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Beers in South Africa

One last South Africa post for you all.  I tried several beers there and wanted to share them with you.   Something to note about the beers available in South Africa is that they are predominately lagers.  South African’s historical Dutch and English ties have heavily influenced this taste for beer.  We did find a couple of ales there but they were only barely like the ales we have here in the United States.  Definitely less “hoppy.” What I’ve realized is that lagers aren’t my favorite beers but I can drink them if I have to.

My favorite lager overall was Windhoek Lager. It’s a beer that originates from Namibia that I had in both cans and bottles.  Both versions were tasty.  I was never able to find this one on draft.  Curious to see if that version was any better.  Windhoek was light and had a crisp finish to it. It wasn’t really sweet, which is a problem I have with most lagers.  Overall, this was the best lager I tried.

Windhoek Lager Beer

Windhoek Lager

Jack Black is Cape Town’s local brewery.  Although Jack Black has its roots in American, it is now brewed in small batches in the Western Cape.  I was able to try two of their beers – Pale Ale and Lager.  I was only able to find the pale ale at one restaurant toward the end of our trip.  They were both tasty beers.  Both of these photos were taken at The Slug & Lettuce – the Lager was from the location on Long Street, and the Pale Ale is from the location on Kloof.

Jack Black Pale Ale

Jack Black Pale Ale

Jack Black Lager

Castle Lager was the beer we saw most frequently around Cape Town.  If a place only had one beer on tap, it was likely going to be Castle Lager.  This was actually the first beer we had in South Africa – we bought it at the airport in Johannesburg.  It was tasty and definitely did the trick when you wanted a nice cold beer.  Castle Lager is a South African beer that originates in Johannesburg in the late 19th century.

Castle Lager

Castle Lager

Interestingly, Carling is originally a Canadian company. It is a widely known and liked beer in South Africa, though.  We met a couple local Cape Townians and they were fans of Carling.  It didn’t find it particularly special but of course it wasn’t bad.  The alcohol level in this beer is typically a little higher than others – up to 5.5%.

Carling Black Label Lager

Carling Black Label Lager

One day while down at the Water Front area, we had a couple of beers at Mitchell’s Scottish Ale House.  It was a nice little pub with a shaded outdoor seating area.  I had the Milk & Honey Ale. It was very tasty – slightly sweet but yummy!  It also had a high alcohol content for a beer – 6.7%.

Mitchell's Milk & Honey Ale

Mitchell’s Milk & Honey Ale

Hope you enjoyed the tour of our South African beers.  We sure enjoyed drinking them!

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