While the Cape winelands and particularly the Franschhoek Valley have become internationally acclaimed for their wines, the beer is pretty darned good too! So, if you’re not a wine lover or have a hankering for something cold and fizzy that’s not sparkling wine, here is a constellation of breweries you can visit.
Dieu Donné Microbrewery
+27 (0) 21 876 2493, Dieudonnevineyards.com
British style ale, German style Pilsner, and Irish style stout are produced at this gorgeous wine estate, which overlooks the entirety of the Franschhoek Valley. Dieu Donné is also home to a fabulous restaurant, ROCA, so enjoy both the magnificent views and the beer over lunch in the snug indoors or, weather permitting, on the terrace – highly recommended!
Franschhoek Beer Co.
+27 (0) 21 876 2092, Franschhoekbeerco.co.za
The Franschhoek Beer Co.’s handcrafted beers are made by their dedicated brewmaster with pure Franschhoek mountain spring water and the best quality imported hops and malt. Made from only natural ingredients, their beers are unpasteurised and naturally carbonated using specialized equipment imported from Italy. In other words, expect absolutely delicious craft beer and a lovely tasting experience at their venue, which overlooks vineyards and the dramatic Franschhoek mountainscape beyond.
Hey Joe Brewing Company
+27 (0)66 150 9681, Heyjoebrewery.com
What happens when you mesh foreign traditions with local twists? Hey Joe Brewing Co.! And no, they are not only talking about their beer. They are talking about their team: a collective of Belgian beer enthusiasts who have sworn to bring the public unique beer-derived experiences (and who brew their beer in a 1961 copper brew house from Belgium). Hey Joe Brewing Co. is a Belgian inspired Abbey style brewery located just 3 km outside of Franschhoek on the R45 Main Road.
Soul Barrel Brewing Co.
+27 (0) 83 600 8716, Soulbarrel.co.za
Located in Simondium just outside of Franschhoek, Soul Barrel’s brewing embodies their passion for hoppy ales, old world fermentations that harness the art of aging beer in wood, and local ingredients that express flavours of the Cape. Soul Barrel’s beer is only available onsite at their taproom, beer garden, and in growlers to go. They also offer an intimate tour and guided tasting of their cellar and brewery by their head brewers, which delivers an in-depth experience of who they are and what their brewery is all about.
Stellenbosch Brewing Company & Taproom
+27 (0) 21 884 4022, Stelliesbeer.com
Stellenbosch Brewing Company has earned its place among the top-notch brewers of today. The craft brewery has dubbed their range “New World Beers” as they respect tradition and heritage but complement them with authentic modern South African ingredients, creating a unique fusion of flavours that celebrates the country’s diversity. The taproom at Stellies Beer, as it is affectionately known, is the perfect place to chill with friends and savour picnic-style food in the gorgeous garden. There are also brewery tours on offer.
Tuk Tuk Microbrewery
+27 (0) 21 492 2207, Leeucollection.com/SA/dine/tuk-tuk-microbrewery
Tuk Tuk, a craft beer microbrewery in partnership with the award-winning Cape Brewing Company (CBC) team, serves bespoke brews and Mexican-inspired food, the perfect food partner. Tuk Tuk’s brewery is ‘micro’ in the truest sense of the word and provides an interactive experience. Guests can be seated indoors around the microbrewery and watch fine craft beer being expertly brewed, or outdoors on the bustling main street of Franschhoek village.
Wagon Trail Brewery & Restaurant
+27 (0) 21 875 5360, Anura.co.za/wagon_trail.php
Wagon Trail Brewery, the latest addition to the Anura collection, is a microbrewery that offers a selection of craft beers, as well as a brewpub where visitors can sample beer and a menu of charcuterie platters, cheeses, and laidback gastro-pub style foods, while watching the brewery in action. And when the sun comes out, all of this can be enjoyed on their expansive deck overlooking a beautiful lily pad pond and gardens. Wagon Trail’s beers pay homage to those who forged the original wagon trail: a salute to those trailblazers who break the rules for rewarding results.
+27 (0) 82 656 6306, Zebonkey.co.za
After having arrived in South Africa from Germany, the dynamic team behind Zebonkey Brewery decided to create a range of beers that was tasty, refreshing, and different from what was currently on the shelves. Today, they are casting the spotlight on some innovative and exciting beer varieties, such as Weizen, a Bavarian-style beer and Smokey, made from malted wheat smoked with the buchu herb. The German principle of beer-making (Reinheitsgebot), dating back to the early 16thcentury, is honoured and upheld at Zebonkey.
P.S. A “Zebonkey” is a cross between ‘ZEBra’ and ‘dONKEY’. A family-owned brewery, Mignonne is the South African ‘zebra’ and Jan is the German ‘donkey’ who moved to South Africa in 2008.