Come and have lunch with us this festive season

The SAB World of Beer's Tap Room is the perfect place to unwind this festive season. With views over the historic cultural precinct of Newtown and some of the most delicious pub lunches you're likely to experience – not to mention a host of cold beers in this wonderful summer heat – there's really nowhere else to be.

The World of Beer, obviously, is all about beer, which means that, when it comes to our Tap Room, beer is not only served in glasses, but is also an ingredient in several of the dishes on our menu. Be sure to sample our hake in Castle Lager batter; our chicken, leek, corn and pea pie braised in Castle Lite; and our Castle Milk Stout oven-baked beef pie. If you're in the mood for something lighter, there are also a range of salads, toasted paninis and wraps to choose from.

Our Tap Room is open from 10am to 6pm every day. If you join us on one of our tours, you will be treated to two complimentary drinks in the Tap Room afterwards. If you've already experienced our tour and would prefer to head straight to the Tap Room, R40 will see you inside along with two ice-cold beers in hand.

As work quietens down, and the long and languorous summer days extend ahead of you, be sure to pull up a chair at the World of Beer Tap Room. We're open throughout the festive season, except Christmas Day.

Contact us today to make a reservation

Fridge cheesecake with an Irish red ale caramel sauce

Not many things in life are better than discovering the perfect dish to pair with your favourite beer. Irish red ales, like the No. 3 Fransen Street Irish Red Ale, are well-known for their caramel and toffee notes and a crisp dry finish. When pairing Irish red ales with food it is best to find flavours that balance the dry, roasted notes in the brew.

For desserts, think of the beer as a caramel sauce. Avoid citrus elements and embrace cream bases and vanilla flavours. We paired it with a light and airy berry cheesecake. The digestive biscuits echo some of the toasted flavours of the beer while the caramel sauce adds a rich depth.

Summer berry fridge cheesecake with a caramel sauce

This receipe is simple and it can be topped with whatever is in season. Because it's summer, we recommend fresh berries.

250g digestive biscuits
100g melted butter

1 vanilla pod
500g cream cheese
100g castor sugar
250ml double cream

400g summer berries
mint, to garnish

75g dark muscavado sugar
45ml No. 3 Fransen Street Irish Red Ale


  1. Grease and line a loose-bottomed tin with baking paper. For the base, crumb the biscuits, add the melted butter and blend until well combined. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and press firmly down to create an even layer. Refrigerate for 1 hour to set.
  2. Place the cream cheese, castor sugar and vanilla seeds in a dish, then beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the cream and continue beating until the mixture is entirely combined. Spoon the cream mixture onto the biscuit base. Ensure that there are no air bubbles. Even out the top of the cheesecake with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Take the cheesecake out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature.
  4. In the meantime, make the caramel sauce. Put the sugar and ale into a heavy based saucepan and melt the sugar over a medium heat. Simmer for 4 – 5 minutes, until syrupy. Remove from the heat.
  5. Once the cheesecake is at room temperature, remove the cake from the tin. Top with summer berries, mint and caramel sauce.

*Find your nearest stockist and ask for a No 3 Fransen Street Irish Red Ale growler. The results will be worth it.

There you have it. Easy, and delicious! Let us know if you’re going to try it this summer.

How to make your own beer

It goes without saying that South Africans love their beer and that we have a great beer culture.

In fact, many “beer-philes” have turned this appreciation into a pastime and are fermenting their preferred beer from the ease of their homes.

Being the country’s leading brewer, SAB has over a century of brewing knowledge and is only too happy to share some guidelines for those who wish to try their hand at home brewing.

Whilst we can’t assure that you will become a home-brewing expert overnight, SAB’s brew master Danie Odendaal will motivate you with his rigid commitment to brewing brilliance and help kick-start your home brewing journey.

There are two easy ways of brewing – by using a brew kit or “brew in a bag”. Both approaches use the same tools and are a great way to start your new interest of making beer.

Beer kit
The beer kit is the most stress-free way to try your hand at brewing because basically another brewer does all the work and you start with a concentrated syrup of malt goodness. For first time brewers, we would recommend beginning with the beer kit, which can be bought online or at trustworthy home brew shops.

