Guest Travels – South Africa Beer Report

March 4th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Beer Travels

As I mentioned on Monday, my friend Bob Payne is reporting on his adventures in South Africa, including some beer reports. Following is the second, and what might be the last, of his updates.

As I await my church-on-wheels trip to Port Elizabeth, I figure I can crank out another quick beer report:

Brewers & Union, Cape Town: I had high hopes for this place, based on write-ups I’d seen before I left Seattle. But it wasn’t a *local* brewery at all. Instead, the pricy unfiltered brews, which were only available in 500ml bottles, come from “Collective San Gabriel” in Germany.

I tried the lager first and yes, it was pretty tasty. And then I tried a bottle of the “Steph Weiss,” which was pretty much a Belgian-style wheat beer. Might have been good if you like that sort of thing, but I am not a fan of Belgian-style beers.

Each bottle cost 40 rand (about $6), so I’m thinking this is the territory of Cape Town’s more elite movers and shakers. I do give the venue props though; the patio felt like a hoppin’ place.

Mitchell’s Bosun’s Bitter: I didn’t actually make it to the Mitchell Brewery here in Knysna, but I did have lunch at their pub nearby. In my first report, I raved about the Forrester’s Lager. Well, this time I tried the bitter on draft, and it was just as good if not better. An true beer lover coming to this part of South Africa would be remiss not to seek out these beers for a taste. BTW, I also had the Forrester’s in a plastic bottle, and it wasn’t nearly so good. I should have suspected as much.

Hansa Pilsner: This is a mass-produced beer out of Sandton, near Johannesburg. I managed to find it on draft in Knysna. I’m a big fan of pilsners, especially Pilsner Urquel, but this one doesn’t quite compare. It was about as unmemorable a pilsner as I’ve ever had – but probably still better than Castle.

That will probably do it for my South Africa beer reviews, as I’ll be pretty busy over these last four days of the trip. All in all, it looks like there’s a slow-beer movement in the works down here, but you really have to dig deep to find it


One Comment so far ↓

  • Chris Frost

    I’m curious if you found anything worth drinking in Port Elizabeth? I’ve been living here (PE) for 18 months and people don’t seem to realize their country should produce more than 5 beers!! I’m originally from Minneapolis, and oh how I would love to walk into any American liquor store or bar and have a few options.

    I’ve found that Mitchell’s comes in plastic here, otherwise there are a slight few imports like Duvel, Paulaner, & Guiness, which are pretty darn expensive.

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