The best beers in South Africa

The inaugural National Beer Trophy has been held in Cape Town, attracting the most innovative craft brewers from across the country.

The aim of the trophy is to offer a fair, independent and reliable assessment of the burgeoning local beer scene, and to provide the best emerging brewers with the recognition they deserve.

To ensure the highest standard of competition, The National Beer Trophy is sanctioned by the BJCP, an international body of accrediting judges and competition. It offers an international endorsement of the results, in addition to providing a full audit of the markings.

Comprising some of the most respected members of the beer industry, the judging panel has been under huge pressure to cast its votes on an unexpectedly high number of entries, assessed per class according to the BJCP guidelines.

Beer Writer Lucy Corné, Cape Wine Master Mary-Lou Nash and Beer gurus Shannon Booth, Fraser Dodge and Matthew Hurst convened for two full days in an exclusively blind-tasting environment.

As a result, an impressive 11 gold medals were awarded to the best entrants, offering a truly exciting vision of the very active craft beer industry in South Africa.

The results spoke for themselves, with some of the gold medal winners achieving outstanding scores, of up to 45 out of 50 possible points.

The 2015 National Beer Trophy Gold Medals are:

Aegir Project – Red Rye

Brauhaus am Damm – Dunkel

Brauhaus am Damm – Weizen

Ceder Brew – The Chubbyhead Dry Stout

Drifter Brewing Co. – The Cape Town Blonde

Gallow Hill – Stride Wide Barrel Aged Baltic Porter

Harfield Beer Co. – 1831 Honey Amber Ale

Mountain Brewing Co. – Cape Kraken Belgian Amber Ale

Red Sky – Rauch Beer

Sabie Brewing Co. – Dravidian Draught Indian Pale Ale

Striped Horse – Craft Pils

This list shows the incredible diversity that the craft beer scene offers, and the gold medals awarded by The National Beer Trophy are aimed at giving the general public an objective endorsement of the quality on offer in South Africa, guiding new craft beer fans into a rapidly growing market.

The craft beer movement has been initiated by talented home-brewers, so the National Beer Trophy is proud to support the next generation by awarding the Best Home Brewer 2015, Paulo Pinheiro for his “My Brown Eyed Girl” amber beer.

The South African National Beer trophy 2015 has been a real success and in order for these precious beers to meet their public, the National Beer Trophy will organise trade tastings for buyers and sommeliers, in Cape Town and Johannesburg, so the exciting diversity of these new beers can meet their consumers, both fans, and customers alike.

The first trade tasting will take place at popular Cape Town hot spot HQ Bar & Restaurant. They will stock these award-winning beers throughout the year on a rotational basis. Helping the country’s best beers to find their markets is one of the main goals of the National Beer Trophy. The National Beer Trophy is proud to have attracted such a support from the industry, and will make sure the 2016 edition is even more exciting than this one.