It is a “paint by numbers” system that directs you through the “make your beer” procedure and importantly, guarantees you work efficiently and in a sanitary environment. If your beer is undrinkable, you have not worked cleanly enough and should perhaps practice more before trying to attempt a brew in a bag. 

Tools for your brew

  • 15 to 20 L pot
  • A thermometer – not mercury
  • White 25 L plastic fermenting bucket
    • This can be bought from a local brew shop and comes with a tap and a fermentation lock (also known as a bubbler)
    • Otherwise a normal bucket can be bought from a plastic shop and you will need to make your own fermentation lock
    • TIP: This is a fermenter, guarantee it is not used for anything else
  • Sterilising liquid – follow your local brew shop recommendation
    • Attempt to stay away from bleach
  • Brew bag – a material, mesh bag in which crushed grains will be placed
    • Again, this can be bought from a local brew shop or can be made
    • For home-made, visit a local fabric shop and select a decent quality, netted curtain that will fit the brewing pot easily
  • 2 x cases of glass beer bottles
  • Caps – to fit on top of your bottles
  • Capper – the device used to secure your caps onto your bottles
  • 1.5m clear plastic tubing for filling the bottles

For the first 20 L brew, let’s make an all malt, easy, English pale ale.  Once you are happy with the basic brewing steps, you can experiment with the diverse raw materials, hops etc.

Ingredients for your all malt, easy, English pale ale

Obtainable from a local brew shop, you will need:

  • 2.9 kg pale malt – if possible, get the brew shop to grind it for you as this will save you the work later
  • 250 grams crystal malt or similar – get this milled as well
  • Fermentis SO4 English ale yeast – this is a very good yeast that does not need a starter to be made, which streamlines your brewing day
  • 15 grams Type 90 hop pellets Southern Promise Hop variety – this hop is very inexpensive
    • If this hop is not offered, ask the brew shop owner to propose a replacement
  • One whirlfloc tablet – helps clarify your boiled wort (the sweet liquid of ground malt or other grain before fermentation)

Now let’s get started.

Let’s start mashing

  1. Add 12 L of tap water to your pot and heat up to 68°C. Check with your thermometer that you do not exceed 68°C and try to sustain this temperature throughout your brewing procedure
  2. Line the pot with your brew bag and fold the top over the edges of the pot. If you are using gas, be cautious not to set your bag on fire
  3. Take your crushed malt and combine it into the water with a mixing spoon (a clean one from the kitchen will do). This is called mashing in your brew
  4. After all the malt is mashed into the pot, ensure the temperature is still at 68°C
  5. Now let the natural malt enzymes do their job for 60 minutes while checking the temperature from time to time.  Stir the mash whenever you change your temperature, or else give your mash a stir about every 8-10 minutes
  6. With a teaspoon, taste your mash throughout this process and over the 60 minutes, you will notice how the sweetness increases

Let’s start lautering (a German brewing term for liquid solid separation)

  1. After the 60 minute process, collect your bag at the top and slowly raise it out of the pot and allow the liquid to drain from the bag. This sweet liquid is the wort
  2. Wash the grains with 23 L of heated water from a kettle (the temperature should be between 68°C and 78°C). Just let the water run over your grain and straight into your pot. It is important to note, this process takes your entire water content to 14 L
  3. Toss the grains away. If you have a compost heap, throw them onto the heap

Boiling the wort

  1. Place your pot of sweet wort to boil for 60 minutes. Be cautious it does not over boil because once a rolling boil has been attained, this can easily occur
  2. Do not cover the pot – reason being is you want to improve the taste of your beer by driving off volatiles during the boil process
  3. After 40 minutes of boiling you can add 15 g of hops. It is best to switch off the temperature before you do this because the addition can easily prompt an over boil
  4. Boil for a further 20 minutes to extract your hop bitterness and smell
  5. 5 min before the end of 60 minute boil, add the whirl floc tablet
  6. At the end of the boiling process, turn the temperature off and stir the pot to create a whirlpool result
  7. Let the pot stand for 10 minutes

Preparing your fermenter

After the boiling process, you need to employ your finest surgical theatre impression. This is where it can go all wrong and a microorganism (other than your brewing yeast) can spoil your hard work.

