To the fallen heroes of craft beer

What Ever Happened To [Insert Brewery Name]

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What ever happened to [insert brewery name]?

Many a blip appear and disappear on the radar of the craft beer industry as business come and go, fold and merge.

Here, in memoriam, those that blazed a trail.

Below are the results of scouring forums, stagnant social media accounts and MIA websites, for clues as to what happened to the South African craft brewery you once knew. May their memories live on long and gloriously.

Stash Breweries, Sasolburg, Free State, South Africa

Stash Breweries

Location: Sasolburg, Free State

In a post to their FB dated 13 October 2020, Stash Breweries announced that the pandemic has taken its toll, and they had no alternative but to close shop.

Route 62 Brewing Co, Montagu, Western Cape, South Africa

Route 62 Brewing Company

Location: Montagu, Western Cape

Via Facebook on 2 Oct 2020: “Sadly we have had to close the brewery and will be winding down over the next few weeks. We thank those who have supported us but we have unfortunately lost the fight.

Stone Cricle Brewery, Gardens, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Stone Circle Brewery

Location: Gardens, Cape Town, Western Cape

Somewhere during South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown, the lot in Wembly Square, Gardens that previously housed Stone Circle Brewery, was vacated. It’s now empty and devoid of Stone Circle cheer.

Wagon Trail Brewing Co. - Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa

Wagon Trail Brewing Co

Location: Stellenbosch, Western Cape

Via Facebook on 20 August 2020, it was said due to the economic impact of the pandemic, it was decided to keep Wagon Trail Restaurant and Brew Pub closed until further notice.

Sir Thomas Brewing Company, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa - CraftBru.com

Sir Thomas Brewery

Location: Stellenbosch, Western Cape

In an announcement posted to their Facebook page on 24 June 2020, Sir Thomas Brewery shared that they were drawing the curtain on their brewery.

Big Buddies BBQ & Brewing Co, Middelburg, Mpumalanga, South Africa

Big Buddies BBQ & Brewing Co

Location: Middelburg, Mpumalanga

Unconfirmed. In May 2020 a post said they were not reopening at Stage 4 Lockdown, but to watch their page for a big announcement that is yet to come. Website is gone (as at 11 Oct 2020).

Blouberg Craft Brewery

Location: Blouberg, Western Cape

A short and not-so-sweet post to their Facebook page on 2 April 2020 simply said: We closed our brewery.

Mogallywood Brewery, Roeks Beer, Boozah Brewery, White Dog Tap Room, North West Province, Gauteng

Mogallywood Brewery

Location: Maanhaarrand, Gauteng

On both Google and Facebook it’s marked as permanently closed.

Metal Lane Brewing Co, Cape Town, South Africa

Metal Lane Brewery

Location: Cape Town, Western Cape
Last online activity: 19 July 2019, Facebook

A favourite, Meta Lane Brewery quietly went into the night.

Owl & Hare Craft Brewery, Wakkerstroom, Mpumalanga, South Africa

Owl & Hare Craft Brewery

Location: Wakkerstroom, Mpumalanga
Last online activity: October 2018, Facebook

Although this pub/restaurant/brewery has never been particular active online, the last year or so has proven particular challenging for finding anything current. Then a recent sweep netted this article from The Brewmistress and this ad on GumTree, explaining the owner has retired and the equipment, presumably no longer in use, is for sale.

Keghouse Microbrewery, Gauteng Craft Beer, South Africa

Keghouse Micro Brewery

Location: Randburg, Gauteng

Zebonkey Brewery, Stellenbosch, South Africa - CraftBru.com

Zebonkey Brewery

Location: Stellenbosch, Western Cape

While, since April 2019 they are no longer at the brewery at DelVera Farm, last we heard Zebonkey lives on as a contract-brewered brand. Should the Zebonkey find a new stable of their own again, they shall be duly returned to the breweries list.

Rockland Breweries, Magaliesburg, Hartebeesfontein, North West, South Africa

Rockland Breweries

Location: Hartebeesfontein, North West

Website is down, Facebook is gone.

Helderberg Breweries, Somerset West, Western Cape, South Africa

Helderberg Breweries

Location: Somerset West, Western Cape

Website is gone, Facebook quiet since May 2018.

