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Published on : Jun 23, 2015

South African beer choices have exploded the market for craft beer. All classes and colors love beer in SA and the refreshment is in great demand at music festivals, braii, or in pubs. 

South Africans are a thirsty bunch and considered as the 31st consumers of beer per capita globally. This amounts to approximately 60 liters per person in a year and hops or barley South Africans are loyal to their beer.

Craft beer began production in South Africa by an ex SAB brewer in 1980s in Mitchells in Knysna. At present there are more than 135 beer brewing companies and of these 66 about 48% are based in the Western Cape. Gauteng and kwaZulu are ready to start brewing in Cape but Mitchells is considered the most popular with Darling Brew, Jack Black, and Boston at second place. Craft beer is the most popular drink but the popularity of beer differs from region to region. 

SAB was established in 1895 in Johannesburg to appease miners and prospectors. Till 19th century SAB dominated the market but was acquired American Miller Brewing Company in 2002 and the new SABMiller began its stint in the international market. SAB provided 89% of the beer in the South African market. Today SABMiller has second place in the international beer market and produces 24 billion barrels of lager per year. SAB brings in revenues of R220 billion per year. The beer is reaches 80 countries across the world and has 150 beer brands.

Castel Lager is among the national level beers distributed in SA and is voted as the best lager that is bottled in the world.