  1. Clean your fermenter with a soft brush and dish washing liquid/unscented liquid soap. Wash the inside first then the outside. Wash first then sterilise (you cannot disinfect filth). Don’t forget to wash the bucket lid. Do not scrub with a wired or coarse sponge or brush because germs will grow in the scratched grooves
  2. Now add your disinfecting liquid, close the bucket and shake the bucket to guarantee the disinfecting liquid comes in contact with the whole bucket. TIP: Shake occasionally at the start of the boiling process to get the most out of the disinfecting result
  3. Crack the bucket lid open (do not remove) and drain the liquid. Take some partially chilled boiled water (500 ml to 1 L) and add to the bucket, close the lid and shake. Drain this rinsed water by cracking the lid once more. Most disinfecting solutions have an undesirable outcome on your beer flavour so rinsing well is vital

Filling your fermenter

Now that your fermenter is clean, how do you cool the warm wort that ended boiling 10 minutes ago? There are immersion (dunking) or counter-flow chillers you may want to invest in but for now try the following:

  1. Take a cooler-box large enough for the fermenter to stand in
  2. This brew is a 20 L recipe of which we have 14 L already. Add another 7 LB of previously boiled water to your fermenter. Do not worry about the additional 1 L because you will lose between 800ml to 1 L during the boiling process
  3. When you remove the lid to add the water, it is vital that your hands are clean. Also, do not place the lid with its clean side onto the table
  4. After you have added the water, put the lid back on and place into the cooler-box. Pack ice around the bucket until the cooler-box is full
  5. The faster you can get this done, the better because you need to cool your brew down as fast as possible once it is added
  6. Once the boiled pot has been standing for 10 minutes, add its contents to the waiting fermenter. The hop and denatured proteins form a light brown-greenish sediment called trub.  When transferring the wort into your fermenter be cautious not to transfer this trub sediment into your fermenter.  Rather sacrifice some of the liquid in the kettle to ensure minimum trub gets into your fermenter.  I normally brew 2 L more than I need to ensure I can leave this volume at the end thus guaranteeing maximum sediment retention at the end of my kettle to Fermenter transfer. TIP: Cleanliness again, wash hands before removing the lid and tipping. Remember the clean side of the lid must not touch the table top
  7. Replace the lid and guarantee it is somewhat cracked, to allow for any cooling shrinkage

Pitching the yeast

  1. Disinfect your thermometer and then check the temperature is below 24°C before you can pitch your yeast
  2. You can use an inexpensive bottle of vodka to help disinfect the yeast packet before opening it. Do the same with the scissors
  3. Crack the lid and lightly sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the wort in the fermenter and firmly close the lid again. TIP: Cleanliness again when handling the lid. A little bit of vodka on your hands cannot hurt and you can even put it in a spray bottle. If a drop or two makes its way into your brew, no harm will be done
  4. Now that the yeast is pitched with the lid on tight, place the fermenter bucket somewhere cool and wait. After 24 hours, you should see the ferment airlock bubbling and by the seventh day, it should have stopped. If the bucket lid is not airtight, the ferment lock will not work

Bottling your beer

Prepare for bottling

  1. After a week when there is no activity happening around the airlock, your beer is ready for bottling
  2. Disinfect your bottles. 20 L of beer will need approximately 24 x 750ml beer bottles. Plastic beer bottles can also be used and are available from a local brew shop
  3. To supply carbonation to your beer, you need to prime the bottle first. This is done with sugar or dried malt extract. For simplicity, stick to sugar. You will need an almost level teaspoon per bottle to give enough carbonation. A sanitised funnel should help the carbonation too. Do not add too much sugar otherwise your bottles will burst. Disinfect your bottle caps in some vodka or disinfecting liquid
  4. All equipment must be disinfected before transferring the beer to the bottles
  5. Attach your disinfected clear plastic tubing to your sterile fermenter tap. Make sure your bottles are carefully washed before you use them. This is the worst part of the job but if not done correctly, it can ruin all your hard work. Tip: Ask the brew shop about the several aides that can make the task easier
  6. Fill your bottles one by one. Tip: Ask the brew shop about the spring loaded bottle filler attachment, which are cheap and work like a charm, but you can make do without one
  7. Cap the bottle with a bottle capper
  8. Repeat this step until all your bottles are capped

