South Africa’s Fantastic Beer Route

Beer is an alcoholic beverage that is enjoyed practically world-wide by millions of people. There are many different brands of beer, each with their own distinctive flavor and most beer drinkers have a brand that they are loyal to. The Beer Route of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa offers travelers the opportunity to explore the wonders of brewing beer. The Beer Route is designed to stop off at nine small breweries in the KwaZulu Natal province, allowing travelers to enjoy the scenic splendor of the Zulu Kingdom in their quest for the perfect beer.

The Beer Route starts off in South Africa’s premier coastal resort, Durban, with the first stop being the Pavilion shopping centre in the suburb of Westville. The Firkin Hophouse Brewery in the Pavilion offers four different types of beer that are brewed right on the premises. The brewing kettles form part of the pub’s décor and a full tour and explanation of the brewing process is available.

For a large-brewery experience the Beer Route includes a visit to the South African Brewers (SAB), the world’s third largest brewery. A visit to the Congella Brewery will give insight into the production of sorghum beer – the traditional African beer made from wheat and maize.

The scenic town of Wartburg was founded by German settlers, and the German owner of the Warburger Brauhaus takes great pride in his hotel and in the beer that he brews. Other breweries on the Beer Route include the IJuba-United National Breweries in Dundee, Farmer’s Brewery in Hattingspruit, Zululand Brewing Company in Eshowe and the Shongweni Brewery in the Valley of a Thousand Hills.

The Nottingham Road Brewing Company is considered to produce some of the finest beers available, with names like Whistling Weasel Pale Ale, Pickled Pig Porter, Pie-eyed Possum Pilsner and Tiddly Toad Lager. These popular draughts are made from secret recipes and use pure spring water.

A portion of the Beer Route passes along the beautiful Midlands Meander which takes visitors to some of the most scenic spots in the Kwazulu Natal province, as well as into the heart of the arts and crafts culture of the area. There are certainly many reasons for exploring the Beer Route in South Africa, apart from the most obvious one – beer!