I do love this little online rambling space of mine.  It has allowed me to experience so many cool things, things I probably wouldn’t have gone out and done on my own, and I count myself very lucky indeed.

An example of such a cool experience was being invited to go check out the The Beer Experience Tour at Newlands Brewery last week.

Dating back to 1820, Newlands brewery (I’ll have you know) is the oldest operating brewery in Africa and the 4th largest SAB brewery in SA.  It is also in my humble opinion the prettiest one by far:

Because Capetonians just do it best…

The tour, which takes about 60min, consists of lots of exploring & learning with your knowledgeable guide leading the way, after which you’re treated to a beer tasting and some drinks in the brewery’s historic underground pub. (Yes, that’s right, they have their own pub! Sweet…)

When you arrive you’re kitted out with some sexy safety gear and you’re given two bottle caps which you’ll exchange for ice cold pints in the bar later:

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Orange is the new black people…

Then your trusty tour guide sweeps you off on a fantastical journey of beer:

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Our guide was Alexia and she was awesome…

Now I was gonna hit you guys with all these cool facts I now know, like how the beer at Newlands brewery is made from fancy spring water (not just plain old regular water), and how this brewery produces 45 million litres of beer a year AND…  But you see, then that just ruins it for you guys when you check out this tour for yourselves.  So I’m gonna strop there.

All I will tell you is that you’ll get a little bit of beer history, lots of info on modern-day brewing methods, and basically you’ll follow the story of beer from its base ingredients to that golden liquid you enjoy at the end of a long, hard day.

Then you’re also welcome to drill your tour guide on any beer-related questions that might have been bouncing around in your head for some time.  This is after all an open space for mutual beer appreciation…

Learning about the brewing process…

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The perfect beer recipe…

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A tour of the premises, including the bottling & labeling areas…

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All the way up to distribution…

You’re also welcome to spend some time in the small beer museum:

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Before finally settling in at the pub for your tasting, those two free pints and maybe even a round of pool:

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We tasted 5 beers: Castle Lite, Black Label, Pilsner Urquell, Flying Fish (new flavoured beer) & Castle Milk Stout.  I then opted for a Black Label & a Flying Fish as my two drinks.  #happiness

Alexia stayed with us at the bar and we got to talking about all kinds of stuff.  She told us this very cute story about how during their brewery worker strikes last year, the “white-collar” staff decided to roll up their sleeves and pitch in.  Surprisingly they were able to produce 2.5 million bottles compared to the regular 2.2 million bottles per day, even though they basically had to figure out how to operate machinery, etc. on the fly.  Thanks to them, beer drinkers all over the Western Cape didn’t even realise that anything was up & I thought that was a very cool story about passion for a product and love for what you do.  I mean doesn’t it just make you all happy inside?  It sure did that for me…

I really had such a brilliant time at Newlands Brewery & I can highly recommend this tour as a little-summin-different type of outing with friends.

To check it out for yourselves, here’s the nitty-gritty stuff you need to know:

The Beer Experience tour only costs R40 per person (and that of course includes the beer tasting & 2 complimentary drinks)

Tour times:

  • Monday – Thursday 10h00, 12h00, 14h00
  • Friday 10h00, 12h00, 14h00 & 16h00
  • Saturday 10h00, 12h00
  • Tuesday & Wednesday eve 18h00

And you just have to take note of the following:

  • No U18’s permitted
  • Closed, flat, non-slip shoes to be worn (and no ladies, wedges do not count as flats – I know you were thinking it)
  • No alcohol to be consumed before the tour
  • Unfortunately the tour is not wheelchair friendly
  • Advanced reservations must be made
  • Guests need to arrive 15 min before the scheduled tour time

To book your tour:

  • Contact them on:  021 658 7440 or newlandstours@za.sabmiller.com
  • Address:  3 Main Road, Newlands (on the corner of Main & Boundary Rd, entrance on the Boundary Rd side)

And with that I’ll say cheers guys!  Also a BIG thank you to the team at Newlands Brewery for letting me gate crash one of their tours…

xxx