Beer in South Africa
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South African beer has had two main influences on its development. Firstly, European settlers who colonized the country brought expertise and know-how as the country was populated. Dutch immigrants from the 1650s onwards, and British, immigrants during the 19th and 20th centuries both contributed in different ways to the knowledge of alcohol production.
Another important but often overlooked influence has been indigenous knowledge. Local breweries, operated by the black population, especially groups such as the Sotho, Zulu and Xhosa, have been brewing forms of sorghum and maize beers long before any Europeans arrived.
South Africa accounts for 34% of Africa's formal beer market and is expected to grow by 8-10% annually over the next five years. Beer consumption in the country was pegged at 60 liters per capita in 2012 which is greater than the 14.6 liter African average as well as the global average of 22 liters.
Today, South African Breweries (SAB) controls the vast majority of the South African beer market, and with the notable exception of imported brands such as Heineken, Guinness and others, SAB owns and produces all the major brands in the country, as well as owning Miller's Genuine Draft (American), Peroni, Pilsner Urquell and long list of others which makes it the world's second largest brewery. Their most popular and valuable brand is Carling Black Label, which is the most awarded beer in the country with 20 prestigious international beer awards to its name. They also produce Castle milk stout, Hansa Pilsner, Castle Lager and Castle Lite.
Most beer drunk in South Africa is lager, as the hot climate favours cold drinks. Ales are very rare and are only made by small breweries or imported.
Jo'burg beer, an independent business and low-priced beverage, is dominant among lower-income groups, and incorporates the tastes of traditional brewing.
A number of smaller microbreweries have sprung up in the past decades, and these tend to compete regionally. The largest of these are Mitchell's Brewery in Knysna; another is Shongweni Brewery near Durban producing Robsons bottle conditioned beers unique to South Africa. Another unique brewery is Mogallywood Brewery close to Magaliesburg that brews cask-conditioned real ale served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure.
Other microbreweries in South Africa include:
- Boston Breweries;
- Dieu Donne;
- Jack Black;
- Mitchells Brewery;
- Darling Brew;
- Napier Brewery;
- Birkenhead Brewery;
- Paulaner Brewery;
- Stellenbrau Brewery;
- The Brewery (Nieu Bethesda);
- Triggerfish Brewing;
- Sneeuberg Brewery;
- Gallows Hill Brewing Company;
- Royal Mzansi;
- Bierwerk (Afrikan Ales);
- Devil's Peak Brewing;
- Saggy Stone Brewing Company;
- Valley Brewery;
- Barrique Brewery / The Village Brewery;
- South Cape Breweries Mossel Bay - the home of Glenhoff Draught;
- The Nottingham Rd Brewing Company;
- That Brewing Co;
- Shongweni Brewery;
- Zululand Brewing Company;
- Ivan's Brewing;
- Porcupine Quill Brewery;
- Muntinzini Brewery;
- Three Skulls Brewery;
- Anvil Ale;
- Black Horse Brewery;
- Hops Hollow;
- Irish Ale House;
- The Cockpit Brewhouse;
- Draymans Brewery;
- De Garve Brewery;
- Clarens Brewery;
- Copperlake Breweries;
- Agars Brewery;
- Dog and Fig Brewery;
- Madship Brewing;
- Pilansberg Craft Brewery;
- Flat Dog Shed;
- Chameleon Brewery;
- Brewhogs Microbrewery
- Frasers Folly; Western Cape, Struisbaai, The Most Southern Brewery in South Africa
- Little Brewery in Port Alfred, Eastern Cape;
- Tonder Brewery in Broederstroom, North West Province;
- Tweedronk Brewery in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga;
- Mogallywood BrewPub in Maanhaarrand 16 km from Magaliesburg, North West Province;
There is a fairly large homebrewing community in the major metropolitan cities throughout the country. Homebrewers meet on a monthly basis in some areas under the Worthog Brewers moniker and discuss brewing techniques and the like.
The homebrewing community have strong support from South African Breweries, who frequently sponsor both large and small craft beer festivals around the country.
- "Popularity of microbreweries set to increase". Creamer Media's Engineering News. Retrieved 21 December 2011.