Wait – you cannot drink your beer yet

You need to age your beer before you can drink it.  The reason for this is that the sugar will ferment in a sealed bottle and produce an ever so slight increase in alcohol but most significantly, increase the carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide will dissolve into the beer and give it some great natural carbonation. This process is called bottle conditioning.

  1. Store the bottles at room temperature for a minimum of a week, preferably two. 
  2. Only then, can the bottles be refrigerated, ready for drinking.
  3. Now enjoy your beer.

The last tip: When you pour your beer, leave a little bit in the bottle because the residue has a yeast taste. You have bottle conditioned your beer after all.

Remember, practice makes perfect.

Once you have brewed your own beer a couple of times, you will be more confident to experiment with different ingredients, formulas, aromas and smells. 

Festive specials to help you through the silly season

For most of us 2014 has been a busy year. And while the new year is fast approaching, it’s easy to forget that while we’re supposed to be wrapping up 2014, this is also the perfect time to reflect on the year past in preparation for 2015. It’s also a great occasion to show your appreciation to your employees, clients and stakeholders. 

There’s a reason they call it the silly season. And while things may seem manic it’s important to take time out to celebrate what’s been achieved this year. A teambuild or meal together outside of the work environment can mean an opportunity for colleagues to take a breather, gain some perspective and maintain good relationships with one another.

When you have little time to organise, your office party or team build runs the risk of being another box ticker, failing to bring that much needed inspiration and energy to your team. This is where your choice of venue and facilities can make all the difference.

Need we mention the unique, engaging and rather fun venue and facilities housed at South Africa’s largest brewing company’s flagship museum? Johannesburg’s historic Newtown district with vibrant urban regeneration is the backdrop for the SAB World of Beer’s immersive tour and beer experience, a cultural destination in its own right.

Enjoy a tour through thousands of years of beer history spanning continents and delving into the richly told story of beer in Africa. Each person on the tour will get to sample umqombothi, stand in the shade of a hop bine, peek inside a shebeen and enjoy the original Castle Lager in a bar from the days of the gold rush.

By treating your guests to a special festive package at the World of Beer you’ll get all the quality, efficiency and value of a five star conference venue with the culture and fun of this unique destination. Choose from a tour, beer tasting and the quintessential South African beer accompaniment, a braai, or a tour followed by a three course meal and the option of customising the venue to your music and décor tastes. All are accompanied by the full range of  the freshest SAB draught beers.


Christmas Lunch with a difference 
Guided beer tour including two drinks and a souvenir glass
Three course meal including turkey and festive pudding
Use of the World of Beer conferencing venue with additional setup and music

Only R 385 per person

Beer tour, tasting & braai package 
Guided beer tour including two drinks and a souvenir glass
Beer tasting following the tour
Braai menu with the option of various meats

Only R 200 per person

Full Day Conference Special
Standard equipment, venue hire and secure parking
Coffee and snacks on arrival, mid-morning and afternoon, and a buffet style lunch.

Only R399 per person.

Download more information below, or contact us and we’ll tailor make an extra special occasion just for you. 

When In Newtown | Beer News

Newtown brings all the cool kids to the yard. Whether it’s a pop-up shop or a shisa nyama around the corner, the area is never short of awesome.

Situated right in the heart of Joburg’s inner city, Newtown is rich in history and heritage. Once the site of forced removals and political upheaval, today Newtown is a versatile creative hub, home to lively theatres, galleries, nightclubs and cafés.

