I have four passions in life: family, beer, travel and writing and wherever possible, I try to combine them all. (I also love to dance, but that’s tricky to do while writing, though it does pair well with the rest). As well as this fledgling blog, I write a popular beer blog over here. I love beer and am constantly on the lookout for breweries that offer the trifecta – good food, great beer and a kids’ area that means Kai will enjoy himself as much as we do. Here are some of the best family friendly breweries around South Africa.

Western Cape

Franschhoek Beer Company, Franschhoek

Sample the food and beer paring platter while the kids play just metres away

The perfect package is a rare thing, but I think Franschhoek Beer Co. has nailed it. The beers are excellent, particularly the saison – for me the best example in the country (side note: at 8.4% ABV, you will need a designated driver). The food, overseen by Reuben Riffel, is superb and carefully thought out. And the kid’s play area ticks two boxes that so many don’t – it is shaded and it is right next to the restaurant/tasting area, so you don’t have to keep getting up to see what your little ones are up to. Imagine that – a relaxing lunch with great beers that pair well with the food.

Aegir Project, Noordhoek

Aegir Project is family-run and family-friendly

Sharing a kids’ play area with the Red Herring, Aegir Project welcomes kids to climb trees, paddle in ponds or sit inside and challenge one of the locals to a game of chess or draughts. On the food menu there are gourmet hotdogs, with a simpler version for kids. For grown-ups, the beers are excellent and usually feature a limited edition brew. It’s also dog-friendly, as long as your pooch plays  nice with others (notably the brewery dog, a ridgeback named Aegir).

Cape Brewing Company, Paarl

Grown-ups taste beer, kids taste ice cream at Spice Route

Chocolate tasting? Check. Giant chess set? Check. Jungle gym? Check. Ice cream? Check. Coffee, wine, charcuterie, pizza, lavish lunches, biltong? Check. Magnificent views? Check. Awesome craft beer to taste and take home? Check. Seriously – if you and the family can’t find something to do at CBC/Spice Route, I just don’t know how to help you.

Eastern Cape

Emerald Vale, Cintsa

Brew with a view at Emerald Vale

With brewery tours and light lunches, farm animals to spot and lawns to run around on, Emerald Vale is a deservedly popular Eastern Cape family hang-out. There are shaded picnic tables dotted around and to make a real day of it, you can even braai your own lunch on the premises. For those who want to know more about beer, brewer Chris runs regular tours of the brewery, which include a tasting of his range of ales.

Limpopo

L’Abri Fountain, Bela Bela

Tucked away amid Limpopo gravel roads, L’abri Fountain is a backwater brewery that welcomes families

Way up there in Limpopo, between Bela-Bela and Thabazimbi, L’Abri Fountain is South Africa’s bush brewery and perfect for a family fun day. Buck and warthog roam nearby or there are farm animals for kiddies who want to get up close to some furry friends. There’s a shop selling local crafts and freshly baked cake, a pizza oven churning out the perfect accompaniment to the ales, accommodation on site and a host of activities like fishing, hiking, mountain biking, paintball, star-gazing, canoeing, horse-riding and half-day wagon rides.

For the full article, head over to my beer blog – you can read the full/regularly updated list here.