To the fallen heroes of craft beer

Whatever Happened To [Insert Brewery Name]

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Whatever happened to [insert brewery name]?

On the ever-sweeping radar of the craft beer industry, many a blip appear and disappear. Businesses fold, merge or are bought over, and craft breweries are no exception. Here, in memoriam, those that blazed the trail.

Through scouring forums, abandoned social media accounts, stagnant websites and, that one time, a haunted warehouse, here are the clues we could gather as to what happened to the South African craft brewery you once knew. May their memories live on long and gloriously.

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.

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.

'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-Nata

Last online activity: Closed down in 2011

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

Stellenbrau Brewery

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.

Jack Black's Brewing Co

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.

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

Last online activity: Closed shop in 2015

Confirmed by former brewery contact in Aug 2016.

Valley Brewery - Craft beer in Kommetjie, Western Cape

Valley Brewery

Location: Kommetjie, Western Cape

Last online activity: ~

Bought/taken over/utilised by Lakeside Beerworks in 2013.

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”.

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. Contact us to rectify any errors.

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

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