A Bit of History

There are many different styles and kinds of beer, categorized under 2 types;  Ale & Lager. The main difference being fermentation temperatures and the malts and yeasts utilized. Craft beer is brewed in small batches, using more hands-on brewing techniques and small scale equipment. The 1st micro-brewer in SA to turn commercial was Mitchell’s brewery in Knysna in 1983. Since then dozens of micro brewers have been producing some very unique Brews.


Beer is the continental drink of Africa and are still being brewed by tribal woman. Cape Town has a very old beer history. Early brewing in the Cape was done in the Fort of Good Hope by Governor and founder of Cape Town, Jan van Riebeeck. Beer was a very important substance for the sailors employed by the VOC and also a nice commodity to offer passing ships and traders.


Why is beer in Cape Town and South Africa such a big deal?

  • Beer is South Africa’s national drink and best seller by far!
  • Cape Town is home to the oldest brewery in Africa… the Marienthal Brewery!
  • South Africa boast the 2nd largest brewing company in the world – SAB-Miller!
  • SAB – Miller Newlands Brewery in Cape Town is the only commercial brewery in South Africa using fresh spring water from Table Mountain!
  • Cape Town is the Craft beer capital of Africa with 38 micro brewers in & around town.
  • Over 400 million liters of beer is produced in Cape Town annually, which is half of South Africa’s annual wine production!!
  • The 1st beer license was issued in Cape Town in 1658 by Governor Jan and pre-dates the wine license of 1659!
  • The Liesbeek river passing the Newlands Brewery was formerly known as the Amstel river!
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