Cape Town, the city of sea, mountain, wine farms and – new(ish) on the block – craft beer! There's a 'Beer Revolution' happening in the city with new and exciting micro-breweries popping up like mushrooms. There are numerous breweries you can visit in and around the city and many restaurants now offer local brews on their menus. In this post, we list just ten of our favourite craft beer spots in Cape Town.
Engruna, Sea Point
In this age of food and beer/wine pairings, I am a true believer in the traditional beer and burger or beer and pizza combination. I mean, pairing. With a craft beer menu that could keep you busy tasting different craft beers for a couple of days, Engruna in Sea Point is a winner. Add to their craft beer menu, fantastic burgers and pizzas, and you have a triple winner.
Located on Sea Point’s busy Main Road, the restaurant incorporates a covered outside verandah and inside seating. It’s a great spot to spend an afternoon watching the world go by, sipping on cold beer and nibbling on delicious, thin-based, pizza – they’re generous with their toppings, these are some tasty pizzas!
Sea Point at night buzzes, so be sure to book.
Engruna is open from Monday to Saturday, 12:00 pm to 10:30 pm.
Beerhouse on Long, CBD
We've all sung it, now experience it. 99 bottles of beer on a wall. And they're all craft beer, both local and international. Add to that sixteen beers on tap and you're basically in craft beer heaven at Beerhouse on Long.
They have a (vast) beer menu that explains all the different types of beer and helps you make the right choice for your tastebuds. Even better, they have a snack menu with incredible gastronomical delights (and suggestions for beer pairings. Things like Sriracha Beer Nuts and Coconut-Crumbed Avocado.
Situated on vibrant Long Street with seating on the balcony overlooking the action, the Beerhouse is noisy and fun. They have daily lunch specials and a pub-food menu which includes bitterballen, Bunny Chow and Flammkuchen – very crispy beer-bread dough-type pizzas with a creme fraiche base and toppings like pulled pork, chakalaka and mature cheddar. There's plenty with which to line your stomach here, in preparation for a good attempt at trying as many of the 99 as you can manage!
Beerhouse on Long is open Monday to Sunday, 11:00 am until late (this is Long Steet, remember!)
The Dog's Bollocks, Gardens
The Dog’s Bollocks, in a side street between Buitenkant Street and Hope Street in Gardens, is a hole-in-the-wall gem. It is, basically, a roofed-in passageway between two garages: long, narrow and furnished with wire garden furniture. At the back is a coffee bar. During daytime opening hours, it’s known as The Bitch’s Tits. Collectively, it’s known as Yard.
For craft beer drinking, though, the night-time version is the time to go because then you get to sample the incredible burgers. The premise is simple: get your order in at the counter, sit back, and watch the hipsters be hip while you enjoy a beer until your name is called. Then choose which version of burger you want and eat. A lot. They’re huge.
They have their own craft beer, surprisingly called … The Dog’s Bollocks. It’s good. Very good.
The Dog's Bollocks is open Monday to Saturday, 5:00 pm to 10:30 pm
Devil's Peak Brewery and The Taproom, Salt River
There's something really cool about drinking beer on the premises on which it is brewed. At The Taproom (Devil's Peak Brewery's on-site restaurant) in Salt River, you can do just that. It’s comfortably decorated with mismatched tables, a couple of lounge-type chairs and an eclectic array of paintings and bric-a-brac. Located in a newly renovated Woodstock building that used to house a textile factory, it’s big and airy. There is an incredible view of – yip – Devil's Peak out of the floor-to-ceiling windows.
The beers are divided into a founder range, the four which are bottled and freely available; and an explorer range, more experimentally. All are named with Devil’s Peak (the mountain) in mind and have gorgeous, intricately designed labels. The menu is simple but good, with a great beer and food pairing option. Try the beer-tasting platter, too, to get a taste of each of the craft beers in their range.
The Taproom is open Monday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 02:00 am (bar) and 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm (kitchen). Sundays 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm (kitchen) and 06:00 pm (bar)
Hello Sailor Bistro, Observatory
This little spot in buzzing Lower Main Road, Observatory, has the added bonus of playing fantastic tunes while you drink your craft beer. If you have eclectic taste in music, get yourself down there.
Hello Sailor is – surprise surprise! – nautically-themed. We're not talking white-washed boats and Meditteranean-style blue-and-white-striped porcelain, though. Think more dingy bar down at the docks filled with tattooed sailors drinking rum. It isn't dingy, though, with the original wooden shop front windows opening on to the street – perfect for people watching. Replace the tattoed sailors with friendly (tattooed) staff, a daily changing menu written on a blackboard, and an ever-expanding craft beer menu and you'll get Hello Sailor.
Hello Sailor is open Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 11:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 am to 11:00 pm.
Jerry's Burger Bar, Observatory
Lower Main Road, Obz is busy, so there's plenty of space for two craft beer spots within 50-metres of each other. Across the road from Hello Sailor is American-styled Jerry's Burger Bar. With booths, long wooden tables, seating at the bar and a cosy little section at the back, there's a nook to suit everyone. There are also twelve taps behind the bar and, as we all know, beer on tap is just, well, the berries (the hops?), ahem.
Their marketing blurb claims 'Not your all 'American diner' vibe, a more sophisticated, New York-styled venue', and it is. It feels kind of industrial, with the pipes carrying the nectar of the gods, I mean beer, exposed along the brick walls.
The menu has bar-type snacks and then burgers of every description. It includes a section called Lucy's - The Seven Deadly Sins. These are stuffed burger patties. Yip, stuffed. Delights like the Lust Burger - stuffed with blue cheese and mushrooms, topped with Emmenthaler cheese and homemade peach mustard!
If you're a sports fan who drinks craft beer, this is a good spot. There are TVs in every corner, so no matter where you sit, if the conversation's boring you, there's something to look at.
Jerry's Burger Bar in Obz is open Monday to Sunday, 12:00 pm to 2:00 am. Check the other branch's FB pages for their opening times.
Banana Jam Cafe, Kenilworth
If you think that craft beer is exclusive to the city side of the mountain, think again. Deep in the Southern Suburbs lurks the fabulously colourful, Caribbean-styled, Banana Jam Cafe. Known as the headquarters of the Cape Town Craft Beer Revolution the owner, Greg Casey, is passionate about craft beer.
They have thirty craft beers on tap. Impressive and delicious. And those are only the ones on tap. The menu is Carribean-inspired and includes delights like bacon-wrapped chilli poppers and Jamaican Jerk Chicken. Need I say more?
With inside seating and a shaded courtyard, this spot is definitely worth a visit. It's close to Kenilworth station, too, so no driving needed!
Banana Jam Cafe is open Monday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 11:00 pm and Sunday 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
Please note: with regards to the drought in Cape Town the crisis point of Day Zero has now been averted. For more information about the drought see our Cape Town Water Crisis: FAQ. Drinking craft beer is still, however, a highly recommended water-wise activity. For more ideas see How to Save Water and Still have Fun during the Cape Town Water Crisis.
To get to Cape Town on a budget, check out our upcoming Cape Town tour departures.