How Much Beer Does South Africa Drink?

South Africa is the twelfth largest nation in the world when it comes to beer consumption, representing 1.8 percent of total world beer consumption. The country is known for its ingenious marketing and branding, with Black Label being the quintessential South African beer for the man on the street. In 2002, SABMiller was created following the acquisition of the American Miller Brewing Company, and seven huge SAB factories now produce more than 25 million hectolitres of beer per year. The traditional beer brewed in South Africa is called Umqombothi, which is derived from the Nguni languages (Xhosa and Zulu).

It is made from corn, corn malt, sorghum malt, yeast and water. There are also several homebrew clubs in South Africa, such as Wort Hogs (Gauteng), Southyeasters (Cape Town), Durban Homebrewers (Durban), Free State Fermenters (Bloemfontein) and Helderberg Homebrew Club in Somerset West. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that South Africa has one of the highest rates of alcohol-related road deaths in the world, with up to 58% of deaths attributed to alcohol consumption. Alistair Hewitt, manager of SAB, says that beer sales “will soar during the month-long football party attended by hordes of international football fans, many of them beer drinkers.

Beer in South Africa has a long history, with a corporate history dating back to the early 20th century. Bantu beer was an important part of Bantu tribal life in southern Africa. Nowadays, South African breweries are thriving and the craft beer market has recently exploded in South Africa. Fokofpolisiekar recently released its third craft beer, Hemel op die Platteland Amber Ale.

Africa Check reports that South Africa is a beer-drinking country accounting for 56% of all alcohol consumed. According to WHO data, South Africa's consumer population consumes 28.9 liters of pure alcohol per capita per year, making it the fifth highest consumption rate in the world. When distributed throughout the population, South Africa falls to 52nd overall with a per capita consumption of 9.3 litres.