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Nicest Places to enjoy a Guinness in Johannesburg, Irish Pubs

Updated on September 9, 2015

Pint anyone?

As a lover of the black stuff, I am always on the lookout for an establishment that serves my favourite beverage, as shocking as it may sound to some of you out there; Guinness is not really all that popular in South Africa.

This is partly due to the monopoly of South African Breweries (SAB) on the local beer market, SAB up until about ten years ago actively blocked the importation of beer it did not produce, and the fact that a dark heavy beer is best suited to cold climes.

One must not forget that up on the Highveld, winter temperatures regularly drop below zero degrees Celsius, and then the conditions are perfect for a Black and Tan.

Here is my guide to my favourite places for a pint of Guinness in Johannesburg!

St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick's Day

Irish Club, Linen, Johannesburg

The Irish Club is located at the old Linden Tennis Club, corner 5th Ave and 4th Street, Linden

The club itself is a relatively low-key affair with a very 70’s clubhouse that could do with some DIY. The club’s covered deck is set above the tennis courts and looks out over the western part of Johannesburg and is highly recommended for those interested in sundowners after work.

The menu is a mixture of Indian and Irish pub grub with the highlights being either the Irish stew or the mixed savoury basket.

Although various social events, from darts to role-play games, are planned for each night of the week it is important to remember that Monday nights is drinking practice night. And this is the real reason for going to the Irish Club; their Guinness is by far the best in Johannesburg. Due to the high turnover the ‘Devils Buttermilk’ the keg contents never have a chance to become old, displaying the telltale brownish head. At R17 a pint it is also amongst the cheapest places to buy your daily fix.

The Head
The Head

The Brazen Head, Edenvale, Johannesburg

Like its Irish counterpart this pub serves up cold Guinness and warm food. The Head, as it is affectionately known by regulars, has one of the most authentic Irish pub menus I have seen in South Africa, offering Coddle, Boxty (a traditional Irish pancake) and Guinness pie.

They have an authentic pub atmosphere with wood panelled interiors, booths and bar area. In addition to Guinness they have Kilkenny and the usual range of local draft and bottled beers.

There is an outside area, perfect for the hot days, and a warm fire inside for the cold nights, the service is fast and friendly.

Grand Slam
Grand Slam

Grand Slam Sports Bar, Dowerglen

Grand Slam is a great place to meet up with friends to watch sports, they have televisions on every service broadcasting every sporting event going on in the world at that time.

They menu is a pub and grab type of affair, be sure to try my favorite, a Manny's Special. Burgers are also very good here and the portions are generous.

The clincher is the wonderful deck area, the sun sets behind a hill right in front of you, a beautiful red color in summer, and with a pint of cold Guinness I can think of no better sun-downer!

show route and directions
A markerThe Irish Club -
5th Ave, Johannesburg 2195, South Africa
get directions

B markerThe Brazen Head, Edenvale -
Terrace Rd, Edenvale, South Africa
get directions

C markerGrand Slam Sports Bar -
73 Sycamore Dr, Lethabong 1609, South Africa
get directions


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    • MetalLemon profile image

      Allan Rees 7 years ago from Brisbane, Australia

      Thanks for the comment equealla, I have a few more spots that I will add soon.

    • equealla profile image

      equealla 7 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Sounds like great places to visit, but alas, my continium does not permit to enjoy it all. At least you gave us a glimpse of these places, thanks.

    • MetalLemon profile image

      Allan Rees 7 years ago from Brisbane, Australia

      Thanks for the comments guys. like especially like "the taste of greatness" nice...

    • profile image

      MSAIRI 7 years ago

      I am in Kenya but I never leave an opportunity to have the taste of greatness....

    • sns2000 profile image

      sns2000 7 years ago from Benidorm

      WOW i really like this hub as my whole family is living in south africa i feel right at home here iam currently staying in spain and home sick and this hub keep me up to date thanks so much to make my day natasha