Hops Hollow Brewpub and Country House, Mpumalanga, South Africa
At the Milstone 22/2 on the Long Tom Pass, Lydenburg;
About 200 miles from Johannesburg on your way to Kruger National Park exists the best oasis imaginable—a brewery that will could keep you from driving all the way to the park in one shot. Kruger is one of the largest game reserves in Africa at over 7,500 square miles and it contains about 150 species of large mammals including The Big Five: lions, elephants, leopards, cape buffalo and rhinos. And shooting game with your camera in the African heat builds up quite a thirst.
The brewery was built in 2001 by Theo and Sarie de Beer who were clearly destined to create such a thing. Four years ago, Willie and Magdaleen Botha took over the B&B and are planning on expanding the brewery. Beers such as Diggers Draught, a kölsch-style beer, prove popular among locals and visitors, and it’s even made with South African-grown hops cultivated from Saaz and Hallertaus.
There are only a handful of rooms but part of the allure is getting away from it all; though it’s also regarded as being family-friendly. The breakfast that’s included is prepared to order, down to the naartjie juice, a local fruit similar to tangerines. It’s expensive getting to Africa, but once you’re at Hops Hollow, rooms start at about $65 and the nearby fishing is free. Getting to see endangered rhinos in Kruger is priceless.