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Saturday, 16th November 2019

Your guide to authentic Eastern Cape brews - both coffee & beer. 

Craft beer and boutique coffee roasteries play an undeniably big role in travel; they are the wanderlusters’ fuel, the aficionados’ playground and one of the best ways to taste the aromatic passion that lingers around cities and towns.

In the Eastern Cape, from cup to draught, there are a lot of stories intertwined between the cold golden drink of celebration and the strong get-up-and-go black juice in the morning. Some tell the tales of tireless entrepreneurship while others are happy accidents from a hobbyist. Regardless of who, what, where and how, at the end of the day it's all about taste - the proof is in the pudding. Or in this instance: the proof is in the beans and in the hops. With that said, here are 19 authentic coffee and beer experiences for your trip through the Eastern Cape.

CHEERS TO THAT! CRAFT BEERS IN THE EASTERN CAPE

SNEEUBERG MICRO BREWERY - NIEU BETHESDA, KAROO HEARTLAND

Forget about all your troubles as you sit in the shade of a big tree and sip on a Karoo Ale at the The Brewery and Two Goats Deli. What started out as a home brewery is now a charming must-visit in Nieu Bethesda; you can also try the Karoo Pale Ale, Roasted Ale and the Honey Ale, that combines the beer with honey from their hives.

Where: Pienaar Street, Nieu Bethesda.

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ST FRANCIS BREWING COMPANY - ST FRANCIS BAY, KOUGA

 The beer styles you will find at St Francis Brewing Company are a map of co-owner, Lance Kabot’s travels: heavily influenced by travelling the world surfing, snowboarding and working in breweries. The brewery is run by a surfing family committed to what matters most and a % of proceeds of beer sales go to local causes. There are five beers: go for the Beach Blonde Light if you’re looking for an easy drinking beer.

Where: 167 St Francis Drive, St Francis Bay.

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BREWHAHA JBAY - JEFFREY'S BAY, KOUGA

Head to Jefffreys Bay’s first micro-brewery and get schooled in the art of beermaking during the monthly brewery tour and roundtable discussion. Brewhaha is run by four friends, with Marius Deetlefs as the brewmaster. There are eight different beers; be sure to try the American Amber Ale called Off-shore Breeze, the African Pale Ale called African Sunset, and Endless Summer, a Blond Ale. A perfect reflection of the soul of JBay. 

Where:  20 Da Gama Road, Jeffreys Bay.

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DOCKSIDE BREWERY - NELSON MANDELA BAY

Interestingly, Dockside Brewery pride themselves on brewing beer that is not intended to appeal to the masses. They want to challenge beer drinkers to try something new, something different, something extraordinary. If you are the owner of a sophisticated, evolved palette, try Blood, Sweat & Tears, a beer brewed with raisins and sherry.

Where: 4 Rogley St, North End, Port Elizabeth.

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BRIDGE STREET BREWERY - NELSON MANDELA BAY

As Port Elizabeth’s first craft brewery, Bridge Street Brewery opened their doors and taps in 2011. And to this day, a hoppy pilsner, lager, stout and an ale later, the beer is still brewed on-site at their micro-brewery in Baakens Valley and is a favourite across the city. 

Where: 1 Bridge Street, South End, Port Elizabeth.

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RICHMOND HILL BREWING COMPANY - NELSON MANDELA BAY

The name Car Park John is no stranger to the craft beer craze, and it is the flagship amber ale of Richmond Hill Brewing Co., started in 2015 on a small 50-litre brew magic system. Richmond Hill designs their bespoke seasonal beers to evoke deep emotions you never knew you had. They should be well worth the wait. 

Where: 2 Alabaster Street, Baakens Valley.

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FEATHERSTONE BREWERY - GRAHAMSTOWN, FRIENDLY N7

A city full of students can’t be without its own craft brewery. Featherstone Brewery started out as a hobby for Mark Riley before it turned into a full-time microbrewery with a tasting room, family-friendly beer garden, and hiking trails to the brewery. Try the Oldenburgia Weiss Beer, Bell Ringer Rooibos Pale Ale and the Blaauwkrantz Porter.

Where: Featherstone Brewery, Brackenhill Farm, Howison's Poort, off the N2 outside Grahamstown.

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EMERALD VALE BREWERY - CHINTSA, WILD COAST 

Nestled in the rural green hills between the Chintsa and Chefani Rivers, Emerald Vale Brewery use the best natural ingredients – such as rain water – to produce their five different beers, which includes a pale, gold, amber and gold ale as well as a gold pilsner. Tours are available for five or more people.

Where: Emerald Vale Farm, off the Chintsa East Road.