The SAB World of Beer proudly stands on the corner President and Gerard Sekoto streets. Opposite us you’ll find the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, and not too far away are the Market Theatre and Museum Africa.

When in Newtown, make sure to visit some of the nearby attractions:

Market on Main

Fox Street is abuzz come Sundays and the very first Thursday night of the month. Here, restaurants, markets and market-goers come to life, offering and sampling the best in food, arts and crafts, and lively entertainment. Check out its Facebook page to see what you can expect.

Visit SMACK! Republic

Also on Fox Street (266 Fox Street) is microbrewery SMACK! Republic. Its philosophy –  “Where craft beer and the Jozi inner-city revival collide” – is perhaps why the brewing company was a finalist for best brewer at last year’s National Craft Brewers’ Championships, held at the SAB World of Beer.

SMACK! Republic walked away with a Certificate of Achievement for Best Beer from a New Brewer. Its craft beers are creatively named, with offerings such as The Braamfontein Brawler – India Pale Ale, and The Maboneng Maverick – Biere De Saison. Check out more info on the brewery here.

Sophiatown Bar Lounge

As the name suggests, Sophiatown Bar Lounge, situated on the corner Jeppe and Henry Nxumalo streets, was inspired by the historic Sophiatown. The restaurant has rich themes of jazz, with an “Afro-chic décor” that combines high-quality service and food. Click here for directions.


If jazz, poetry or anything rhythmic moves you, Bassline will feed your soul. Think of any famed South African group or artist – Brenda Fassie (whose bronze sculpture appears in front of the building), Vusi Mahlasela, Freshly Ground, The Parlotones and more – and chances are they’ve performed here. Click here to see more about the Bassline’s offerings


Unapologetically South African with Soweto influences, this restaurant and bar on the corner of Eloff and Main streets offers live music (deep house being a popular genre) and dance. There’s always a reason for good music and a cooling refresher – whether it’s celebrating Africa Day or Mother’s Day. Youth Day is coming up and they’re celebrating with a block party. Click here for more info.

SAB World of Beer The Perfect Day Out for Dads

On Sunday, 15 June we celebrate all the dads who have been our number one supporters, whether it was giving us a gentle push while learning to ride our first bicycle – or tending to our skinned elbows when we fell off.

How are you planning to celebrate Father's Day with your dad? Here’s a suggestion: bring him to the SAB World of Beer for a day of fun, good company and great beer.

With Father's Day just around the corner, your dad deserves only the best. The SAB World of Beer is the perfect way to thrill him with adventure, a lekker pub lunch, beer, sport and a bit of shopping – all under one roof!

Although we are not open on Sunday, you can always arrange a booking from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm.

Beer has been bringing people together since it was first brewed … Start off with our interactive tour, where you will discover the secrets of ancient beer from Mesopotamia, how it arrived in Egypt, and the spread of brewing in Europe and Africa.

After the tour you will be escorted to the Tap Room, where two cold beers of your choice are waiting for you. Page through our pub lunch menu, and be spoilt for choice with our selection of delicious meals.

Our shop, Tankards and Togs, has fantastic gifting ideas fit for a king. Choose from a variety of beer-related merchandise – from clothing to braai accessories – to complete the perfect Father’s Day outing.

Get Lucky With Our great Me And My Brew Competition

Cheers! That photograph of you enjoying an ice-cold beer could be a winner, in the SAB World of Beer’s great new competition.

Since we are celebrating our 19th birthday, we want you, the supporters of South African Breweries (SAB) and the World of Beer, to join in the fun with our #meandmybrew Facebook and Twitter competition.

Starting from today (Friday, 16 May) until Thursday, 03 July 2014, we want you to share your best photo of yourself and your favourite brew. The catch? There must be a clearly identifiable SAB product (such as a bottle or branded glass) in the photo.

Entrants who submit their pictures to the SAB World of Beer Facebook and/or Twitter pages with the hashtag #meandmybrew stand the chance to win the weekly prize of four tickets to the SAB World of Beer, and a R200 voucher for our Tankards and Togs beer merchandise shop.

