Gauteng has certainly raised the bar when it comes to premium craft beer, so it’s not surprising why beer lovers are selecting South Africa’s “place of gold” as their holiday destination of choice.
Whether you’re aching for an ale or lusting after a lager, the Gauteng ‘Beer Route’ has plenty on offer in terms of breweries - as well as hidden gems and activities to keep the entire clan happy.
Have a designated driver in mind? Read on and plan a Gauteng getaway to remember.
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The first microbrewery that will tantalise your taste buds is Copperlake Brewing Co. in Broadacres Centre. Settle down to a delicious lunch and a beer-tasting tray consisting of 8 unique brews before venturing into the adult’s playground for a bit of fun. Here, you can try your hand at classic beer pong and a number of other entertaining drinking games like Battleshots and Giant Jenga. Be careful with the latter, though – if the tower topples on your turn, the next round’s on you!
From there, stop at a nearby BP to grab some ‘padkos.’ If you’ve still got Copperlake beers on the brain, you’re in luck. The Liquor City at the pitstop happens to sell Copperlake's golden elixir by the six-pack. Now’s the perfect time to stock up!
Now is a great time to make your way to the beloved Bird Gardens at Montecasino nearby. Known as ‘Joburg’s best kept secret,’ this bird park is home to over 60 species of colourful feathered friends, including the Scarlet Ibis and Caribbean Flamingos.
After topping up your tank and enjoying a spot of birdwatching, you’ll head north to your next brewery for the day – Gilroy's authentic village pub in Muldersdrift. The beer garden is always pumping and there’s usually plenty of live entertainment to enjoy over the weekend. The Gilroy Traditional Ruby Ale and the refreshing ginger beer are both immensely popular, so be sure to give them a try. If possible, it’s worthwhile to time your arrival for around 11am on a Saturday if you’re keen to meet Steve Gilroy himself, have a good belly-laugh courtesy of his Irish humour and indulge in some more beer tasting. Booking is essential for this particular weekly event.
Slightly tipsy and struggling to see straight? How about a real challenge in the form of the Honeydew Mazes just down the road? The famed Elemental Maze is made from reeds and is where you’ll find a total of 5 breathtakingly beautiful secret gardens. Answer a variety of general knowledge questions to find your way out before heading to Brauhaus Afrika in Rustenburg where your first day of ‘brewtiful’ adventures will come to a close.
Savour a pint of Brauhaus Afrika’s best pilsner together with your fair share of mouth-watering German pub grub. You’ll be getting pure beer at its finest as this microbrewery brews in accordance with the Bavarian “Reinheitsgebot” law of 1516. In short, the law states that all beer should be brewed using only water, barley malt, and hops – no yeast and no additives!
Once your tummy is full and you’re good and tipsy, your designated driver will take you to your hotel where you’ll cuddle up for the night in breath-taking Magaliesburg.
WHERE TO STAY? De Hoek Country Hotel
Fill up on a complimentary brekkie before walking it off and inhaling the intoxicating mountain air. When you’re ready to hit the road once again, you’ll make your way to White Dog Taproom for some ultra-filling dark beer before pulling into Black Horse Estate for lunch. Complement your plate with your choice of ale, lager and ginger beer. In the mood for smooth, easy drinking? You can’t go wrong with the Golden Draught. Fancy something crisp and satisfying? The Premium Light Lager is for you. Those with a sweet tooth will undoubtedly enjoy the strawberry-infused Ginger Berry. Can’t make up your mind? Then head to the bar for a beer tasting and you’ll be free to sample them all!
Need a breather in between beer tastings? How about a hot air balloon ride, allowing you to appreciate the stunning views of Magaliesburg from an entirely different perspective? Alternatively, walk it off by putting your hiking skills to the test on the Sable Ranch Hiking Trail. Prepare yourself for up to 8 kilometres of natural beauty – the trail boasts 150 different species of bird and over 650 species of plants.
The final stop of the day is Chameleon Brewhouse in Hartbeespoort, best-known for its Oatmeal Stout with dark chocolate and nutty undertones.
WHERE TO STAY? Seasons Sport & Spa
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You’ve got plenty of ground to cover today and you’ll start off with a leisurely drive to Lazy Lizard Brewhouse in Broederstroom. This private brewery specialises in ale, including Blonde Ale, Irish Red Ale and the distinctive copper-coloured, caramel-infused English Ale. Pair your chosen brew with a hearty brunch before heading towards your next stop, The Ale House, celebrated for its country-style charm. Here, you’ll try something different in the form of their famous buchu beer. What sets this particular microbrewery apart is the fact that they refuse to bottle their beer. Everything is on tap to assure guests that they’re sipping on only the freshest of brews. Plus, every single beer is crafted using pure water from the nearby mountain springs.
Have some extra time on your hands to explore? Explore indigenous culture at Lesedi Village where you can interact with the locals, stock up on some souvenirs, and even sample some traditional beer while you’re at it.
If your designated driver permits, it’s recommended that you visit Capital Craft Beer Academy in Menlo Park before sunset. This brewery is known for its limited-edition beers, sourced from respected breweries all over the country.
Exhausted and wholly satisfied? Get some rest at your overnight stop.
WHERE TO STAY? Protea Hotel Fire & Ice Menlyn
By this time, you’ll probably be all beer-ed out and ready to bid the Beer Route goodbye – until next time, that is. Hopefully, you’ve packed your boot full of beers as a way to extend your getaway that little bit more. Be sure to crack open a cold one in a few days’ time and toast to the epic adventure that you recently enjoyed. Pure hoppiness. You’re welcome!
The Flight Centre Gauteng Beer Route accommodation offer is bound to satisfy your craving for both beer and big savings. Head off on this epic self-drive road trip (be sure to nominate your designated driver before beginning!) where you’ll get to sip on the finest brews in the province at 9 of the aforementioned microbreweries over the course of 4 days. Plus, you’ll spend 3 nights at various 4- and 5-star hotels in Magaliesburg, Hartbeespoort and Pretoria all from just R3,770 per person sharing. You’ll also have the opportunity to upgrade to 5-star accommodation across the board from just R4,550 per person sharing*. This accommodation deal is valid for the duration of March and April 2021, so hop to it and get booking!
*Note that return flights, taxes, transfers, car hire, meals not specified, touring and excursions, travel insurance and items of a personal nature are not included in the rate.
Looking for more information or keen to book? Call 0877 40 50 00 or contact a Flight Centre Travel Expert to find out more.
Flight Centre supports responsible drinking. Please drink responsibly and never drive after drinking.