Exploring the Craft Beer Scene in South Africa

South Africa has a long and rich history of beer production, with the corporate history of the industry dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. The country's largest beer producer, South African Breweries (SAB), accounts for nearly 88 percent of the beer market by volume. With the exception of imported beers such as Heineken and Guinness, all major brands in the country are owned and produced by SAB. 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. 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. Beer of the Year — Afro Caribbean Jungle Paradise — is an illustrative example from National Sorghum Breweries (NSB), founded in 1990, and the first new player in the beer industry in more than ten years. It wasn't until about five years ago that craft beer began to gain more ground among South Africans. 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. During the 17th century, Dutch settlers arrived in South Africa and introduced the classic type of lager brewed with barley and hops. Explore and browse the wide range of South African craft beers on the market by putting some of these on your shopping list, and enjoy the ever-changing scene presented by newcomers to crafts. Devil's Peak King's Blockhouse IPA is a highly regarded beer that has won several awards at local beer fairs. Its portfolio of beer brands meets the needs of a wide range of consumers and includes heritage-rich brands such as Castle Lager, Hansa Pilsener and Carling Black Label. This is great for beer aficionados who can expect probably a couple hundred new brewers who aspire to take their craft to new heights with their creations. Lion Lager and Castle Lager, both produced by SAB, are the country's most popular mass-produced beer brands. Originally started by Beer Route, a collaboration of craft breweries in South Africa, other players have embarked to help guide tourists to taverns across the country. South African craft beer experts have submitted their five favorites of the year, which don't necessarily include craft beers that were released recently during the year, but rather beers that stood out for them. With so many options available, it can be difficult to decide which beers to try first. But with so many unique flavors available from South African craft breweries, it's worth exploring what's out there.