These prizes are to be collected from the SAB World of Beer’s reception (click here for directions), and are valid until 31 December 2014.

There will be a weekly draw, starting from Thursday 22 May. Photographs must be submitted by noon on the Thursday, and the winner for that week will be announced later on that Thursday.

From noon onwards on the Thursday, entries will be accepted for the following week’s draw.

All that’s left is to wish you and your brew the best of luck – may the best picture win!

Read the terms and conditions below:

This competition is run by The South African Breweries (Pty) Limited (“SAB”) (“the Promoter”) and is open to all persons of 18 years or older and who are resident in South Africa, except the employees and their immediate families of Promoter, Promoter's advertising and promotion agencies, associated companies, and outlet owners and staff.
These rules may be amended by notification at any time during the Competition, and the rules and/or any amendment/s thereto will be interpreted by Promoter only. Participation by all entrants (“Participants”) constitutes acceptance of these rules.
This competition starts on Friday, 16 May 2014 and ends at 12h00 on Thursday, 03 July 2014 (“Competition Period”).
To enter: Entrants must post a picture of themselves with an identifiable SAB-branded beer in a bottle or clearly branded SAB beer glass), on the SAB World of Beer Facebook and/or Twitter pages, during the Competition Period. Entries must bear the #meandmybrew hashtag.
Prize: Each week's winner will win 4 tickets to the SAB World of Beer tour and a R200-00 voucher. The tickets and voucher must be redeemed by 31 December 2014. Prizes must be collected from the SAB World of Beer's reception in Newtown, Johannesburg.
There will be weekly draws on each Thursday during the Competition Period, with the first draw being on Thursday, 22 May 2014 and the last draw being on Thursday, 03 July 2014.
For the first draw week, entries received from Friday, 16 May 2014 to 12h00 on Thursday, 22 May 2014, will be entered into the first draw to be held on Thursday, 22 May 2014.
For all subsequent draws during the Competition Period, entries received after 12h00 on the Thursday (of the relevant draw week) to 12h00 on the Thursday of the following draw week will be entered into the Thursday draw for that particular draw week.
Entries received during a particular week will be entered into the draw for that week. Entries received during one draw week will not be carried over/entered into any other draw week/s.
Prize: There will be one winner selected by the Promoter during each Thursday of the Competition Period. Promoter will choose, what the Promoter deems, is the best photograph. The Promoter's decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
The Promoter will notify winners using Twitter's confidential direct messaging facilities to provide the Promoter with closer contact details,
Notification of winning entrants will also be posted on the Promoter's social media channels (Facebook and Twitter) and the SAB World of Beer blog.
Promoter may make media announcements / publications of the names / photographs of Winner/s provided that any Winner/s may expressly elect to decline this.
Prize redemption will be finalised with each Winner on making contact with the winner, at time of notification.
Pictures will be published in a blog and showcased on the SAB World of Beer website, gallery, and social media channels.
The Promoter reserves the right to carry out audits in respect of any Winner/s to verify their eligibility and the validity of the winner's entry.
Entrants agree that the Promoter will have the right to use, copy, reproduce, reasonably modify, adapt, publish, translate, create collective or derivative works from, distribute, perform and display their ideas in whole or in part and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed. This includes for the purposes of promotion for a period of 18 months after the winners have been announced and without any compensation.
Entrants are prohibited from submitting photographs that are in the reasonable discretion of the Promoter unlawful, obscene, pornographic, libellous, defamatory, threatening, or other material that would violate any law, code of ethics, regulation or code of responsible advertising, or may be considered as generally irresponsible in relation to alcohol or anything that may compromise the SAB's reputation or legal position.
Everything submitted must be the Entrant's original, unaltered work and not copied from anyone else's/other work. By submitting a photograph, Entrants agree and confirm that nothing in their submission will infringe the copyright or any other rights of any third party. If Entrants include anyone else's material in their submission, the Entrant must have obtained their permission to do so. If Entrant does not, such Entrant/s will be infringing the copyright in the material. This includes material downloaded or copied from a website. Any contravention of these rules will disqualify the entries as reasonably suspected by the Promoter and any liability arising as a result thereof will be that of the Entrant and not the Promoter.
By entering the competition, the Entrant automatically confirms that he/she has the right to use the submitted photograph, i.e. inter alia the photograph is the Entrant's own property.
Entrants automatically extend permission for any works they have submitted for this competition – be they written or photographic – to be freely used by the Promoter, with no compensation therefore to the Entrant/s, on its various digital platforms. The origin of the work will be appropriately attributed.
But for the prize/s that will be awarded to the winners, neither the winners nor any other Entrant/s, will receive any compensation, in any form, for any photographs submitted or used.
Prize/s cannot be transferred, exchanged for cash or for an alternate prize.
Promoter will not be liable for any cost, e.g. transport costs, accommodation costs, food or the like, that may be required for the winner/s to fulfil the prize, that is, to visit the SAB World of Beer. The prize is only as is stated in clause 5.
All entrants and winners indemnify the Promoter, its holding and associated companies against any claims of whatsoever nature, howsoever occurring, in any relation to this competition.
The Promoter's decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

