Last Saturday, BJCP-accredited judges from across South Africa met at the SAB World of Beer in Johannesburg to judge the second annual South African Craft Brewers Championship. Brewers really stepped up this year, with a 33% increase in the number of entries and a fine array of brews on show.
Judges were split into six groups, each judging a flight of varied beers from microbreweries around the country. A best of show panel then picked the top ten, which have just been announced. So without further ado, I bring you the top ten South African craft beers of 2014 (in alphabetical order):
• Brauhaus am Damm: Brauhaus Weizen
• Bridge Street Brewery: Celtic Cross Premium Pilsener
• Ceder Brew: The Chubbyhead Stout
• Devil’s Peak Brewing Company: The King’s Blockhouse IPA
• Gallows Hill Brewing Co: IPA Columbus
• Keghouse Brewery: Keghouse APA
• Mad Giant: Punk Hop Pale Ale
Mainstream Brewing Company (Swagga Breweries): Mainstream Altbier*
• Shongweni Brewery: Robson’s Hammer Of Thor
• The Dog and Fig Brewery: Sturdy Stout
• Copper Lake Brewery: Copper Lake IPA
* Mainstream recused themselves from the competition as their beer was not commercially available at the time of judging. Copper Lake took their spot in the top ten.
Some newbies in there, some classics; some I drink plenty of, some I’ve never tasted… But to find out the winners you’re going to have to stay tuned on the evening of October 3rd. I won’t be Tweeting much myself, since I’m rather honoured to have been invited to MC the awards ceremony, but I’ll be handing over my handle to the hubby for the duration of the evening, so stay tuned to @LucyCorne for live updates.
In the meantime, feel free to take guesses on what the top three will be…