Did you know?
Gilroy hosts a Saturday morning brewery tour to uncover beer myths and legends, and demystify the micro-beer brewing process, followed by a tutored tasting.
Gilroy brewery, situated in the Muldersdrift countryside in Gauteng, is ‘120 years behind the times’, says Steve Gilroy, a proud ‘real ale’ evangelist.
As opposed to commercially brewed beer, ‘real ale’ – also known as ‘cask-conditioned beer’, ‘real cask ale’, ‘real beer’ or ‘naturally conditioned beer’ – is brewed from traditional ingredients (malted barley, hops, water and brewer’s yeast), matured by secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed, and served without the use of extraneous carbon dioxide.
All Gilroy beers are handcrafted. Steve Gilroy produces four kinds of beer: Gilroy Lager is a European-style lager; Gilroy Favourite, a pale ale, is the ladies’ choice; Gilroy Traditional Ruby Ale is a connoisseur’s beer; and Gilroy Serious is a premium dark ale.
Gilroy's ales and lager are unfiltered, unpasteurised and preservative free. Gilroy uses only imported German and English malt and hop varieties, and is quick to point out real beer's health benefits. Natural tasting, it’s rich in B-vitamins, iron and antioxidants, and develops ever-more complex flavour as it matures.
The length of the beer tour depends on the enthusiasm of the participants, but expect to spend about an hour. Your tour concludes with a tongue-in-cheek ritual known as the Legend of the Gauntlet: the ceremonial raising of the the 'impertinent finger', or middle digit, as a challenge to other brewers to brew a better beer.
The Gilroy pub/restaurant is an added reason to visit this popular country brewery. Patrons consume the good-value pub fare in the dark, wood-panelled, quintessentially British pub, or in the outdoor beer garden, to the sounds of live jazz (Steve Gilroy is also a former jazz guitarist), rock and blues.
Gilroy brewery is situated in the Ngwenya Glass Village in Muldersdrift.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
How to get here
Gilroy brewery is approximately 30km from the Sandton city centre, and is best accessed by the N1 Western Bypass and M5 route. From the M5, turn left onto the R144. Ngwenya Glass Village, in which the brewery is situated, is signposted, at approximately 2.2km. From Sandton, give yourself an hour on weekends or an hour-and-a-half during the week (when the traffic is worse) to get there from Sandton.
Best time to visit
Gilroy brewery is closed on Mondays. Beer tours take place at 11am every Saturday – booking is strongly advised.
Around the area
Various arts and crafts shops at Ngwenya Glass Village. Further afield, explore the Sterkfontein Caves and the Maropeng Visitor Centre, Silverstar Casino, the village of Magaliesburg, and the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve.
Tours to do
You're close to the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site here, so you may want to visit the official visitor centre, the Maropeng Visitor Centre, or the Sterkfontein Caves, where you can do a tour.
It's best to drive yourself.
What will it cost
R90 per person for the beer tour and tasting. R30 for a four-beer tasting.
Where to stay
There are a number of country hotels within a 10km radius of Muldersdrift, where Gilroy brewery is, among them Avianto, Misty Hills Country Hotel and Glenburn Lodge.
What to eat
Gilroy’s beer-battered hake, chips and mushy peas are renowned, along with the beer bread and the bangers and mash.
Various live locals acts on the weekends. Friday night at Gilroy is open microphone night, and the local Home Brewers' Club (Wort Hog Brewers) meets on the first Thursday of the month.
Gilroy beers, Gilroy paraphernalia for your bar and home-brewing supplies.