Happy Birthday To Us | Beer News

Today is a signal day for the SAB World of Beer: we celebrate our 19th birthday.

As we reflect on our birthday, we still hold dear the words spoken by the late former president Nelson Mandela when he officially opened our doors in 1995:

“This centre will also help to remind us of a history we neglect at our peril. Inevitably, a product as integral to the culture and economy of a society as is yours, traces in its own history, the history of its society.

“But in addition to its instructive lessons, the centre will without doubt help promote tourism in this area and in Johannesburg as a whole. It is, therefore, a valuable addition to the economic assets of the Gauteng Province.”

Almost two decades later, the SAB World of Beer stands tall, welcoming other major investments and lively tourist destinations to the Newtown Cultural Precinct.

One of the first major investments in the now buzzing Newtown Cultural Precinct, the World of Beer was initially named the Centenary Centre, a museum showcasing the history of South African beer.

South African Breweries’ head of media and communications, Robyn Chalmers, says: “Congratulations to the SAB World of Beer, which has for nearly 20 years been the public face of the South African Breweries - and done both the company, and South Africa generally, proud.

“An award-winning attraction boasting world-class facilities, it continues to thrill visitors with its telling of the history of beer and brewing. That the Newtown precinct has become one of the most exciting and entertaining parts of Johannesburg, justifies our decision nearly two decades ago to establish the SAB World of Beer there.”

The World of Beer has twice been named the number one tourist attraction in South Africa – all thanks to our wonderful patrons, who take our tours, use our first-class conferencing facilities or are simply keen for one of our delicious Tap Room pub lunches.

The World of Beer’s surroundings are home to lively museums and theatres; also Chancellor House, where Mandela and Oliver Tambo made history by opening the country's first black law practice; Museum Africa, where historical information and artifacts are displayed; the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, where science in all its forms comes to life; and the Market Theatre, which has hosted many famous stage productions.

And we hold our own in such august company, showing our proud South African history, the history of brewing – both locally and internationally, and the process of making South African Breweries’ products to our visitors on our 80-minute tour.

Even our five-star conferencing facilities tell our country’s story, through our beautiful collection of South African art.

When next you’re in Newtown, be sure to join us for a tour – or just to sip a beer, fresh from the tap. And if you’re in the area today, come and clink a glass with us to celebrate our birthday!

Taking off-ramps can pay off, sometimes

Being a tour guide at the SAB World of Beer has exposed me to so much about people’s culture and traditions.

I love meeting and talking to different people and having conversations with them, because there are so many things you could learn from them; and luckily for me, I work at a place that allows me to do just that – every day.

My most memorable day started off like any other at the SAB World of Beer. I had the privilege of conducting a tour with 15 German tourists who were visiting our beautiful country.

We were joined by five local tourists. A few minutes into the tour, I noticed the Germans were getting restless. If you didn’t know, the Germans are well known for their love and knowledge of beer.

One of the German tourists then stood and said:  “No, no! Let us tell you about beer.”

