We as South Africans have one of the most fanatical beer cultures in the world. I would like to think we would even give the Germans a run for their money. We guzzle so much of the crispy golden stuff, that us Saffas have helped make SAB Miller the second largest brewery in the world after the great Anheuser-Busche InBev. With the popularity of beer in SA, it was only a matter of time until we would see enthusiasts starting up their own micro-breweries.
And how better to familiarise yourself with them than to jump aboard the “Take You There Beer Tour“. This is a tour in an open-top party bus that takes you and about another 40 people to three of Jozi’s best micro-breweries. Owner and entrepreneur Tinashe Mupanomunda started his idea about three years ago, one which has become an absolute hit among locals of all ages.
The tour departs from Fourways mall on Saturday mornings and will have you tasting the best craft beers that Jozi has to offer. On arrival, I was pleasantly met by Tinashe himself and some of his business partners. Soon after we left Fourways, I was already nagging for my first draft of ale aboard the bus, after which I was well on my way towards our first stop: the exquisite Black Horse brewery, which is nestled within the Magaliesburg mountains on the Bekker School road.
We then sat down to eat breakfast and get our first session of craft beer tasting underway. After the breakfast and tasters, we each ordered a draft of our choice and were given an insightful tour of the brewery by the brewers themselves. Once the tour and beers were finished, we climbed back aboard to continue our tour.
The next stop was the Chameleon Brewhouse and Bistro in the Hartebeesport town. Opened in March of 2012, the Brewhouse is an extremely popular venue which serves one of the best Weiss and Pale Ales I have ever had.
After settling in, we were greeted by our second round of tasters. This time being very different from the ones at Black Horse. Included was Weiss, Indian and American Pale Ales, an oatmeal stout and a Blonde Ale. Deciding upon the tasters, I went with a Blonde Ale and an Indian Pale Ale. The Blonde Ale has a very familiar larger taste that is not as heavy as the Indian Pale Ale. Both being very enjoyable.
Off to our third and final stop. By now, you can imagine that I was feeling very jolly and the atmosphere on the bus was insane, so much so that the driver prolonged the party for us by taking us on an extended ride to the Brewhogs brewery in Kyalami. Positioned just off the R55, the brewery has been in this prime spot since last year and has it’s roots going back to 1984 when it originated in the UK. This brewery is responsible for the popular Aces beer that is served in many pubs and bars around Jozi today.
We were given a tour of the brewery and our third round of tasters, which included their Premium Pilsner, Original Red Larger and Indian Pale Ale. This time round my favourite was the Pilsner as it slid down like nobody’s business – a very easy to drink lighter brew. Once we had cleared the owner of his tasty harvest, we said our goodbyes and hopped back on the bus for the our stint back home.
What a different and entertaining experience. I had such a jol discovering what happens behind the tapping of kegs and how much passion and energy that these micro-breweries put into their work. If you are looking to do something different on a Saturday, meet great people and drink ridiculously tasty beer, this is an event you need to put your name down for.