SA’s Thirst For Craft Beer Is Unquenched
The business of craft beer has surely taken off in South Africa as independent microbreweries experiment with new flavours and different techniques to meet South Africans growing thirst for novel beers. Most microbreweries have humble roots, starting up in garages and growing up into proud independent fledglings. Craft beer is traditionally produced by independent breweries on a much smaller scale than the multinationals, and in a much needed entrepreneurial landscape it is encouraging to watch as these same microbreweries begin to make a name for themselves in the beer industry.
Winning over the beer-drinker’s heart is no tough job, but microbreweries have experienced a sudden rise in popularity. South Africans just can’t seem to get enough. This burgeoning interest in the independent beer maker seems to have one common denominator across the board. South Africans love home grown. Locally-made means that it comes with its own unique and distinctive flavours, what’s more craft beer has a fresh quality that makes it hard to beat.
We’ve selected some of the up and coming craft beer brands that we feel are well worth the taste experience. They may even become your new favourite:
Inspired by the concept of a microbrewery during a trip into Africa, Darling Brew was created, not without much red tape, hardships and near throwing in of the towel. Their first beer was termed “Slow Beer” and became their philosophy across their entire beer range – highlighting their slow fermentation process and why people should choose it over mass produced beer.
The Darling Brew Beer Range
Darling Brew Slow Beer: An extreme lager with a rich golden colour. Refreshing with a real hops flavour and rounding off with a mild bitterness. A great thirst quenching beer for those long summer days.
Darling Brew Native Ale: An assertive, rusty brown ale with plenty spicy hopping. An impressive beer leaving your mouth filled with a range of flavours. It leaves you feeling like you have tasted something special.
Darling Brew Black Mist: A brooding bottle conditioned Blacker than Black Ale which bellows out roasted beckoning’s. Sexy singed grains coat the palate inviting you to take another sip.
THE WIT BEERS
Darling Brew Bone Crusher: A bottle conditioned frosted Wit Beer with a distinctive candied orange nose. Edgy and refreshing in taste with all the spicy richness and finishes with a lingering bitterness.
Darling Brew Silver Back: An intelligently smooth “Black Wit” a new black wheat styled beer. Silky and soft in the mouth and incredibly easy to savour at all times.
Citizen Craft Beer
Citizen is a Cape Town based company that focuses on producing great, well-balanced beer. Always trying to offer something different, their beer styles aim to be interesting and enjoyable. The Citizen is always made with honour.
The Citizen Beer Range
Sabateur English IPA: Light-bodied, copper-coloured beer, with a spicy, moderate bitterness followed by subtle toast and toffee tones, finishing with a lingering spicy hop flavour.
Alliance American Amber Ale: Alliance is a beer in the American Amber Ale style. It is an easy-drinking beer with a smooth mouth feel, slight bitterness followed by caramel flavours from the malt, and a subtle dry finish.
Jack Black’s Beer
Focused on distinctive quality and innovation, Jack Black’s beer is made from the finest natural ingredients at their state-of-the-art Cape Town craft brewery. Their focus is flavour and philosophy is to innovate while staying true to traditional, hand-crafted methods.
Jack Black’s Beer Range
Jack Black’s Butcher Block Pale Ale: An American Style award winning Pale Ale, smooth in body with a distinctive flavour profile, and a decidedly fresh taste. Refreshing characteristics balanced with rich malt complexity and a bitterness that lingers to the finish.
LumberJack Amber Ale: Medium to full bodied with a deep dark red-brown hue. This award winning beer has complex malt character driven by loads of dark roasted Crystal Malt. Their brewer uses mountains of hops to balance this malt, making Lumberjack an outstanding beer to savour with richer style foods.
Devil’s Peak Brewing Company
Born as a response to the beer culture in South Africa and a desire to share the exciting developments that are taking place in the craft beer realm elsewhere, Devil’s Peak draws its name to firmly root the brand in Cape Town.
Devil’s Peak Brewing Range
WoodHead Amber Ale: Moderate hop flavour from American hop varieties, with a citrusy quality. Malt flavours are moderate and usually show an initial malty sweetness followed by a moderate caramel flavour. Malt and hop bitterness are balanced and mutually supportive.
The King’s BlockHouse IPA: Hop flavour is medium-high and will reflect typical American hop characters with citrusy, floral, resinous, piney and passion fruit aspects. Medium-high hop bitterness is present, although the malt backbone will support the strong hop character and provide for good balance. Medium-dry to dry finish.
First Light Golden Ale: Initial soft malty sweetness. Low to medium esters. Light to moderate hop flavour. Medium bitterness, with a good balance between the hops and malts. Finishes medium-dry.
Silvertree Saison: Combination of fruity and spicy flavours supported by a soft malt character, a low alcohol presence and tart sourness. Extremely high attenuation gives a characteristic dry finish. The fruitiness is citrusy. Hop flavour is low to moderate, and is generally spicy and earthy in character. Hop bitterness is moderate.