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Beer in southern Africa

May 6, 2013

I think it is safe to say that the craft beer revolution has come to South Africa. The last two years have been really intense. A lot of new breweries and a lot of new and interesting beers. Locally produced and good quality products from small and independent breweries. But what about the neighbouring countries? Has the revolution spread into more countries in southern Africa?

In 2011 we scouted Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe and the result was a bit disappointing. To be frank it was more or less non-existent. Camelthorn Brewery is the only micro-brewery in Namibia (update: the brewery is sold) and the only micro brewery in Zimbabwe that we know of is the Bespoke Brewers (update: the new Sarungano Brewing) who serve their beers at the Harare Beer Engine. We did not find any micro-breweries in the other countries. SAB has breweries in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland producing beers like St Louis Lager (Botswana), Zambezi (Zimbabwe), Laurentina (Mozambique), Maluti (Lesotho) and Sibebe (Swaziland). East African Breweries and Namibian Breweries also have some large productions in many of the neighbouring countries.

These “giants” produce some fairly good beers according to style but maybe not the most innovative and interesting ones.

What have happened since 2011? I am sad to say. We had a “scout” in Zimbabwe a couple of months ago and the result is pretty much the same.

Southern Africa beer

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Toni Heili permalink
    August 13, 2014 10:49 am

    Hi I am trying to establish who owned the Micro Brewery in Chisipite Harare albeit several years back. The Brewery was unique in that the brewing took place in large glass tanks (Floor to Ceiling) and were located behind the bar. I have tried googling Bespoke Breweries but with no luck. Any information on this type of equipment or contact with the owners of this brewery would be most appreciated.
    Many thanks
    Toni Heioli

    • August 13, 2014 11:15 am

      Hi! The Bespoke Breweries website is down and they are working on a new one. Bespoke Breweries is located at The Harare Beer Engine (Jameson Hotel). I know that there are some brewery equipment for sale in Zimbabwe but I do not know if it is the right one. Try contacting Bespoke Breweries ( They might be able to help you out!
      Good luck and keep me posted about your plans (in Botswana ?)! 🙂

    • August 14, 2014 10:39 am

      Hi again!

      And you could off course try asking Sarungano Brewing (close to Chisipite).

      Regards, Joakim

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