The not-so-dated eruption of craft beer culture into South Africa’s beer-loving communities has no doubt caused a pleasant stir, with Joburg city positioned right at the centre of this phenomenal outburst. The work of art that is the craft beer has accelerated the extraordinary evolution of beer, and any regular old beer enthusiast is probably inclined to a natural yearning for the best of the most unique flavours. That’s where we come in … with an awesome list of the Top Craft Beer spots in Joburg.
Social On Main
Social On Main is a spectacular cocktail bar and kitchen in Bryanston is a complete crowd-puller, offering an innovative range of craft beer ... tap and bottle options are both available. Sip on a refreshing full-bodied ale or crisp, golden lager while you socialise in a fun and vibrant atmosphere. Great company sure makes beer taste better! This funky spot offers some really scrumptious bar and snack food to couple with your choice of beer, resulting in some very special combinations exclusive to the social hotspot. Don’t miss out!
Details: Shop 1, Posthouse Centre, corner Main Road and Posthouse Street, Bryanston, Johannesburg
Pop into Parktown North’s little gem for a glorious fusion of tasty bites and the craftiest of beer. Part bistro and part bar, the two worlds meet in the middle to form a beautiful balance. Out of their tap flows Lumberjack Amber Ale, Darling Slow Beer, Jack Black Reserve Lager, Naked Mexican and Franky Four Fingers, to name but a few. Their fabulous beer-inspired dishes make Foundry stand out from most spots. You should definitely treat yourself to a dish of mussels in a beer, leek and celery sauce for a delicious burst of difference. Foundry is the perfect joint for sundowners with colleagues after an irksome work day.
Details: 21 3rd Ave, Parktown North, Johannesburg
Braamfontein, once a dull little student village, is fast becoming one of Joburg’s lifestyle sensations and I for one have had the pleasure of witnessing its transform from ugly duckling to swan in a short space of a couple of years. The central suburb’s newfound recognition is due largely to the ever-so-popular Neighbourgoods Market on Juta Street. I certainly consider Neighbourgoods to be the market that teaches markets how it's done, from service, ambience and fashion right through to food and drink. Spanning two floors, variety is definitely the name of the game and whichever direction you turn your head, you’re bound to spot a craft beer in hand. So, head out to the fantastic market this weekend for an amazing shopping experience and a taste of the best artisanal alcohol under the sun.
Details: 73 Juta St, Braamfontein, Johannesburg
Juta Street in Braamfontein wins again! No, seriously, this street deserves an award. Anti Est. is an intimate playground where lovers and friends congregate in search of good music and great company. I must admit, it can get annoyingly crowded on Friday and Saturday evenings and tables are in stark shortage so it would be in your best interest to get there early. Alternatively, you could just hit the dance floor all night while you linger on the taste of well-crafted Touro Tripple Blonde or Crystal Weiss beer. One thing is for sure – Braam is taking over Joburg one incredible craft beer bottle at a time.
Details: Corner Juta St and De Beer St, Braamfontein, Johannesburg
Market On Main
Still keeping with that effervescent central Johannesburg beat, the much-renowned Maboneng Precinct offers a calm and comfortable environment to kick back with pals in Market On Main. Expect an impressive selection of diversely-flavoured foods and unique fashion finds from vintage to modern. Boasting a grassy central courtyard on location, this is the perfect spot to unwind over a bottle of impeccable craft beer on a relaxed Sunday afternoon. They also have a night market that takes place on the first Thursday of every month.
Details: Arts on Main, 264 Fox St, Maboneng, Johannesburg City Centre
Boycott the urban vibe for an exciting township adventure with the first lifestyle market in Soweto. Situated just a short distance from the famous Vilakazi Street with its splendid attractions such as the Mandela house, this is one special market! Created as a platform for young and upcoming entrepreneurs, a visit to Locrate is an opportunity to experiment with new flavours and styles in the food, fashion and beer departments. Couple your alcohol with the electric sounds of street poetry and live music, or go on a fun bike tour around Sassy Soweto.
Details: Corner Kudu and Moema Streets, Orlando West, Soweto
In search of the best craft beer? They’ve got it! They are not called Beerhouse for the mere fun of it. Boasting 20 taps and 99 permanent bottles of distinct tastes and aromas, this is home away from home for beer lovers. The best thing about this spot is the freedom to enjoy as much beer as you please at very reasonable prices. Isn’t that the dream? Their great selection of ales and lagers from around the globe (English, Belgian, Indian, American and Scottish) affords patrons the experience of cultural diversity all under one roof.
Details: 1 Sunset Ave (Corner Witkoppen Rd), Fourways, Johannesburg
I, much like the okes over at Craft, am a great believer in all things handmade because they exude creativity and care, so a place like this one speaks my language fluently. I love an eatery that is willing to go that extra mile to create a very personal experience for the guest, even if they don’t always get it right. Craft’s cuisine gets really mixed reviews but you can affirmatively look forward to a satisfying array of craft beer. The design is also a real winner with industrial light fittings, and the gleam of the tiles adds that tangible sophistication to the restaurant’s personality.
Details: 33 4th Ave (Corner 12th Street), Parkhurst, Johannesburg
Stanley Beer Yard
As a former Milparkian (I know I know, my made up term sounds terrible but I’m on a quest to belong here so bear with me a little), I know 44 Stanley all too well as it is the main social firework and a total must-visit in a somewhat bland suburb. Inside stands one of Joburg’s most exquisite beer gardens dedicated to the trade of sapid craft beer, Stanley Beer Yard. The range is not extensive but is well-crafted to suit a number of tastes. Pair your choice up with one of the yummy German-inspired bites on offer for maximum enjoyment.
Details: 44 Stanley, Cnr Owl St and Stanley Ave, Milpark, Johannesburg
By Brigette Madiba
Know other great craft beer spots not mentioned above? Let us know below!
Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.