We all have been to the Ale House or have read about the Ale House in various books and magazines, have met Dirk van Tonder or have heard rumors about him!

The Ale House has been part of Craft Beer in South Africa since the beginning and is home to the annual Solstice Festival in June each year. 


After 12 years of being hidden away in Broederstroom. The Irish Ale House has found a stunning new location with a just cause.

The Irish Ale House (mostly known as just Ale House )Tells the brave story of the gallant Irish Brigade that fought on the side of the Boers during the Anglo Boer War..
During the course of the war there were two Irish Brigades formed. One under American Irish man Major John William Fillismore Blake. And another under Captain Mc Bride. All just too happy to take up arms against the Queen’s forces on foreign soil.

Well irony has it that the Irish Ale House’s new home is on the historic homestead of Lt Col Nicolaas Johannes Pretorius born 1869. And died 1952 at Hartbeespoort.
History has it that Nicolaas was avid militarily man. He was only 12 at the Battle of Majuba . But added a few more years this brave man surely would have scaled the hill with his fellow Burghers.
Sadly Nicolaas later excelled as the one particular Pretorius family member that became the star hensopper. As he was credited for capturing the brave Boer rebel Jopie Fourie.
This tragic event occurred on the farm Nooitgedaght near Hammanskraal.
Fourie’s forces were entrenched there on 16 December 1914.
Major Trewe of the Union Police and Lt Col Nicolas Pretorius surrounded Fourie’s men.
After heavy fire the whole morning. Nicolas Pretorius ordered a bayonet charge at 4:30 in the afternoon. After none of the sides seemed to gain the upper hand. A bayonet charge was extreme in this situation. And shows the mettle of this man. But after a few of Fourie’s men got fatally bayoneted in the charge. They finally surrendered. And thus the famous Boer rebel got caught. To later be shot on direct order of Jan Smuts.

The Ale House is to move into Nicolas Pretorius’s old barn on his historic homestead.
Both Nicolas and his brother Andries had farms along the magalies and crocodile rivers. But when the dam was built they had to move. And new homesteads had to be built.
They saved costs by sharing the same architect and floor plans for their magnificent houses. And even the same contractor was used.
Nicolas’s house and barn was completed in 1925 as proudly displayed on the gables.
Nicolas not only excelled at treason but he had a keen eye for nature. As his homestead and barn has probably one of the best views of the Hartbeespoort Dam.
The Irish Ale house will be proud to occupy this historical space. And to continue telling the gallant story of the brave Irish Brigade.
And thus contributing towards saving the honor of the Pretorius family.


We have been bragging about moving the club meetings of the Hartbeespoort Wort Hogs Brewers Club to breweries around the dam and so far nobody has had the guts to travel the dirt road to the current Ale House at night.  Dirk was taking too long to move for our liking! That is where, after a couple of beers, having a fundraiser to finish the restoration process seemed the most logical thing to do. With the help of Belinda Walker who is finding people and places and posting stuff on twitter and Candyce Junner of SocialCircle Media, who sponsored all the art work and did all the Facebook postings and images, we started to plan the event merely 4 weeks ago!!

Belinda and Candyce also managed to get a bunch of BRILLIANT artists to give their time and talent for very little for the love of The Ale House.  These two ladies are also very talented singers and can be seen on the day!  Other artists include Colourful Counterfeit, Miss Heidi Kriel & The Bar Room Bandits, Adriaan Jonker and Hoot & Annie!

Breweries such as Copperlake, Black Horse, Keg House and Rocklands were quick to respond and are sharing their profits on the day to raise money.  The slots filled up for breweries to sell beer on the day and breweries like Two Okes, Old Potters In and Drahthaar were there with donations!

What an awesome bunch of people!! NOW WE JUST NEED YOU!


We  have managed to raise quite a bit of money for brewers that wanted to get rid of their old brewing equipment in the past so this was a no-brainer!

The auction starts at approximately 15:00 with already a load of interesting items received!

The seller sets a reserved price and the item will not be sold below that. Any profit above the reserved price is then split 50/50 between the seller and The Ale House. The seller gets his money the day after the auction. If no reserved price, then the full amount received will be split unless the seller indicates that all money go towards The Ale House.

People that want to put stuff on auction just need to add it to the list and please have it at the festival when the gates open or even before. Please complete the following form: Add your Auction Items here

ENTRANCE – R60 pp. Tickets available at the door only.