Hoppy Halloween

Yes, HOPPY HALLOWEEN!

The traditional ghouls and fools of Halloween are celebrated in other parts of the world, but in South Africa we celebrate differently – 1 Country, 135 Craft Breweries!

Here’s an article on the evolution of a South African phenomenon of the Craft Beer industry. And to celebrate the feast of All Hallows’ Day, we are providing you with some treats to present your craft beers.

An artisanal beer-making tsunami has hit South Africa in the last few years and resulted in 135 craft breweries that have popped up throughout the country.

The below quote is the top definition of what constitutes a craft beer in the tongue-in-cheek Urban Dictionary.

CRAFT BEER – “An explosion of art and science coming together to build a drinking masterpiece.

scary-beers-for-halloween

Less poetic and more substantial definitions are however quite hard to come by. The American Brewer Association considers a craft brewery to be small (produces less than 3% of annual sales), independent (less than 25% of brewery is owned by anyone who is not a craft brewer) and traditional (majority of beers’ flavour derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation).

One of the first craft beers on the scene in South Africa.
Steph Weiss – one of the first craft beers on the South African scene.
South Africa, however, is much formal about what constitutes a craft beer, but everyone seems to agree that it basically includes anything that is not brewed by South African Breweries (SAB).

The Story

Those who know seem to agree that it was Lex Mitchell, an ex-SAB brewer who kick-started the craft beer brewing revolution in South Africa back in the 1980s with SA’s first microbrewery – Mitchells, in Knysna.

Fast-forward 25 years in the future to 2015 and there are currently more than 135 brewing companies that can be considered craft brewers (please note that the very nature of craft beers mean that it is possible that a few of the smaller brewers have fallen through the cracks and have not made the accompanying infographic, not because they are not worthy, but purely because they were tragically overlooked).

craft-beersextra

The Stats

Of the 135 craft beer brewers, an impressive 66 (48%) of them are currently practising their ale-chemy down in the Western Cape. Although Gauteng (33) and KwaZulu Natal (15) seem almost ready to join the company of the big boys of brewing down in the Cape.

It is a bit more difficult to gauge who the single biggest microbrewery is at the moment in SA, but the general consensus seems to favour Mitchells as the biggest nationally, with Jack Black, Darling Brew, and Boston breweries all a firm second.

Of course craft beers are best enjoyed locally, so the popularity of a beer might differ significantly from province to province, region to region. Who says we don’t have a drinking problem? But then again, that’s South Africa for you – interesting, contradictory and a little bit funny at times.

Taken from: sapeople.com

These number grow annually as new techniques and trends develop.  A number of micro-breweries start off in someone’s garage and then hits a kind of momentum which then escalates them into “craft breweries”.  One thing is certain, even if you are not a beer-lover or beer-aficinado, there will definitely be something for your taste at one of the numerous brewers.


Here’s a few ideas how you can celebrate Halloween with your favourite Craft Beer;

  • Hollow out a large pumpkin and fill it with ice as a portable cooler.  Keep your Craft Beers frosty with this chilled idea!
  • Stick a bunch of “googly” eyes on plastic/paper cups to keep an eye on your drink or Crafty “brew”.
  • Personalise the labels of your beer bottles, by creating interesting names and descriptions of the beer; i.e. Broomstick Beer or Witches Brew.
  • Add a luminescent glow-stick to a ice bath to give off a spooky glow, as the drinks and beers float in the hazy hue.
  • Freeze plastic spiders in an ice-tray to keep drinks cool and creepy at the same time.

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Loads more spooky ideas on Pinterest.

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