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TABLE 58 BREWING - EAST LONDON, WILD COAST

Table 58’s ambitious aim is to make the best beer ever, and to be a place where people from all walks of life can truly connect. Brewer, Paul de Klerk, brews per the German Purity Law (using only water, hops, malt and yeast) with quality and consistency as is his target. There are five different beers: Lager, Weizen, Pilsner, Porter and IPA.

Where: Floradale, Beacon Bay, East London. 

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LITTLE BREWERY ON THE RIVER - PORT ALFRED, ROUTE 72

The Little Brewery on the River, situated in the oldest building in Port Alfred, crafts a few different and distinctive beers to be enjoyed within a stone's throw of the river. Try the Kowie Gold, Coin Ale and Squire’s Porter and pop in next door, at the Wharf Street Brew Pub for the golden liquid on tap and grab a bite to eat. The brewery offers a full tour experience (book in advance).

Where: 20 Wharf Street, Port Alfred

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TSITSIIKAMMA MICRO BREWERY - STORMS RIVER VILLAGE, TSITSIKAMMA 

If Tsitsikamma means “place of many waters”, you can bet your hoppy-hop-hops that this brewery uses pure Tsitsikamma water combined with the best malt, hops and yeast. There are four ales to try, the Storms River Ale, Redwood Ale, the Woodcutters Ale and Baines Black Ale and in the tasting room you can also indulge in a choice of more than 28 beers from other craft breweries.

Where: Darnell Street, Storms Rivier

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SMELL THE COFFEE! ROASTERIES IN THE EASTERN CAPE

HOMEGROUND COFFEE ROASTERS - GRAHAMSTOWN, FRIENDLY N7

The city of Saints is also the city of good coffee. Homeground is a boutique coffee roastery specialising in premium specialty-grade African Arabica coffee, exclusive artisan blends and a place to shop for your own coffee-making equipment. 

Where: 24 Somerset Street, Grahamstown.

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SNEEUBERG COFFEE - NIEU BETHESDA, KAROO HEARTLAND

With three different Arabica roasts: the lighter Breakfast Brew, the medium Karoo Blend and the darker Insomnia, your taste buds are spoiled for choice at The Brewery and Two Goats Deli. 

Where: Pienaar Straat, Nieu Bethesda.

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KAROOBREW - CRADOCK, KAROO HEARTLAND

If there’s one thing the Karoo has plenty of, it is sun and KarooBrew is using it to their benefit. At this family-run restaurant with their on-site solar roaster, you can expect premium aromatic coffee and delicious pizza too! 

Where: 20 Durban Street, Cradock.

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MARIA'S COFFEE ROASTERY - GRAAFF-REINET, KAROO HEARTLAND

Follow your nose and the smell of freshly roasted coffee in the courtyard of Our Yard, where the barista is always up for a caffeinated chat. Here in the heart of Graaff-Reinet it is firmly believed that you've not properly enjoyed coffee until you've visited Maria’s Roastery.

Where: 50 Somerset Street, Graaff-Reinet.

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INFOOD COFFEE ROASTERY - JEFFREY'S BAY, KOUGA

Behind the slogan of “No More Bad Coffee”, the team of serious coffee enthusiasts at Infood Coffee Roastery pride themselves on importing and roasting the finest coffee. Situated in the old Billabong warehouse, alongside unique stores, the roastery operates as a one-stop boutique coffee company.

Where: 1 Da Gama Road, Shop 31, JBay Surf Village, Jeffreys Bay.

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THE EAST LONDON COFFEE COMPANY - EAST LONDON, WILD COAST

Founder, Alan Hawkins, started roasting coffee for his grandfather when he was just six years old and, suffice it to say, the beans piqued his interest. For Hawkins, roasting beans is a labour of love and today the East London Coffee Company roasts and provides quality freshly roasted coffee for numerous hotels and coffee shops.

Where: Shop 11, The Hub, Beacon Bay, East London

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MASTERTONS COFFEE & TEA SPECIALISTS - NELSON MANDELA BAY

As South Africa’s first coffee roastery, Mastertons Coffee is inspired by a man who had a coffee plan, their time-honoured roasting method is the same today as it was when Jock Masterton first opened the roaster in Port Elizabeth in 1924. Besides good coffee, there’s something else that is also good: the Chipembere Blend is roasted for a cause, for every purchase R5 is donated to rhino conservation through the Chipembere Rhino Foundation.

Where: 92 Main Road, Walmer, Port Elizabeth.

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URBAN EXPRESS - NELSON MANDELA BAY

Urban Espress speaks in tongues of authentic coffee experiences, experiences that allow you to taste Gautemala and Ethiopia with every sip you take. Not only do they serve great coffee, they also share their expertise through coffee roasting courses and barista training.

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Where: 6th avenue, Walmer, Port Elizabeth.

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