Road tripping for the hops: Craft breweries of Eastern Cape

When a Castle or a Windhoek isn't enough to satisfy your beer cravings, we are lucky enough to have access to a growing craft beer industry that will make you spoilt for choice - if you find yourself in a province with a healthy brewing scene that is.

The golden veins of the craft brew are slowly inching its way to other provinces from the meccas of Western Cape and Gauteng, with small microbreweries popping up in the local pub or a wine farm branching out to reel in the non-grape lovers. One day hopefully you'll be able to order a home-brew in every pub across the country.

SEE: From Addo to the Wild Coast: SA’s top wildlife experiences to add to your Eastern Cape itinerary

Many travel to the Cape winelands specifically to taste their way through their vineyards, so why wouldn't you travel to hop your way through the Eastern Cape independent brew scene?

Just don't try to order a Hansa at these craft breweries or you might make a brewmaster cry.

St Francis Brewing Company

In the heart of St Francis Bay, a surfer turned brewer creates beer that 'maps his travels'. They offer weary travellers beers like a Lighthouse Ale, Kromme River Witbier, a Beach Blonde Light ale and a Wild Side Session IPA.

SEE: Get gnarly at 8 of Eastern Cape's top surf spots

Bridge Street Brewery

In Port Elizabeth, this is the place to sample the work of South Africa's father of microbreweries, Lex Mitchell. After selling his first brewery in Knysna, he returned to his craft after a long sabbatical and decided the banks of the Baakens River in Port Elizabeth was the place to start anew. Here he's brewing a Celtic Cross pilsner, Boar's Head bitter, Black Dragon double chocolate stout and a Valley Light Lager among others.

Featherstone Brewery

Grahamstown, the City of Saints, has its own craft brewery to keep up with the students. A home brewer turned full-time microbrewery, you should check out their Oldenburgia Weiss Beer, Bell Ringer Rooibos Pale Ale, Drostdy English ale and their Blaauwkrantz Porter.

SEE: Grahamstown: How to entertain yourself when it's not arts festival

Emerald Vale Brewery

When hiking through the Wild Coast leaves you thirsty, take a detour to this brewery that comes with a farm experience. You can quench your thirst with either a pale ale, gold ale, amber ale, dark ale or a gold pilsner.

Table 58 Brewing

East London's Table 58 Brewing has a vision to not only make 'the best beer ever' but also to connect people through their craft. You can do this with one of their lagers, weizens, pilsners, porters or IPAs.

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