In Cape Town you can't swing an Instagram-ready cat without hitting a local brewery and knocking over some craft beers. In Joburg, though, breweries are a little harder to come by - unless I'm looking in all the wrong places. Which is why I was particularly excited to hit on the Black Horse Brewery in Magaliesberg.
For those of us who stick firmly to a zone in Joburg (you know, the ones who only go out close to home) it's very nice to head into the countryside on a Sunday. A very pretty 45-minute drive will land you at the Black Horse Brewery and restaurant. It's only recently been built onto what started out as stables, and is set on a hill under a canopy of pecan nut trees, overlooking a vast valley. When you're lazing on their outdoor sofas sipping your beer, there's lot of prettiness to look at.The décor is warm, simple and country-chic. Imagine visiting your aunt for Sunday lunch - if your aunt was rich and liked beer.
When you venture indoors, you can check out their pride and glory - the huge brass vats in which they brew their beer. We were given a quick lesson in making beer from brewer Bernard Botha (if you care, he tells us that the best big-brand beer is probably Black Label). Their beer is brewed for weeks at a time and is made with the natural spring water of the Magalies mountains. Yes, it's worth it. It's smooth, rich and moreish. Their regular offerings are a red ale, a golden lager and a honey porter (a creamy, dark ale). But, if you're not into the heavy stuff, I can also strongly recommend their ginger beer.
Don't forget to line your stomach while you sample all that beer, though. Their menu offers your average pub-lunch fare: steaks, burgers, and wood-fired pizza. It's not change-your-life food, but it's tasty enough. And anyway, you're not there for food. You're there to drink great, locally-made beer on tap, and breathe some fresh air for a change. And for that, it's perfect.
Black Horse Brewery
Wed to Sat: 8am to late.
Sundays: 8am to 7pm.
Open on Public Holidays
Seekoei Hoek / Bekker School road
082 453 5295
by Kim Garner