Better get your pineapples before they sell out

Pineapple beer. Picture: iStock

It looks like pineapple homebrew with yeast, sugar as the main ingredients will become highly popular once again.

The announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday night was likely not welcomed by those who didn’t expect the re-ban of alcohol sales.

Pictures of pieces of pineapple – skin and all – will become commonplace on social media in South Africa again.

Alcohol sales returned on 1 June, people have legally brought alcohol in the country for about six weeks however the government has lamented that the return of the ban was due to the increase of cases of the trauma units in hospitals.

Reaction on Twitter was mixed:




Pieces of pineapple depict homebrew with yeast, sugar, and pineapple as the main ingredients.

This recipe from With a Blast has just five ingredients.


2 Pineapples, leaves chopped off and the peel scrubbed clean
6 litres of lukewarm water (24 cups)
5 cups of white Sugar
1 cup raisins, slightly bruised
2 1/2 tsp Instant dry yeast

How to:

Chop the pineapples, peel and all, roughly. Place all the ingredients, except the yeast, in a large, clean plastic container, you can use a 10-litre bucket.

Sprinkle the yeast over – leave a minute and then give the mixture a good stir through. Use a piece of tulle (a lightweight, very fine, stiff netting) to close over the top of the bucket – secure with string or a rubber band – DO NOT CLOSE WITH A LID – as the mixture will ferment.

Leave for 72 hours – stirring twice a day.

Strain and bottle the beer, but only put the caps on after 12 hours – keep chilled and serve as is with ice.

Here were the trial and tribulations journalist Adriaan Roets went through with his homebrew:

A few weeks ago, I stumbled on to a pineapple, yeast and sugar special at a local store and thought – hey, let’s try it. A few weeks later I can honestly say, I clearly did something wrong.

Upon initial conception, the brew bubbled and fizzed, with a lovely yeasty, beer smell. Two weeks later it was a boring drink, vaguely smelling of pineapple with a yeasty undertone. Alcoholic? Not really.

Some internet searches later I found a recipe that adds raisins (don’t worry, they get strained later) and tartaric acid to the mix.

One of the other major twists to the plot (or recipe) is that you’re meant to start the process with lukewarm water (not hot since this will kill the yeast).

But until my next attempt to become a brewmaster is made, how easy is it to buy alcohol?

As it turns out, we may have a friend who knows a friend who can help us – at high mark-ups – buy bottles that 50 days ago we’d never have considered spending our hard-earned cash on. Russian Bear vodka at R350, Bells whisky for R400 and tequila for R450.

Travelling with liquor is illegal but taking the chance might even be foolhardy because many people are buying duds containing tea or vinegar – the old switcheroo is commonplace, as criminals know they can get away with it, because only once you’re safely at home can you open your would-be bottle of bliss.

Perhaps it’s time to just accept that we’re a teetotal nation right now.

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