Bosheuvel Estate, Hillcrest Estate, De Vry Distillery are some of several farming operations that include craft brewing on the sidelines. Alongside Pinzgauer stud cattle, sorghum fields, vineyards and dairy, craft brewing is an additional revenue stream and attraction. We provide the reader with a short overview of this sector. As usual, we list sources and role players from which you can find out more.
Local business environment
Find statistics and the economic and social contribution of the South African beer industry at https://beersa.org.
Before the Covid-19 lockdowns and the ban on alcohol sales, the South African craft beer market had its value estimated at R1,4 billion (Botha, 2019), with a forecast to grow at more than 3% a year between 2019 and 2024 (Botha, 2019).
The growth in craft breweries has been attributed to, amongst other things, “localism (in terms of brewing setting and sourcing of ingredients)”, “naturalness and sustainable production methods”, and the “social context of consumption” e.g. festivals, sports events, craft beer tasting at brewpubs or local markets (BFAP, 2017). The bulk of craft breweries were in the Western Cape, followed by Gauteng.
In January 2021, the Craft Brewers Association South Africa (CBASA) reported that 60% of the staff of CBASA-affiliated businesses had been retrenched, and that 88% of craft brewers would not make it through the second lockdown (CBASA 2021). An entire industry was in need of financial relief and support until the country was past coronavirus.
Source: A Business for SA presentation “Alcohol Industry Value Chain” (2021); Farmer’s Weekly article by Lindi Botha and BFAP Baseline Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026 p 51.
- Beer Association of South Africa https://beersa.org
- Craft Brewers Association South Africa https://cbasa.org
- Liquor Traders Association of South Africa http://ltasa.co.za [set up to respond to Covid-19 lockdown in 2020]
Training and research
- Cape Peninsular University of Technology (CPUT) Food Technology Tel: 021 959 6236 / 953 8636 www.cput.ac.za (find the Smith article under heading 4) Training
- View beverage processing equipment sold by CPUT on the AgriFood Technology Station’s pages at www.cput.ac.za/academic/faculties/appliedsciences/research/ats/food-equipment/beverage
- Central University of Technology (CUT) Centre for Applied Food Security and Biotechnology www.cut.ac.za/cafsab
- University of the Free State Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry www.ufs.ac.za
Some craft beer breweries
- Afro Caribbean Brewing Company www.acbc.co.za
- Berg River Brewery www.bergriverbrewery.co.za
- Black Oyster https://blackoystercatcher.co.za
- Bosheuvel Estate www.bosheuvelestate.co.za
- Brewhana Jbay http://brewhaha.co.za
- Cape Brewing Company (CBC) https://capebrewing.co.za
- Darling Brewery www.darlingbrew.co.za
- Devil’s Peak www.devilspeak.beer
- Drifter Brewing Company www.drifterbrewing.co.za
- Frontier Beer www.frontierbeer.co.za
- Hazeldean Brewing Company www.hazeldeanbrewing.co.za
- Hemel-en-Aarde Breweries http://hermanus.beer
- Hermanus Brewery www.hermanusbrewery.com
- Karoo Craft Breweries www.kcbrew.co.za
- Kings Craft Brewing Company www.kingscraftbeer.co.za
- Mitchell’s Brewery www.mitchellsbrewing.com
- Mountain Brewing Co www.mountainbrewing.co
- Poison City Brewing http://poison.city
- Six Dogs Distillery https://sixdogs.com
- Soul Barrel Brewing Company https://soulbarrel.co.za
- Spillhaus Brewery www.spilhausbrewery.co.za
- Stellenbrau http://stellenbrau.co.za
- Striped Horse www.stripedhorse.co.za
- The Italian Job http://theitalianjobbrewery.co.za
Other craft brewing
- De Vry Distillery www.devrydistillery.co.za Grain-based (sorghum) gin, vodka and brandy.
- Drifter Brewing Company www.drifterbrewing.co.za In addition to craft beers, a buchu gin and tonic is produced
- Inverroche Distillery http://inverroche.com/za Craft gins made from fynbos.
- Jorgensen’s Distillery www.jorgensens.co.za Locally grown juniper berries, fynbos and other local plants are used to make gin.
