A history of the brew
Delve into the history of beer-brewing in South Africa at the SAB World of Beer.
One of the world’s most ancient beverages is being brewed in Johannesburg's Newtown. Tour the SAB World of Beer and discover how humble grains transform into liquid gold.
A visit to South African Breweries (SAB) World of Beer museum in Johannesburg's Newtown Cultural Precinct offers fascinating insight into the history of beer - a much-loved beverage in South Africa and the rest of the world.
One of South Africa’s oldest companies, South African Breweries Limited (SAB), has been brewing beer since 1895, when the first miners began working the Witwatersrand’s newly discovered gold reefs.
SAB is the South African subsidiary and historical birthplace of SABMiller, one of the world’s largest brewers by volume, with more than 200 brands and brewing interests and distribution agreements in over 60 countries across 6 continents.
The company operates 7 breweries and 42 depots in South Africa with an annual brewing capacity of 3.1 billion litres. Its portfolio of beer brands includes brands rich in heritage such as the iconic Dutch beer brand Grolsch and South African beer favourites like Castle Lager, Hansa Pilsner and Carling Black Label
The brewing company celebrated its centenary in 1995, and to mark the occasion the SAB World of Beer was officially opened in Newtown – one of Johannesburg’s most prominent cultural and entertainment hubs.
The World of Beer is a popular visitor attraction and uses 3D movies, floating holograms and a 12m-high screen with surround sound to bring the story of beer to life. A R20 million upgrade to this facility was completed in 2007.
The World of Beer tour starts with an entertaining, highly informative history of beer making, from the earliest known evidence of beer brewing in Egypt and Mesopotamia, through to the honky-tonk beer halls of gold rush Johannesburg.
Visit a mock-African village and taste some traditional sorghum beer, experience the atmosphere of a typical township shebeen, walk through the on-site greenhouse and learn about the different plants used to make beer. From there, trace the actual beer brewing process, step-by-step on video before finishing your tour in the Tap Room, where you can enjoy 2 frosties on the house.
The SAB World of Beer is in the centre of the Newtown Cultural Precinct in downtown Johannesburg, conveniently located on one of the city's main taxi and bus routes.
The World of Beer is open Tuesday to Saturday between 10h00 and 18h00. Last tour starts at 17h00.
Approximately R25.00 per person.
The tour takes approximately 90 minutes.
Light pub-style lunches are available at the World of Beer's Tap Room pub. The Newtown area also has plenty of restaurants to choose from, from fine dining to fast food.
Some of Johannesburg's best live music venues are located in Newtown, as is the famous Market Theatre and Gramadoelas Restaurant.
SAB World of Beer
Tel: +27 (0)11 836-4900
In some cultures the words 'beer' and 'bread' have the same meaning.
SAB World of Beer in Newtown, Johannesburg
The SAB World of Beer offers visitors a chance to learn more about the history of South African beer. The tour ends with a complimentary tasting in the Tap Room.