GRT Brewery, Graaf Reinent, Eastern Cape, South Africa - CraftBru.com

GRT Brewery

Location: Graff-Reinet, Eastern Cape

Not sure, but no traces online since 2018 (Untappd).

Featherstone Brewery, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Featherstone Brewery

Location: Grahamstown, Eastern Cape

Facebook post on 25 December said theyll be close for a while for a change of ownership. Holding breath

Daxi's Craft Brewery, Kidd's Beach, East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Daxis Craft Brewery

Location: East London, Eastern Cape

Clearing out the cobwebs in 2020 and checked up to see how Daxis doing. Social medias hasnt seen action since early 2019, and on TripAdvisor theres a report from June 2019 to say it permanently closed, and one from November describing how the brewery is now a space for veggies and home bakes.

Growler Brewing Company, Rietfontein, Brits, North West Province, South Africa

Growler Brewing Co

Location: Brits, North West

Gone. No clues, website and Facebook offline, last traces on Twitter were circa 2017.

Harbour Shack Brewery, Mossel Bay, Western Cape, South Africa

Harbour Shack Brewery

Location: Mossel Bay, Western Cape

Disappeared. Last post on Facebook in September 2018 was a For Sale sign, so I guess that’s a clue.

Inmind Brewing Company, Kya Sand, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Inmind Brewing

Location: Johannesburg, Gauteng

In a reply our enquiry owner/brewer Vernon said that as of February 2018 Inmind was no longer brewing and that, at the time of our enquiry in July 2018, none of their products remained in the market. The complete, fully operational brewery was up for sale, and only as a consequence of having to choose on focusing on one of two businesses, a pick in which the brewery drew the short straw.

Savage Brewing Company, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Savage Brewing

Location: Killarney Gardens, Western Cape

On Facebook in January 2018 Savage Brewing announced a pause to their brewing operations, primarily motivated by the severe water shortage the Western Cape was facing at the time. At the end of June 2018 we followed up to find out about an imminent return, to which they replied that although they haven’t shut down, they wouldn’t be resuming anytime soon either. Status therefore: on ice.

Club House Breweries, Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Club House Breweries

Location: Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal

In June 2018 we noticed how quiet it was on Club House Breweries’ social media front, so we reached out to the brewery contact who shared the news that the brewery had, in fact, been sold.

Old Main Brewery, Old Howick Road, Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Old Main Brewing (OMB)

Location: Howick, KwaZulu-Natal

Last activity was on their FB in September 2017, but their phone number (still on their FB & website) is now answered by an unrelated business. We’ve reached out via email in the hopes of a reply.

HEAD de'ville Beer, Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng, South Africa

Head De’ville Beer

Location: Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng

Via a text to the number we had for the brewer, Jacques De Villiers, it was confirmed in June 2018 that Head De’ville Beer had ceased operations.

Krugerbrau Craft Brewery, Sasolburg, Free State, South Africa

Krugerbrau

Location: Sasolburg, Free State

On their Facebook page in February 2018 Krugerbrau put their brewery license up for sale, and shortly after some of their equipment too. Messages to the FB contact number were not returned.

Scavenger Brewery, Assagay, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Scavenger Brewery

Location: Assagay, KwaZulu-Natal

Scavenger Brewery, which opened around 2017, had closed its door by June 2018. Confirmed by the former brewery contact in June 2018.

Stickman Brewery - Stikland, Cape Town, South Africa

Stickman Brewery

Location: Stikland, Western Cape

After quite a while of seeing for sale ads for this brewery, Johan from Stickman Brewery confirmed in May 2018 that the rumours were founded, Stickman was to shut its doors that month.

The Cockpit Brewhouse, Cullinan, Gauteng, South Africa

The Cockpit Brewhouse

Location: Cullinan, Gauteng

In March 2018 The Cockpit Brewhouse tweeted “We regret to inform you that the Cockpit Brewhouse is closed indefinitely / until further notice by the owner.” A few months later, in June 2018, a message appeared on Zeppelin Craft Beer Brewery‘s Facebook page, announcing a Relocation Party in August 2018, to be held once Zeppelin had moved into what was previously Cockpit Brewhouse’s home at 80 Oak Ave. in Cullinan.

