The World of Beer came into being in 1995, an iconic year in South Africa’s history. It was the country’s first full year as a democracy, the year we came together as a nation to lift the Rugby World Cup trophy, and the year SAB celebrated a century of brewing mastery. To commemorate this milestone, the company opened what was then known as the Centenary Centre, a museum designed to showcase the history of South African beer. It was one of the first major investments made in the Newtown Cultural Precinct, ultimately paving the way for future developments in the area.
Former President Nelson Mandela officially opened the centre, delivering a memorable speech on the day that summed up the importance of what is now called the SAB World of Beer:
“This centre will also help to remind us of a history we neglect at our peril. Inevitably, a product as integral to the culture and economy of a society as is yours, traces in its own history, the history of its society.
“People will also be reminded that, for all their hole-in-the-wall status, shebeens played an influential role in our cultural development, particularly in music and writing. This is where many of our top artists honed their talents.
“But in addition to its instructive lessons, the centre will without doubt help promote tourism in this area and in Johannesburg as a whole. It is, therefore, a valuable addition to the economic assets of the Gauteng Province,” said the icon.
Today, the SAB World of Beer includes a tour that has been developed and perfected to give visitors insight into the history and culture of beer: from its ancient origins, to its African heritage, its European ancestry, and its role in South Africa’s story, past, present and future.
Detailed information on the brewing process is also provided, and visitors are encouraged to sample raw barley and hops and to ask questions along the way.
After the tour, visitors are invited to experience a beer tasting, all the better to understand and appreciate the subtle flavours of everything they have learnt. Alternatively, you can relax in the Tap Room, soaking up panoramic views of the Newtown district as you enjoy two complimentary local SABMiller beers and pub lunches on offer.
The World of Beer is also a unique venue for conferences and events, featuring a number of first-rate facilities designed to suit just about every need. All rooms are easily accessible and well-equipped.
* Call 011 836 4900 (ext. 110 and 109) to book your spot.
Visit www.worldofbeer.co.za for more information.
Address: 15 Helen Joseph Street (formerly President Street), Newtown