How Much Beer is Consumed in South Africa?

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. It all started on October 4, 1658, when Jan van Riebeeck noted in his diary that the first beer was brewed on the Cape. Nowadays, there is a shift in consumer preference towards low and non-alcoholic beers, as well as craft beers. Devil's Peak King's Blockhouse IPA is a highly acclaimed beer that has won several awards at local beer fairs.

It may be due to the warm weather, but South Africans are very passionate about drinking lager beer. Beer tourism is a rapidly growing sector, closely related to culinary tourism and similar to the concept of the wine route. With over 200 craft breweries now operating in South Africa, there is an abundance of good quality craft beer available. The brewing and consumption of bantu beer played an important role in Bantu tribal life in southern Africa.

In Leipzig, Germany, a centuries-old brewery is preserved as a tourist attraction and its product is difficult to distinguish from Bantu beer. Draymans (South Africa) Altstadt Weissbier is a Bavarian-style wheat beer that has the high carbonation, crisp acidity and banana notes of a traditional weissbier. Beer arrived in South Africa with its first white settlers and has been brewed here for more than 300 years.

Their signature Castle Lager beer was the predominant beer in South Africa for decades and is still very popular today. Its most valuable brand is Carling Black Label, which has won 20 prestigious international beer awards. Coming from the same microbrewery, The Space Llama's double IPA recently won the Best Beer in Africa award.

Even so, craft beer only accounts for less than 1% of the beer market in South Africa, according to Smith's estimates. The largest of them is Hansa Pilsner, which is a medium-bodied beer with a mild carbonation and the traditional malty flavor of a pilsner.