Brewing in the winelands

Stellenbosch is synonymous with wine and food, but there is another trend developing: the art of making beer.

Craft beer is a growing trend in South Africa, and in Stellenbosch, says Mitch Lockhart, of the Craft Beer Project, an online resource about craft beer. Lockhart says that the number of craft breweries in South Africa has doubled since 2012, and he anticipates further growth.

Lockhart says brewing craft beer fits in well with Stellenbosch, where both wine and beer can be appreciated.

Most craft breweries follow American trends, and local breweries have started experimenting with different beer flavours. 

He anticipates that India pale ale will soon be a popular brew, and right now many breweries are making pale ales. Craft beer is made in small batches and no chemicals are added. 

You can expect to find Stellenbosch breweries making ales and pilsners, and we found a few interesting ones.

You can get a taste of Wild Clover Brewery's beers at the Stellenbosch Slow Market every Saturday. Photo courtesy of Wild Clover Brewery

Stellenbrau is one of the oldest breweries in Stellenbosch and prides itself on using world-class technology to make its Craven Craft Lager, Alumni Ale and Governor’s Red. Stellenbrau also offers brewery tours, where visitors can learn about the entire brewing process. The tour finishes with a guided beer tasting in the Tap Room. You can also book a place at its tasting room.

Wild Clover Brewery is based at the Wild Clover Farm, on the R304. It brews Double Owl English Brown Ale, Black Dog Smokey Irish Porter, Blind Mole, Crispy German Pils and Eagle Weiss Fruity Belgian Wit. Beside brewing beer, it also offers a brewing course in conjunction with The Brew Shop in Stellenbosch. 

Rock Kestrel Brewery does not offer tours and tastings, but does have kegs for hire. The brewery specialises in producing ale. It sells on demand and you can order online

The Wild Beast Brewery Company makes Wildbeast Blonde Ale and Wild Beast Amber Ale. The brewery is on the Remhoogte Wine Estate. 

When next in Stellenbosch, make sure you enjoy an ice-cold brew. 

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