The Best Beer in Africa has been announced: and it’s made here in SA

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News just in: Soul Barrel Brewery, located between Stellenbosch and Paarl in the Cape Winelands, has clinched the prestigious title of producing the finest beer in Africa. The microbrewery, renowned for its barrel-aged beers and use of indigenous South African ingredients, secured the top spot in the 2024 African Beer Cup. Notably, this marks the second time Soul Barrel has achieved this remarkable feat, having previously claimed victory in 2022. 

At the heart of Soul Barrel’s triumph stands their winning creation, Ale of Origin. This beer embodies the brewery’s commitment to using locally sourced ingredients like native malt and wheat, hops sourced from the Western Cape, Simonsberg mountain water, and naturally occurring wild yeast carried by the winds. 

The beer went up against 270 other beers entered from 16 African countries where a team of experienced judges from around the world evaluated the beers over three days. 

Founder and brewmaster of Soul Barrel, Nick Smith, explains that Ale of Origin was crafted using the time-honoured Belgian Lambic methods, employing raw wheat, aged hops, and spontaneous fermentationa brewing technique unique to South Africa. 


The Soul Barrel Team

“Winning Best Beer in Africa is one of the most significant accomplishments a brewery can achieve in Africa,” says Nick. “The African Beer Cup is the most competitive, intense beer competition on the continent with some of the best judges in the world. Winning with a beer that features local yeast and grain is a major achievement for South African beer. We believe in South African agriculture and this is just the start of what we can accomplish with local ingredients.”

Lucy Corne, competition director and co-founder, says the evolving beer landscape across Africa is exciting, noting the introduction of new categories that celebrate traditional African brewing.

“In line with many other major competitions, we use the American Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines in our judging process., However, the beer scene across Africa has developed beyond following global beer trends, and we’re now setting some trends of our own. This year, to reflect what is happening in craft beer around the continent, we introduced a new category to showcase beers that are using traditional African brewing grains, including sorghum, millet and fonio.”


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Romina Gaggero Delicio, partner and financial manager of the African Beer Cup, anticipates an exciting future for Africa’s craft beer industry, fuelled by innovation and quality. 

We’ll cheers to that! 

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