After hearing all the cheers from the rest of my group, my German tourists continued to tell us all about their beer, the way they brew it to how they enjoy it, particularly at their annual beer fest, and all the crazy things they get up to.

We were all so dazzled by the stories that we didn’t even notice that we had gone way past our tour time limit. I have never laughed so hard in my life! It is a day that has stuck with me since it happened.

Prosit! (That’s “cheers” in German )

Newspaper Journos Make For Special Guests

For the past three years or so, we have been honoured to host a bunch of sports journalists with an appetite for our pub menu and a thirst for our beer, fresh from the tap.

Lunchtime on Tuesday at the Tap Room is a buzz of debate and skinner, as the gentlemen from The Star’s sports department fill up a table. And the World of Beer inspires them to greater journalistic heights.

If you have ever visited our premises for a tour or just a pub lunch, you will see memorabilia of South Africa’s proud artistic and sporting history. No wonder then, that we would attract such outspoken individuals. 

Our memorabilia, too, has been the subject of debate among these guys; one, for example, is the South African Breweries Sport Journalism Hall of Fame: “How did some make it to the list?”, and “It’s inspiration for us” are some of the questions and remarks overheard.

Our black-and-white photographs of influential South African sports journalists are well received, with nods and bouts of nostalgia.

Greats such as Philip Zwane, the first Zulu commentator to broadcast events such as the Comrades Marathon and boxing, and Reg Sweet, who reported on more than 100 rugby Tests over 25 years, share our walls with other legends such as Gordon Siwani, Gert le Roux and Arrie Joubert. 

“We come up with great ideas that we wouldn’t ordinarily have had sitting at the office. We build proper team spirit and the pictures of great writers inspire us,” says sports editor Bafana Shezi.

“People start sulking when their ideas have been shot down, the day has been friendly so far. The idea is to discuss events of the past week and to look ahead,” says rugby writer Jacques van der Westhuyzen.

The guys agree that Newtown as a whole offers fantastic restaurants, museums and rich history, which should be explored.

The Star chief sports writer Kevin McCallum, who introduced this lunchtime outing over three years ago, is glad the tradition is still being kept going.

We will indeed keep the beers and hot chicken pregos coming!

Ni hao, and traditional beer: my SAB World of Beer experiences

Since working as a tour guide at the South African Breweries World of Beer, I have met people from many walks of life.

I especially love my friends from Asia who are always excited to take pictures of me and everyone they meet on tour. I also speak a bit of Mandarin Chinese; for example, “ni hao” means “hello”.

I started working as a tour guide in 2011, and I must say at first it was scary and astonishing. Firstly, being able to speak in front of a group of people whom you don’t know took a lot of courage, but I grew into it.

Going on the beer tour with visitors is special because I get to see them smile and enjoying themselves, especially at Ukhamba, where they get to learn about how to make traditional African beer and also taste it.

African Lion is also a favourite because that’s where they get to get the halfway beer, and experience township life at the Sowetan Shebeen.

This place has taught me to be confident and to be my own person. Also working here, I’ve gained a little family who love each and cherish each other.

So, overall, my experience at the World of Beer has been memorable.

Leekwa and belly: Brenda Moabi shares some funny World of Beer moments

Being a tour guide at the SAB World of Beer for the past 10 years has been fulfilling, rewarding and fun. I have learnt a lot and met many people from all walks of life.

My favourite part of the job is training new guides, because you get to make a positive difference in someone else’s life. So far I have welcomed and trained about 15 tour guides. Each of them has his or her own little quirks, and there have been some funny experiences while on training.

I am not going to mention names but I will share with you the funniest things I have heard: one trainee could not pronounce the word “barley”. He kept on saying “belly”, which sounded like “beer belly”. He tried and tried, and eventually he got it right.

Another trainee could not pronounce the word liquor, and kept on saying “leekwa”. I would shout out loud: “liquor not leekwa!”, and she would repeat after me, also with her voice raised. In this way we were able to get her pronunciation right.

The two tour guides in question are still with us today. They are a great part of the team and continue to do a fantastic job.

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