooking the microbrewery and feasting on organic food made to perfectly pair with their beers. They offer tastings every day of the week and booking is highly recommended.
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Places to Drink and Eat
The Taproom, Banana Jam, Beer House, Den Anker, Anura, Craft (Stellenbosch), Slow Quarter (Darling) and Wild Beast (Stellenbosch) are all options for thirsty – and hungry – travellers.
With 30 beers on tap and more than 80 bottled, the Caribbean-themed Banana Jam in Kenilworth is a must for beer lovers!
So, you like beer, do you? Then Beerhouse in Cape Town is your utopia. There are 99 bottles of beer on the wall – from 13 different countries – and over 25 taps for everything from pints to tasters. There is also a food menu, which ties in nicely with the beery vibe, offering snacks paired with beers in-house and more substantial stomach liners as well.
They also have the traditional home-brewed African beer Umqombothi on offer.
Festivals are a brilliant way to sample a large variety of beers in one space. Cape Town Festival of Beer and the South Yeasters Summer Festival are your best bets. The CT Festival of Beer is the biggest of its kind, with more than 200 beers available, as well as a huge variety of foods and entertainment on offer. The South Yeasters is organised by the Home Brewers Club of the Western Cape and has 60 breweries involved in the event.
Tips for Your Foray into Craft Beer
If keen to explore the world of craft beer, here are some tips: First, visit a place with a large range, like Beer House or Banana Jam, or a festival, then when you find your favourite brew visit the brewery or tap room to get stuck in. Secondly: Don’t make decisions purely on price. Expensive does not mean good. All foreign imports are subject to different taxes and for all you know, the German Weiss you are shelling out your hard-earned cash for is the cheapest on offer back in Germany!