It’s always good to get out of the city smog of Gauteng and head for the hills – well mountains really – around the Magaliesberg.
But once you have seen Hartebeespoort Dam, been up the cableway and looked at the arts and crafts, where do you go for a drink and a meal?
Words and images by Sue Adams
- Lazy Lizard Brewhouse is a friendly place run by Rob and Angelique. Directly opposite the new Lion Park on the R512 near Broederstroom this brewery opened in 2016 has a great vibe and tasty beer. The menu is simple with mainly burgers and steaks and there is laid back live music on weekends. Rob is the brewer, apart from also being a skydiving master and a lecturer in economics. Angelique runs the restaurant side with wonderful staff and the tables are set under spreading bushveld shady trees. You can do a brewery tour and try beer tasting. An added bonus is that a neighbour, Glyn French, distils the most delicious Flowstone Gin and Lazy Lizard makes great gin cocktails.
Also read: On the Lowveld Ale Trail
- Aviators Brewery was started by the Botma family and is the newest brewery on the Magaliesberg block on the R512 just south of Hartebeespoort Dam. This is high tech brewing with equipment newly brought out from Austria. You can do a brewery tour and a beer tasting. For people who are flyboys this is a fun place to land a heli on the helipad and pop in for lunch. I loved being able to sit out on the wide shady veranda or under umbrellas on a lush green lawn and gaze out to the Magaliesberg Mountains. At night the bar counter, made out of an old 737 aeroplane, lights up and there is no doubt that many tall tales will be told here. The food is all local with excellent meat coming from Brits and fresh veggies from down the road. Mostly just enjoying the peace while downing a home crafted beer is good enough for me but there is live music on some weekends.
Also read: The Great Karoo Pub Crawl
- Country Life did a story on the Ale House Brewery but it’s worth mentioning again. After all, if you are on the Ale Trail you might as well taste them all. It’s just off the R512 between Lazy Lizard and Aviators and eccentric Dirk van Tonder has given his beer wonderful names like Trailer Trash Blonde. He describes himself as the ‘rogue’ of brewing as he does things differently. For example, he adds unusual ingredients such as capsicum and buchu to his brews and when you get there you never quite know what beer is ready for tasting. The setting is laid back and rustic but the pizzas are to die for so get there early or you might wait a while.
Two others worth mentioning
- Chameleon Brewhouse – on the western side of the Hartbeespoort Dam wall this is a relaxed place to visit and taste a few ales. 072 369 2309
- Black Horse Brewery has a stunning setting with beautiful gardens and black horses grazing in the fields below. Daughter, Nuschka Botha, is the brewer but the Botha family are all involved in the business. It does get busy so book on weekends. 082 453 5295