If you’re a craft beer aficionado, you’ll go to great lengths to get your fix. Luckily in Gauteng, you don’t have to search too hard for a quality micro-brew. These seven places have each made their mark in the South African beer world, both for their brews and ambiance. Just leave the driving to someone else if you do stop by.
Beerhouse Fourways: Like its counterpart in Cape Town, Beerhouse Fourways offers a truly impressive selection of craft beers — you’ll be hard pressed to find any other establishment in South Africa with so many under one roof. If you’re overwhelmed by the choices and are not sure what to try, Beerhouse helpfully offers a “Beer O’Clock” sampler platter consisting of some of their top sellers. The food offerings will not help your waistline, but are a cut above your standard greasy pub grub.
1 Sunset Ave, corner of Witkoppen, Fourways, Sandton, 2191
Gilroy’s: Gilroy’s is an award-winning British-style pub in the West Rand which also brews its own excellent craft beer. Hearty portions of classic pub food (plus some fancier offerings) can be washed down with everything from English ales to German lagers. The massive outdoor beer garden offers live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and tours of the microbrewery are available Saturdays. Make a day of it and also explore the adjacent Mgenwa village, which is renowned for its glass art and beads.
Corner of Beyers Naude & R114, Muldersdrift, Krugersdorp, 1749
Cockpit Brewhouse: Located in the cute mining town of Cullinan, about an hour’s drive north of Johannesburg, Cockpit serves only beer brewed on the premises. Their signature Black Widow Stout has a delicious roasted flavour, with notes of coffee and chocolate. The famous beef and stout pie, one of many hearty menu items, also incorporates the Black Widow Stout. This destination pub is a great stop on an itinerary that includes a tour of the still-functioning mine, and a wander through the Victorian town centre.
80 Oak Ave, Cullinan, 1000
De Garve Brewery: De Garve is a small family-run operation owned by a Belgian beer-making couple. The brewery, tasting room and restaurant are all on the premises of his house, which is about an hour south of Johannesburg. The artisanal beers produced here include Golden Blonde (American Pale Ale), Premium Bitter, Jolly Nun (Belgian), Happy Monk (Belgian), Maltz & Waltz (Australian) and Naughty Walloon (Belgian). Tasting and food pairings are appointment only, but well worth it for serious brew-heads.
Olga Kirsch St, Vanderbijlpark, 1911
Ubuntu Kraal: Microbrewers Ubuntu Kraal are the only beer maker in Johannesburg’s Soweto township. Their signature Soweto Gold line includes a smooth, low-carbonation lager, an apple ale, a weiss beer, a stout, and a ginger beer. Quaff these at the Kasi Beergarden while noshing on some township braai, and take a tour of the brewery while you’re at it. Ubuntu Kraal is all about African pride: they moved to Soweto 10 years support employment in this economically depressed area, and plan to train only female master brewers in order to maintain the ancient African tradition where women were the traditional brewmasters in the family.
111846 Senokoanyana Street, Orlando West, Soweto
The Foundry: Located in the heart of Joburg’s trendy Parktown North neighborhood, The Foundry has ambiance to spare. From the retro brick-and-steel décor, to the well-dressed hipsters hanging out at the bar, to the inventive-yet-casual cuisine, it’s offers a unique counterpoint to the cookie-cutter corporate restaurants that tend to dominate Johannesburg’s restaurant scene. There’s a well-curated list of nearly 70 craft beers from around the world, plus some tasty cocktails, spritzers and coolers.
Shop 7, Parktown Quarter, Corner of 3rd & 7th Avenue, Parktown North
Drayman’s: Based in Pretoria since 1997, Drayman’s is the brainchild of master brewer Moritz Kallmeyer, who produces some of Gauteng’s most well-known micro-beers, including various German varieties, a mead, cider and even whiskey and mampoer. A worthwhile place to stop if you’re in Pretoria, or doing the Gauteng craft-beer circuit.
222 Dykor Street, Pretoria, 0127