Windmere Cider

Windermere Cider

Location: Grabouw, Western Cape

Rumoured on Twitter it was confirmed by a former Windermere contact via text in May 2018, that Windermere Cider would be closing out at the end of that month.

Plebs Microbrewery - Live Acoustic Music & Craft Beer, Mowbray, Cape Town, South Africa

Plebs Microbrewery

Location: Mowbray, Western Cape

A rather colourful web of abandoned Internet addresses, Facebook pages and recycled contact numbers, entangled the legend of this brewery, and the unit it occupied. Eventually, with disbelief suspended, an in-person visit to the listed street address confirmed the inevitable: the brewery no longer exists.

Long Mountain Brewery, Robertson, Western Cape

Long Mountain Brewery

Location: Robertson, Western Cape

The brewery closed late 2016 early 2017 when the owner/brewer for Long Mountain Brewery joined Four Cousins to brew Boet Beer.

Beerfly Brewing Company - Cape Town, South Africa

Beerfly Brewing

Location: Brackenfell, Western Cape
Last online activity: 10 March 2017, Facebook

Beerfly Brewing dropped off the radar circa March 2017, with their last online activity being on Facebook. Their website domain had also lapsed, so we reached out to Beerfly’s last listed contact who subsequently confirmed that the brewery had closed down for good.

Dragon Brewing Company, Craft ginger beer from Cape Town, South Africa

Dragon Ginger

Location: Cape Town, Western Cape

We originally added Dragon Brewing Co back in July 2013 under the impression that beer would eventually follow. However, Dragon Brewing has gone on to become quite the successful hard ginger producer instead, so it was removed from our list of craft beer brewers. Nevertheless, Dragon Ginger lives on.

Jack Black's Brewing Company, Cape Town, South Africa

Jack Black’s Brewing Co

Location: Diep Rivier, Western Cape

Heineken struck again in Feb 2018 when it became official that a partnership was struck with Jack Black, that included acquiring a minority stake in the pioneering craft brewery. With the global behemoth’s muscle behind an already national champion, we have no doubt the sky’s the limit. And with that, they have outgrown our list of craft breweries.

Brothers Brewery, Boksburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Brothers Brewery

Location: Boksburg, Gauteng

Social media went quiet in March 2016, and they’re not brewing anymore, confirmed by the contact listed on their Facebook page.

11 Shillings Craft Brewery, Parkhurst, Gauteng, South Africa

11 Shillings Parkhurts Ale

Location: Parkhurst, Gauteng
Last online activity: Untappd, March 2016

West Coast Brewery, Lambert's Bay, Western Cape, South Africa

West Coast Brewery

Location: Lambertsbay, Western Cape

From the start it was hard to find info about this brewery, having only “discovered” it by accidents through an obscure mention of a brewery in a community forum. Eventually contact with the brewer was made, but we’ve been unable to repeat that feat recently in an attempt to follow up. As far as we know the brewery has never had any kind of online property.

From the Zee Brewing Company, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

From the Zee Brewing Co.

Location: Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

Last activity was on Twitter in September 2017, but their website is gone and domain de-registered, and their Facebook page has also disappeared. Messages have been sent..

Jacobs Brewhouse, Wolmerandsstad, North West, South Africa

Jacobs Brewhouse

Location: Wolmaransstad, North West

Messages to this brewery has gone unanswered

Mind the Gap Cider Company, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa

Mind The Gap Cider

Location: Stellenbosch, Western Cape

Facebook aside (where the last post was in 2015), there was some Untappd activity on their products in 2017, but their website, and presumably the email along with it, has since gone offline. Contact has been attempted and a reply is eagerly awaited.

Malt n Metal, Middelburg, Mpumalanga, South Africa

Malt N Metal Brewing

Location: Middelburg, Mpumalanga
Last online activity: 3 January 2017, Facebook

Thanking their supporters on their Facebook page, but without elaborating, a short message posted on January 3, 2017 simply said they were now closed.

2 Rowdy Boxers Brewing Co - East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa

2 Rowdy Boxers Brewing

Location: East London, Eastern Cape
Last online activity: October 2016, Facebook

No official confirmation yet, but last FB activity was October 2016 and their website domain name has deregistered. Messages to last contact number on record has gone unanswered.