- Loxtonia Cider www.loxtonia.co.za
- Sugarbird® Cape Fynbos Gin www.sugarbirdgin.com
- Windermere Cider www.windermerecider.co.za a pure apple cider recipe with no sugars, preservatives or additives
Other role players
- Albrecht Machinery www.albrechtmachinery.co.za Processing equipment
- The Brewmistress offers craft beer training. The website http://brewmistress.co.za contains a directory of homebrewing clubs, where you can source ingredients and equipment and more…
- Biozone https://biozone.co.za Ozone sanitising and sterilising technologies
- Brew Masters http://brewmasters.co.za A consultancy which helps with e-commerce and marketing for craft beers
- BeerLab www.beerlab.co.za Training and equipment
- Brewsters Craft http://brewsterscraft.co.za Consultanting and training
- Cape Town Festival of Beer www.capetownfestivalofbeer.co.za
- Besides its other oferings, Craftbru organises Craft Beer Tours. See https://craftbru.com
- DFS www.dfs.za.com Processing equipment
- Free State Fermenters www.facebook.com/groups/305132382867636/
- Interfab www.interfab.co.za The design, fabrication and installation of stainless steel process equipment
- National Food Products http://thehomebrewshop.co.za Recipes and ingredients
- South African National Beer Trophy (SANBT) www.sanbt.com
Websites and publications
- Order online at www.arc.agric.za, call 012 842 4017 or send an email to stoltze [at] arc.agric.za for the following publications, available from the ARC Agricultural Engineering: (i) Agro-processing of fermented beverages –Beer (ii) Agro-processing of fermented beverages – Wine (iii) Agro-processing of distilled beverages –Whiskey & Brandy (iv) Agro-processing of regional and traditional fermented beverage.
- The International Finance Corporation (IFC)/Agbiz report (December 2019) on water efficiency in the agri-processing sector includes a look at malting and brewing. Find it at https://agbiz.co.za/uploads/images/sponsors/191213_Agri-processing%20Sector%20in%20South%20Africa%2011.12.19%20Single%20pages.pdf
- The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) 2017-2026 Baseline took a look at the prospects for craft brewing. Visit www.bfap.co.za.
Directories of craft beers:
- Find role players, be it for raw materials, brewing equipment, services etc, at https://cbasa.org/directory
- http://brewmasters.co.za is a platform for craft breweries in South Africa. Select province and craft beer wished for and find the result.
- Find Craftbru’s directory of craft brews and craft beer festivals at https://craftbru.com
- www.craftbeerspotter.co.za lists over 200 craft breweries.
- Order several craft beers labels at www.bestcraftbeer.co.za
- Order online – www.bestcraftbeer.co.za
Some international sources
- The US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service report (2020, August) “South Africa Lifts Ban on Alcohol Sales and Distribution” includes a look at craft brewing.
- RateBeer is an international website, “Your guide to the world of beer”. See www.ratebeer.com. Many South African craft beers are listed here.
- Home craft beer & brewing, https://beerandbrewing.com
- Thomond, C. 2018, February 20. “A London craft beer brewer – in pictures”. The Guardian. Available at www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2018/feb/20/london-craft-beer-brewer-in-pictures
- Cheston, T. 2018, January 23. “This Craft Brewery Runs on the Sun”. Ecowatch. Available at www.ecowatch.com/brewery-solar-energy-2527784243.html
- Jeffreys, H. 2017, October 2. “Bottle rocket: why craft spirits are causing a stir”. The Guardian. Available at www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/oct/02/craft-spirits-gin-whisky-new-distilleries-causing-stir
- Eye Witness News. 2021, July 6. “SA’s first black female brewery owner forced to close shop amid booze ban”. Available at https://ewn.co.za/2021/07/06/sa-s-first-black-female-brewery-owner-forced-to-close-shop
- Reporter. 2021, July 16. “SA cider maker Loxtonia takes top prize in international competition”. Bizcommunity. Available at www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/162/218022.html
- Reporter. 2021, June 8. “Cape Town microbrewery triumphs at 2021 African Beer Cup”. Bizcommunity. Available at www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/162/216683.html
- Duma N. 2021, January 25. “Desperate craft brewers urge govt to lift alcohol sales ban to save businesses”. Eye Witness News. Available at https://ewn.co.za/2021/01/25/desperate-craft-brewers-urge-govt-to-lift-alcohol-sales-ban-to-save-businesses
- Slater D. 2021, January 12. “Extended alcohol ban detrimental for small craft brewers”. Engineering News. Available at www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/extended-alcohol-ban-detrimental-for-small-craft-brewers-2021-01-12
- Luckhoff P. 2020, August 13. “Booze ban’s effect on women in the industry needs more attention – Gin pioneer”. 702. Available at www.702.co.za/articles/392826/booze-ban-s-effect-on-women-in-the-industry-needs-more-attention-gin-pioneer
- Greyling, S. nd. “How To Brew Your Own Beer”. Joburg.co.za. Available at www.joburg.co.za/how-to-brew-your-own-beer/
- Nielsen. 2020, July 22. “Liquor losses make for a sobering situation”. Bizcommunity. Available at www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/162/206487.html
- Read the email to President Ramaphosa outlining the arguments for reopening alcohol sales, based on conditions agreed to (Bizcommunity, 2020).
