President Cyril Ramaphosa hadn’t even finished his address to the nation when celebrations (and agony for smokers) began after the announcement that alcohol would be sold from tomorrow

  • The Beer Association of South Africa has launched Beer Tourism Week, running from September 20 - 26. 
  • The initiative aims to encourage South Africans to visit breweries and taprooms in order to give local businesses and the livelihoods they support a boost. 
  • An online map highlighting various breweries across South Africa has been created for beer lovers.  
  • South African beer lovers are encouraged to take beer selfies at their favourite brewery to stand a chance to win vouchers from breweries.
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The Beer Association of South Africa has launched the Beer Tourism Week from September 20-26 to boost business in local craft breweries, hard hit by the pandemic-induced liquor bans.

The association, which comprises the Craft Brewers Association, Heineken South Africa, and South African Breweries, introduced the initiative which aims to promote the 180 craft breweries located across the country hard hit by the four alcohol bans since the start of the lockdown in March 2020.

"With craft breweries that managed to survive still struggling to get back on their feet, we are encouraging South Africans to visit breweries and taprooms during Beer Tourism week in order to give these local businesses and the livelihoods they support a boost," said the association.

According to the industry body, in 2019, South Africa was said to be the third largest beer producer in the world, and in 2015 - 2018 the industry generated a total GDP impact of R387.1 billion.

It is further estimated that unlicensed outlets in townships provide a form of income to between 180,000 and 265,000 people.

Due to the 161 trading days lost during the lockdown, more than 200 local breweries that did not receive government relief struggled to stay afloat, with at least 27 having to shut down permanently.

As part of the Beer Tourism Week, the industry body has introduced an online interactive BrewRoute map that showcases 180 craft breweries across the country, highlighting various locations all provinces.

Beer Tourism Week (BASA)
Beer Tourism Week (BASA)

  • Six unique BrewRoutes are also provided on the website which showcases six beer routes in six regions or provinces namely, the Western Cape, West Coast, Eastern Cape, North West, Johannesburg, and Mpumalanga. The downloadable maps also highlight other tourist attractions, which can be visited as part of these routes.
  • In the biggest beer selfie competition that will run from 24 September to 31 October 2021, South Africans are encouraged to take a selfie with their friends or family at their favourite brewery and upload it to Instagram tagging the brewery and BASA (@beer_southafrica) with the hashtags #BeerSouthAfrica and #BrewRoutes. They will stand a chance of winning their share of vouchers from breweries across the country.

"With the threat of a fourth Covid-19 wave in November, we urge craft breweries to continue playing their part by enforcing the wearing of masks and social distancing in their establishments," said BASA.

The industry body also encourages all eligible South Africans to get vaccinated.

"This is the only way we will be able to fully reopen the economy and resume our normal lives particularly as we head into the festive season, which is a critical period for the beer industry and the over 450,000 livelihoods it supports."

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