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

Harfield Beer Company

Location: Southfield, Cape Town, Western Cape
Last online activity: 6 November 2016, Ratebeer

No official confirmation, but rumours of equipment being sold aside, their online properties are inactive and no response to email sent.

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

Odyssey Craft Brewery

Location: Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
Last online activity: 6 September 2016, Facebook

In a post circa May 2016 the brewery announced their intention to sell.

Anderson's Brewing Company, Germiston, Johannesburg, South Africa

Anderson’s Brewing Company

Location: Johannesburg, Gauteng

Anderson’s Brewing Company came to be in 2015 and was added to our list in May 2016. After appearing online in a crowd-funding campaign the brewery has dropped off our radar. Their crowd-funding page, Facebook and website have all since disappeared. Presumed lost.

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

78 Brewing Company

Location: Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
Last online activity: 25 May 2014, Twitter

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

Bardwell Brewing Company

Location: Driefontein, KwaZulu-Natal
Last online activity: 25 May 2014, Twitter

Closed shop, confirmed by brewery’s former contact person in Aug 2016

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

Diek’s Bru

Location: De Rust, Western Cape
Last online activity: 30 Jan 2014, Rate Beer

Luyt Lager - craft beer from Ballito, South Africa

Luyt Lager

Location: Balito, KwaZulu-Natal
Last online activity: Closed down in 2011

Rumour had it that Luyt Lager (or its equipment at least) reincarnated as Stellenbrau.

Stellenbrau?, Craft Brewery in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa

Stellenbrau

Location: Stellenbosch, Western Cape

Having inked a deal with Heineken March 2017, Stellenbrau lives on and will undoubtedly thrive. As a brand of Big Beer however, they are no longer on our list of craft breweries.

Misty Meadows Country Estate, George, South Africa

Misty Meadows

Location: George, Western Cape
Last online activity: Aug 2016

“No Misty Meadows” was the only comment offered when we phoned.

Napier Brewery - Handmade Craft Beer from Napier

Napier Brewery

Location: Napier, Western Cape
Last online activity: Closed shop in 2014

Confirmed via a Facebook reply to a message posted by their page in Feb 2016

Ndlovu Craft Brewery, Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa

Ndlovu Brewery

Location: Stellenbosch, Western Cape

Confirmed by former brewery contact in Aug 2016.

Dewside Craft Brewery, Thabazimbi, Limpopo, South Africa

Dewside Restaurant & Craft Brewery

Location: Thabazimbi, Limpopo
Last online activity: ~

Closed shop. Confirmed by former co-owner in Oct 2016.

Brilous Brauhaus Brewery in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, South Africa

Brilou’s Brauhaus

Location: Nelspruit, Mpumalanga
Last online activity: Fell off the radar, presumed lost.

Enquiries to listed contact number not replied to.

Brothers in Arms Brewery

Location: Somerset West
Last online activity: 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

Location: Bloemfontein, Free State
Last online activity: ~

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

Location: Johannesburg, Gauteng
Last online activity: ~

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

Location: KwaZulu-Natal
Last online activity: ~

Previously from KwaZulu-Natal, Mtunzini Brewery moved to Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape in 2016, where it lives on as Brewery on the Beach.

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

VonB Craft Beer

Location: Kommetjie, Western Cape
Last online activity: ~

Last we heard of VonB Craft Beer was in 2016 after Little Wolf Brewery took over their space in Kommetjie.

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

Three Skulls Brew Works

Location: Johannesburg, Gauteng
Last online activity: ~

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”.

Roca Microbrewery - Craft beer in Franschhoek, Western Cape

Roca Microbrewery

Location: Franschhoek, Western Cape
Last online activity: ~

The Dieu Donn Vineyards was home to one of Franschhoek’s first craft breweries. It suffered consistency and quality issues however. It was later renamed Roca Microbrewery, and eventually shut its doors.


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 their lack of products in the market, last activity on social media, deregistered domain names, and websites that are offline, and bounced emails and/or invalid phone numbers.

Worry not, we still have a thriving list of effervescent South African craft breweries.

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