Whatever Happened To [Insert Brewery Name]

Whatever happened to [insert brewery name]?

It’s not easy to run a business, never mind a brewery, and sometimes businesses close down. Here, in memoriam, those who came before.

To the fallen heroes of craft beer

If, like me, you’ve aimlessly wandered the desert wastelands of Internet forums, ratings websites and abandoned social media accounts, searching for clues of what happened to that South African craft brewery you once knew, then this is perhaps the end to that search. May their memories live on long and gloriously.

Malt n Metal, Middelburg, Mpumalanga, South Africa

 

Malt N Metal Brewing
From: Middelburg, Mpumalanga
Last online activity: 3 January 2017, Facebook
Thanking their supporters, but without giving reasons, a short message posted to their Facebook page on January 3, 2017, simply said they were now closed.

 


Harfield Beer Company, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

 

Harfield Beer Company
From: Southfield, Cape Town, Western Cape
Last online activity: 6 November 2016, Ratebeer
Rumour has it their equipment have been sold. No official confirmation yet, but online properties seem inactive. Contact has been emailed, awaiting confirmation.

 


Odyssey Craft Brewery, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

 

Odyssey Craft Brewery
From: Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
Last online activity: 6 September 2016, Facebook
In a post circa May 2016 the brewery announced the intention to sell the whole shebang. In a follow-up in September it was stated the brewery no longer brewed, although its license had been renewed until October 2017. Rumour via Craft Beer Twitter is that the equipment has since been sold.

 


'78 Brewing Company - Craft beer and ginger beer in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

 

’78 Brewing Company
From: Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
Last online activity: 25 May 2014, Twitter
No official confirmation

 


Bradwell Brewing Company, Driefontein, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa

 

Bardwell Brewing Company
From: Driefontein, KwaZulu-Natal
Not in business anymore
Confirmed by brewery’s former contact person, Aug 2016

 


Dieks' Bru - Craft beer in De Rust, Western Cape

 

Diek’s Bru 
From: De Rust, Western Cape
Last online activity: 30 Jan 2014, Rate Beer
No official confirmation

 


Luyt Lager - craft beer from Ballito, South Africa

 

Luyt Lager
From: Balito, KwaZulu-Natal
Closed down in 2011, and rumour has it, it was reincarnated as Stellenbrau on the other side of the country.
Lives on as Stellenbrau.

 

 


Stellenbrau Brewery

 

Stellenbrau
From: Stellenbosch, Western Cape
On 23 March 2017 Stellenbrau announced on their blog that they inked a deal with the local capter of Heineken, one of the largest brewers in the World, “which makes the South African company part of this global brewing concern”.

We have no doubt that Stellenbrau will go from strenght to strenght under their new overlords. However, as they are now part of Big Beer, we feel they are no longer suitable for and have been removed from CraftBru’s list of South African Craft Breweries.

 

 


Misty Meadows Country Estate, George, South Africa

 

Misty Meadows
From: George, Western Cape
“No Misty Meadows”, said property owner in Aug 2016

 

 


Napier Brewery - Handmade Craft Beer from Napier

 

Napier Brewery
From: Napier, Western Cape
Closed down in 2014
Facebook reply to message posted by page in Feb 2016

 


Ndlovu Craft Brewery, Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa

 

Ndlovu Brewery
From: Stellenbosch, Western Cape
Closed down in 2015
Confirmed by former brewery contact in Aug 2016

 


Valley Brewery - Craft beer in Kommetjie, Western Cape

 

Valley Brewery
From: Kommetjie, Western Cape
Bought/taken over/utilised by Lakeside Beerworks in 2013

 

 


Dewside Craft Brewery, Thabazimbi, Limpopo, South Africa

 

Dewside Restaurant & Craft Brewery
From: Thabazimbi, Limpopo
No longer operational
Confirmed by former co-owner (Oct 2016)

 


Brilous Brauhaus Brewery in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, South Africa

 

Brilou’s Brauhaus
From:Nelspruit, Mpumalanga
Fell off the radar, presumed lost.
Enquiries to contact number not replied to

 


 

Brothers in Arms Brewery
From: Somerset West
Fell off the radar, presumed lost.
Website, Facebook offline, last SM mention 2015

 


Kaya Breweries - Craft Beer Brewers in Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

 

Kaya Breweries
From: Bloemfontein
Kaya Breweries transformed into The Famous Brew & Still near the middle of 2015.
Lives on as The Famous Brew & Still.

 


Hate City Brewing Company - Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

 

Hate City Brewing Company
From: Johannesburg
On 29 June 2016 Hate City Brewing announced, on their Facebook page, that they were calling it quits.
For now.

 


Mtunzini Brewery, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa

 

Mtunzini Brewery
From: KwaZulu-Natal
Previously from KwaZulu-Natal, Mtunzini Brewery moved to Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape in 2016, where they have relaunched as Brewery on the Beach.
Lives on as Brewery on the Beach.

 


VonB Craft Beer - Noordhoek, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

 

VonB Craft Beer
From: Kommetjie, Western Cape
Last we heard of VonB Craft Beer was in 2016 after Little Wolf Brewery had taken over their space in Kommetjie. Rumour had it that the VonB brand might resurface again in Johannesburg.
We’re still waiting.

 


Three Skulls Brew Works - Craft beer in Gauteng, South Africa

 

Three Skulls Brew Works
From: Johannesburg, Gauteng
Somewhere in late 2014 or early 2015, Three Skulls brewery owner, Jonathan Nel, paused his independent brewing to contract brew for a while. By mid 2015 fans were wondering what happened. The answer in a Facebook comment from the brewer on 1 Aug 2015 was “any day now”.
Awaiting that day.

 

 

These breweries are listed based on repeated attempts to get replies from listed contact details. Where replies were not forthcoming, assessments were made based on not having products in the market, last activity on social media, deregistered domain names & websites that are offline, bounced emails and/or invalid phone numbers.

If you know of another brewery that should be on this list, or if my research proved flawed, please do contact me and I shall rectify it immediately.

In the meantime, visit the list of alive and effervescent South African craft breweries.

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