South Africa has a long and rich history when it comes to beer. Its best-known and most popular beer is Castle Lager, which has a warm and intoxicating flavor. Other popular South African beers are Black Label, Amstel and Carlsberg. Black Label is very popular among the black population and is often referred to as Zamalek, because it is considered a strong beer.
Beer in South Africa has a corporate history that dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. Although lager beers predominate, there are a few other important beer brands made in South Africa. 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. South Africa accounts for 34% of Africa's formal beer market and is expected to grow by 8-10% annually over the next five years. The Plate Glass Group has its roots in a British immigrant and businessman who, in 1897, established a flat glass manufacturing operation in Cape Town, South Africa.
Although several international brewers, such as Britain's Whitbread, had tried to enter the South African market, until now they had failed to gain significant market share. One of the key figures in the history of Newlands, and in the annals of South African brewing history, was the Swede Anders Ohlsson, who sailed to Africa, aged 23, in 1864. During the 17th century, Dutch settlers arrived in South Africa and introduced the classic type of lager beer brewed with barley and hops. In 1955, the South African government introduced a heavy tax on beer products, causing many consumers to switch to spirits. In 1969, these interests merged with a hotel chain owned by Sol Kerzner, to form an independent subsidiary known as Southern Sun Hotels. 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.
Within South Africa, SAB distributes beer through its extensive network, augmented by a fleet of independent truckers (called owner drivers) comprising mainly former employees, many of whom had been helped by the group to start their own businesses. During a visit to South Africa, AB InBev CEO Michel Doukeris and SAB CEO Richard Rivett-Carnac reaffirmed their commitment to invest R$4.5 billion to support economic growth and sustainability efforts in South Africa and across the continent. The best place to start is to greet your waiter with the general greeting of “Howzit my bru” and then simply order a South African beer in English. Participation in Central and South America began in 2001 with the acquisition of Honduran and Salvadoran breweries. For a unique South African combination, a good pairing is ostrich steak with Jack Black Brewers Lager beer. Over the past twenty years, South Africa has seen a huge influx of smaller breweries producing different styles of beer. The transaction, which had an implied value of approximately R$1.9 billion, meant that the empowerment group Tsogo Investments acquired control of Southern Sun Hotels, then the largest hotel group in southern Africa, as well as Tsogo Sun, a leading casino operator in South Africa. From its humble beginnings centuries ago to its current status as one of the most popular drinks in South Africa today, beer has been an integral part of this country's culture for generations.
With its unique flavors and styles that reflect its diverse population and history, it's no wonder that South African beer continues to be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.