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Breweries lost

August 14, 2013

In a time when there are more breweries starting up in South Africa than ever before I am going to write about some of the ones that are no more. Breweries that have ceased to exist. Ex-breweries…

The most recent one is Valley Brewery even if it is not really gone. Lakeside Beerworks is taking over the equipment and Valley London Ale is still going to be available. Glen Adams at Valley Brewery is a busy and creative man and I do understand that he has to choose between his engagements. Another brewery that has “moved along” is Luyt Brewery. In 2011 they closed down in Ballito, KZN. In the press release they stated that they sold the “Brewery Assets to an independent entrepreneur and entering into an equity partnership with the continued brewing of Luyt Lager under License in Stellenbosch, Western Cape “. The new brewery was to become Stellenbrau in Stellenbosch.

Paulaner closed down their business at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town and they are still searching for a new location (I think). The former brewmaster at Paulaner Cape Town, Wolfgang Ködel is now the brewmaster at Cape Brewing Company in Paarl. Some good came out of it after all.

Did you have the chance to taste beers from Helderbräu in Somerset West? I did not sadly enough but I know they brewed some really good Lager and Pilsner. They closed down many years ago before the Craft Beer Revolution started in SA. The Brew Equipment was cut up and sold as scrap, I am told.

Do you remember Highlands Brewery at Walkerbouts Inn up in Rhodes, Eastern Cape? They did good until the Tiffindell Ski Resort closed down in 2006. They had Walkers Best Broo Fallabout Stout, Rooikat and Vuyl Ale on the menu. Dave at Walkerbouts Inn told me that ” it was great fun until the Tiffindell Ski Resort closure so, alas, no more brewery at Walkerbouts”. He also told me that he sold the equipment to a fellow in Wolmaransstad  who was going to produce whisky.
I would recommend that you keep an eye on Walkerbouts Inn though because the Tiffindell Ski Resort has reopened in 2013 and Dave´s also said, when asked about their plans ” Ja, but who knows what the future may bring!”

There you go! Some South African brewery nostalgia!


10 Comments leave one →
  1. atronseige permalink
    August 14, 2013 10:36 am

    I just spoke to Luyt Breweries and they will be supplying a few restaurants in Ballito from sometime in September, but they are no longer bottling. I am not sure if the beer is contract brewed.

    • August 14, 2013 10:55 am

      Interesting. Late 2011 they announced that they will cease their operation in Ballito and reopen in Stellenbosch (Stellenbrau).

  2. August 14, 2013 12:43 pm

    As far as I’m aware, Luyt no longer have their equiipment. They sold everything – kettles, fermenters, recipes, to Stellenbrau but to my understanding, they don’t have any sort of stake in the business now. Even two of the guys who worked there relocated to Stellenbosch to brew.

    I tasted Helderbrau’s stuff back in 2006 – it was OK. Shame they couldn’t see it out until the boom began! I was told that Highlands sold their equipment and I believe it went to what is now the Drostdy brewery in Wolmaransstad.

    Others that fell by the wayside include the Firkin in Durban (but the beers live on at the Old Main Brewery), Farmers’ Brauhaus in Hattingspruit (equipment now at Brauhaus am Damm), Perry’s Bridge in Limpopo and very sadly, the Wartburg Brauhaus.

    Luckily plenty of new places have replaced those that have closed!!



    • August 14, 2013 12:56 pm

      Stellenbrau said (via twitter) that they have nothing to do with Luyt Brewery except from buying their equipment. What confused me was the fact that Luyt Brewery applied for a brewery license at the same place where Stellenbrau is today. Maybe they had some ideas to start on their own. The press release also stated that they would enter into an “equity partnership” (whatever that means).

      Dave at Highlands replied and said : … so who knows, I may well get a rush of blood to the head (or win the jack-pot) and set up another brewery!

      Did they ever brew at Perry’s Bridge?

      Firkin told me they closed because of some drain or sewer problem.


  3. August 16, 2013 8:35 am

    They did brew at Perry’s Bridge years and years ago. But for a long time he brew sat rusting outside and the beer, I believe, came from Drayman’s. The equipment has been purchased and should be installed in a new brewery this year…One of the problems at Firkin was the location, according to the (former?) owner who now owns Old Main – he reckoned people didn’t trust a brewery on the top of a mall!

    • August 16, 2013 10:05 am

      Good that the equipment is used! Two new breweries (that I know of) opening up not far from Perry´s. Brilou’s Brauhaus in Nelspruit (open in August, if all goes well) and Mountain Stream Brewery in Graskop (under construction).

  4. May 27, 2014 7:52 am

    Just before I started working at Bavaria Bräu in 1994, there was a Crawfords Brewery in Durban. Andy Mitchell was the brewer, I think.

    • June 2, 2014 3:08 pm

      I just love to hear about “old breweries”. I might do another effort to find more “out of business” craft breweries like Farmers Brauhaus, Royal Brewery and Wartburg Brauhaus

  5. hhmeier permalink
    August 23, 2014 6:21 pm

    You can read a little about Farmers Brewery in Hattingspruit here: Josef Martin started this brewery and it was sold to Brauhaus am Damm.

    I am not sure what happened to the brewing equipment at Wartburg after the Schädle’s sold the Hotel to the Orion Group. Chris Schädle now owns Siggi’s in Salt Rock – which is worth a visit:

  6. Keith Anderson permalink
    December 23, 2015 12:50 pm

    There was the Sterling Brewery in Empangeni, which produced an eminently drinkable (though rather “mainstream”) brew called Freeman’s Lager. It was certainly eminently drinkable in the sun at Kingsmead while Rice was thundering in at Hudson.

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