Even amongst the vines, there is beer

Though South Africa is more noted for wine, beer remains its number one alcoholic drink and with craft beer on the rise, the palates of the wine region even turn to it for a departure.

the obvious charms of the Franschoek Wine Valley

On a recent visit to South Africa, even a beerwander such as myself, deferred to my wife and agreed that wine would be more a focus to the trip when it came to looking for an evening drink. Of course, I did some beery research. It’s just my nature but I looked only for the very best. This was her trip and I wasn’t going to spoil it with a bunch of brewery excursions.  We live in Bavaria and she indulges me enough.

enjoying the vineyards via the Franschoek Wine Tram

We’d done a mix of both during our Kruger Safari and our travels up the east coast of South Africa but now that we were headed to the more renowned wine region in the country, even I was more enthused about the the nectar produced from grapes rather than hops. We had a fantastic meal at a French style bistro with a fine wine and the next day headed out with the rest of the tourists on the Franschoek Wine Tram. It was a fun day but after five vineyards and probably more samples than anyone should attempt, we were pretty much wined-out by the time we got back to town. Even my wife thought that Tuk Tuk Brew was a good choice for dinner. They had nice light meals and both their Dunkles and IPA were quite good and a welcomed respite from our daily tannin intake.

a light meal and IPA at Tuk Tuk Brew

The next day we were headed to the West Coast National Park and would visit Darling Brew while there but I’d been told by our B&B hosts that our thus far South African favorite, was in nearby Paarl. As chance would have it, the third corner of the wine region triangle lie right on our route. After a stop at the Stellenbosch Village Museum in the most famous corner of Stellenbosch, we made our way to Paarl not so much to complete the geometric form but to stop by Karoo Brewing.

the find line-up of Karoo beers were all in good form

The brewer was super welcoming, pouring fair-sized and well-priced tasters while explaining each beer before launching into a informal impromptu tour of the facilities. I enjoyed having some of my favorites like The Jackal and The Impala on tap as well as trying one of their single hop series beers Azacca Smash

Karoo Brewing is worth a stop if in the Wine Triangle

Please note that the brewery is just that, it’s not a brewpub and there’s no food aside from small packets of snacks. That said, it’s a worthwhile stop if in the Wine Triangle. Sometimes, you need a departure from wine and it’s obvious that the entrepreneurs of this region not only know this, but are doing a great job of providing quality craft beer to those seeking it, too.

Thanks to my wife for taking over the wheel after our stop. We did buy some bottles for our overnight stop so she could enjoy them, too.

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