The craft beer revolution is worldwide and while the scene in Cape Town is still relatively young, South African hops are fast gaining popularity, celebrated by devout ale drinkers and brewers for their unique flavors. The city is now home to numerous local microbreweries as well as bars that pride themselves on their craft beer selection on tap. Here’s a round up of our favorite places for a good frothy beer.
Woodstock ale is considered by many as one of the best craft beers to come out of Cape Town. Located out in the suburb of the same name, Woodstock opens their doors for tours of their brewery so you can learn the ins and outs of beer making and also taste up to 10 of their own brews. They’re most famous for their seasonal ales that are released four times a year and only available for a limited time. They also have an adjoining bar and restaurant (The Woodstock Grill and Tap) that’s open for business Tuesday through Saturday and serves up tasty grub to go with your pint. Their beer garden is also great in the summertime. Be sure to sample Mr Brownstone, a special hazelnut brown ale.
Woodstock Brewery, 252 Albert Rd, Woodstock
This innovative brewery, also situated in Woodstock, is known for its more daring approach to beer making and flavors. They produce a small, limited edition range of experimental, barrel-aged beers such as the Vin de Saison (that they title ‘the champagne of the beer world’) as well as year-round American- and Belgian-style varieties (try the Woodhead Amber Ale, Silvertree Saison and The King’s Blockhouse IPA). The latter are available around the city but the former limited edition ales are only available from Devil Peak’s two slick taprooms (one in Woodstock and the other in Epping). These taprooms also serve some great food pairings such as a delicious cider-glazed pork belly. If you’re at their Epping location, you’ll also be able to see what’s going on at their Afrofunk sour facility where they’re working on a new and exciting barrel-aging program.
150 Cecil Rd, Salt River / 166 Gunners Circle, Epping 1
If you’re a beer lover who loves a good pub then it’s worth the trek over the mountain to Hout Bay to sample one of Urban Brewing Co.’s finest beers in their very own pub. Located right next to the Bay Harbour Market, their beer garden is a picturesque spot to while away the afternoon switching between their five signature beers that have been crafted using a mix of new and classic techniques. Each one possesses different characteristics and flavors that you can discuss in detail with your surrounding fellow beer drinkers.
31 Harbor Rd, Hout Bay
This trendy watering hole and sports bar on Long Street doesn’t brew its own beer but it’s still serious about beer drinking. It’s specially curated selection features an impressive 99 bottles of the best ales from 13 different countries, as well as 25 options on tap. You can opt for a 100-ml taster and work your way through the menu or go big and order a 1-liter mug. The bar staff are well versed on their beers and can recommend the right one for your taste buds but, in our opinion, the Belgian imported Delirium Tremens is one to try along with the Boston Loaded Canon from the US and the locally made Triggerfish Brewing’s Titan. Always buzzing with punters, it’s a great place to start off your night. And don’t; leave without making a trip to the bathroom and admiring their innovative use of kegs as basins.
223 Long Street
Now one of the largest craft breweries in the country, the family-run Jack Black’s produces a wide variety of beers from their 25-barrel facility, including a standout American-style IPA. They pride themselves on flavor and their handcrafted methods. Located in the southern suburbs of Cape Town, at the center of the Diep River, they offer tours and tastings throughout the week at their brewery. They also have their own taproom where you can hang out, drink great beer and enjoy live music, open mic nights and a weekly quiz night. Their Food Truck Fridays is also a great event and, if you’re hungry on any other night, their Butcher Block Burger is a great way to soak up the beer.
10 Brigid Road, Diep River
If you like to have lots of options on a night out then the colorful Banana Jam Cafe is your jam as it offers over 30 different craft beers on tap and another 80 bottled beers. That’s an impressive beer list. Not only that but instead of your standard beer bar fare of burgers, wings and fries, this café cooks up some excellent Caribbean cuisine, including a mouthwateringly good jerk chicken and a yummy goat curry. Once you’ve tired of beer for the evening, you can move onto their extensive rum menu.
157 2nd Avenue, Kenilworth
Discovered any other great craft beer places in Cape Town? Tell us about them in the comments section below.