Sunday 22 June 2014

Shebeens in 1959 - Has much changed?

Liquor Licence -  We came across a very interesting article published by The Observer from their archives, dated 21 June 1959.   We thought LiquorWise members and readers of this Blog might enjoy it as well.   It was written about the phenomenon of Shebeens and the important role it played in the social and economic lives of black South Africans.    It provides a fascinating perspective, although it's also a grim reminder of life in that era.  To read the short article, click here.

Liquor Licence for a Shooting Range?

Liquor Licence -  Will a shooting range in South Africa be granted a liquor licence?   Well, a modern, indoor gun range has applied to become the first shooting range in Oklahoma to serve liquor in their on-site restaurant.   Although it’s difficult to see this ever being allowed in South Africa, other US states, such as California, Texas, Georgia and New York, have allowed it. 

Why would a shooting ranger owner, seemingly unnecessarily, be looking for trouble?     The answer (expected?) – a liquor licence permit would generate higher income from business activities as it will attract meetings and executive functions. 

The owner argues that they have more than sufficient safeguards to prevent any problems.   For instance, customers would be forced to leave their firearms in a locker before having a drink.   This would be seen as a restriction, as Oklahoma citizens are allowed to order liquor while carrying a firearm, on condition that they aren’t intoxicated. 

What about having a drink first and then going to the shooting range?   Owner Swanson says all drivers licences are scanned on entering the restaurant, which will be picked up as soon as anyone tries to enter the shooting range premises after leaving the restaurant.   It is expected that the application will be granted.

(Article by Janelle Stecklein, adapted by LiquorWise)

Wednesday 18 June 2014


Liquor Act  -   The new Gauteng Liquor Act (the “Act”) was signed into law on 7 April 2014.  The Act will only be implemented once the regulations have been approved.   Regulations determine trading hours, fees and fines.  

Some of the most significant changes are :

  • Sunday trading -  Sunday trading in liquor will be allowed;
  • One unit -  Applications will be lodged at one administrative point, compared to the current 6;
  • New categories -  A number of new types of licences have been created – function venues, special events and waterborne vessels;
  • Food – Food has to be for sale on any  licensed on-consumption premises;
  • Plans – Building plans will have to submitted with applications;
  • Taverns & Pubs -  These will form one category.
LiquorWise will keep its members and readers of this Blog updated on progress with the implementation of the new Liquor Act.    Any questions may be forwarded by sending us an email.

Monday 16 June 2014

What do Brazilians drink?

Liquor in Brazil -  We doubt whether anyone will be able to escape “World Cup fever”. We thought you might find a few lighter lines regarding liquor in Brazil interesting. 

What do Brazilians drink?

Beer accounts for 61% of the total consumption, followed by wine (25%), spirits (12%) and ice drinks (2%).   The most popular spirit is cachaça, followed by whiskey and rum.  Besides local consumption, it is estimated that almost one million tourists come to the country to attend the annual carnival, when 400 million liters of beer are consumed.

Brazilian Road Block 

Where and How can you enjoy a drink?

All kinds of liquor can be bought on any day of the week from grocery stores and snack stands.   Drinking is allowed in public places and in motor vehicles, but now prohibited in most soccer stadiums (except for the World Cup).  “Chopp” is the word for draft beer and Brazilian beer drinkers insist that beer is served ice cold (“bem gelada”).   Like many South Africans, Brazilians also order beer in a larger bottle and share it among friends with small cups. 

“Cachaça” - Brazil's national spirit

“Cachaça” – also referred to as “Brazilian rum”, “tiger’s breath”, “the evil one” or “cat choker” - originated in the 1500’s, when locals started distilling it from sugar.  Its different variants make it the third best-selling liquor globally, costing only $1 per litre on average locally.   The cruder varieties (the majority) is said to taste like dirt, which may be why it’s so dirt cheap ?   More refined versions are rumoured to have an earthy taste – grassy with a rustic vegetality - which John Travolta is known to like.  We guess he would prefer an aged cachaça, which is mostly sipped on ice.   Upwardly-mobile citizens are increasingly choosing to drink Caipirinha – a vodka-based variant on the cachaça.  Caipirinha is enjoyed by adding your choice of syrup or sugar, lemon and ice and mixing it all at your leisure...

May we recommend that you enjoy the soccer fever, while savouring  a variety of South African favourites?   Licensed businesses may make use of the opportunity to recover somewhat from the current economic hangover.

(Article by Troy Patterson, adapted by The Licence Co - LiquorWise Division / Photo courtesy of

Thursday 12 June 2014

Liquor Licence Holders are getting fined

Liquor fines - Liquor license holders who are not careful, are learning to enforce their license conditions the hard way.  Licensed liquor outlets in Table View and in Paarl were recently fined R60,000 and R20,000 and respectively. This comes on top of fines which were issued to several transgressing liquor outlets in 2013.

The message is clear - make sure you know each license condition and what is required of you in order to comply to your liquor license conditions. If not, you may find yourself paying your Christmas bonuses to the liquor authority!

[Article by The Licence Co (LiquorWise Division)]

Wednesday 11 June 2014

Bartenders to battle it out in Cape Town

Liquor  -   The best SA bartenders will be “mixing it up” at the Marly Hotel in Cape Town from 1 to 3 July.  The aim -  to represent South Africa at the Diageo Reserve mixology final in the UK in July.   The global winner will wear the title of the world’s best barman.   Competitors need to know how to blend the flavours of the various components of cocktails and preferably have their own, “signature” cocktail to wow judges with.  

LiquorWise wish all contestants all of the best.   Make us proud!

(Article in Hotel & Restaurant, adopted by LiquorWise)