If someone had told me a year ago that I’d be going to a beer festival, I would have laughed until I coughed up a lung. Hated beer. Hated beer festivals more.
But one warm February night this year changed all that… On a Slow Food outing at Brewers & Union, I discovered the joys of artisan beer – beer that has been brewed naturally, slowly, without additives, without artificially speeding up the process to get the bottles to the shelves more speedily. It was an eye-opener to me that such a creature existed – a beer that didn’t taste bitter and yeasty.
I finally understood what the true enthusiasts were on about.
Then in September I was a little alarmed to find myself at my very first beer festival – We Love Real Beer Festival at the Biscuit Mill – a celebration of craft beer, made by artisan beer-makers from around the country (and Namibia). I loved it! It was awesome to see such enthusiasm and support for small brewers – the event was so popular that latecomers had to be turned away.
And now it’s time for the Cape Town Festival of Beer – a ‘gathering for beer enthusiasts, connoisseurs and those just wanting to learn more about beer’. If it were just the usual commercial brewers, I wouldn’t be at all interested (same ol’, same ‘ol), but the festival will feature a number of micro-brewers alongside the bigger, more recognised brands.
“At The Cape Town Festival of Beer size doesn’t matter, its about bringing everyone together into one experience, from the micro and home brewers to the mega brewers – it’s about SA’s collective passion for beer.”
The festival kicks off at 5pm this Thursday (25 November), and runs until 11pm on Saturday. The venue: Hamilton’s Rugby Club on Green Point Common. According to organisers there will be plenty of food stalls, various entertainments (including ‘geesfull’ frauleins… ahem) and secure parking for all (though making use of shuttles and taxis would naturally be the better plan if you don’t have a designated driver).
I never thought I’d be going to any beer festivals, let alone two in the space of a few months, but I have been converted (though only when artisan beers are involved). And although I’m sad that &Union won’t be there, I’m keen to see and taste some new artisan flavours… See you there!
Dates: Thursday 25 November 2010 – Saturday 27 November 2010. Tickets cost R50 (buy them here), with gates opening from 5pm on Thursday and 12noon on Friday and Saturday. The event will end at 11pm each day with bars closing at 10pm for alcohol sales.