- Faku D. 2020, May 17. “Alcohol sales ban costs fiscus billions”. IOL. Available at www.iol.co.za/business-report/companies/alcohol-sales-ban-costs-fiscus-billions-48033382
- Nicolaides G. 2020, April 16. “Homebrews: Crafty South Africans make own alcohol to cure lockdown craving”. Eye Witness News. Available at https://ewn.co.za/2020/04/16/homebrews-crafty-south-africans-make-own-alcohol-to-cure-lockdown-craving
- Dookey X. 2020, April 16. “Yeast to the rescue as S. African go for homebrewed beer”. Eye Witness News. Available at https://ewn.co.za/video/11394/yeast-to-the-rescue-as-s-african-go-for-homebrewed-beer
- Small Batch Beer Brewing Business is one of 10 “Cheap Businesses You Can Start In South Africa Aimed At The Local Market” listed in a 2019 article in Entrepreneur South Africa. See www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/327562.
- Staff Reporter. 2019, May 25. “#AfricaDay: Cape Town brewery named Best Beer in Africa”. IOL. Available at www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/food-drink/drink/africaday-cape-town-brewery-named-best-beer-in-africa-23931527
- Botha, L. 2019, May 24. “Craft beer niche market could see barley production rise”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/agri-news/south-africa/craft-beer-niche-market-could-see-barley-production-rise/
- Reporter. 2019, April 15. “Meet the family behind SA’s new Loxtonia Cider brand”. BizCommunity. Available at www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/162/189746.html
- Swartz, I. 2018, December 28. “The rise (and rise!) of Mzansi’s craft beer movement”. Food for Mzansi. Available at www.foodformzansi.co.za/the-rise-and-rise-of-mzansis-craft-beer-movement
- Molenaar, H.G. 2018, October 10. “SA craft brewers finally get feasible canning option”. Drink Stuff SA. Available at www.drinkstuff-sa.co.za/sa-craft-brewers-finally-get-feasible-canning-option/
- Smith, T. 2018, October 9. “Busting your thirst, naturally”. CPUT. Available at www.cput.ac.za/newsroom/news/article/3660/busting-your-thirst,-naturally
- Pitjeng, R. 2018, October 2. “Durban craft brewery launches SA’s first cannabis beer”. Eye Witness News. Available at https://ewn.co.za/2018/10/02/durban-craft-brewery-launches-sa-s-first-cannabis-beer
- Harvey, K. 2018, August 30. “Fynbos and buchu: making SA craft gins unique”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/agri-business/agribusinesses/fynbos-buchu-making-sa-craft-gins-unique/
- Snedorf, S. 2018, September 7. “Meet the Maker: Sugarbird Cape Fynbos Gin”. Bizcommunity. Available at www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/786/181616.html
- Snedorf, S. 2018, July 27. “Meet the Maker: De Vry Distillery”. Bizcommunity. Available at www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/786/179935.html
- Reporter. 2018, May 11. “Local beer brewer extends funding round to accelerate international expansion”. Bizcommunity. Available at www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/162/176963.html
- Oosthuizen J. 2018, April 5. “Craft beer brewing taking Bloemfontein by storm”. Bloemfontein Courant. Available at www.bloemfonteincourant.co.za/craft-beer-brewing-taking-bloemfontein-by-storm/
- Reporter. 2018, April 5. “Darling Brew declared carbon neutral”. Bizcommunity. Available at www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/457/175529.html
- Reporter. 2017, August 14. “Lorna Scott adds female fynbos flair to SA’s gin segment”. Bizcommunity. Available at www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/162/165979.html
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