It's barely 9am and already a crowd of eager folk are lining up, waiting to get their beer on. According to the organisers, Webtickets had already reached their 2 000 ticket cap, leaving only 800 for door sales; this looks to be one crazy day.
With 12 breweries representing their suds on tap, Capital Craft is the biggest beer fest to hit the Snor City and the first to bring this many craft beers. One patron was more than correct when he referred, still outside, to the gates as die hekke van bier heaven (the gates to beer heaven).
As I make my way through the last minute preparations and the delicious aroma of Braai Boy prepping his legendary boerie rolls, I bump into an official beer taster. Nice work if you can get it. We swap stories on our beer preferences and he invites me to a Wart Hog Brewers club meeting (click here
to learn more).
One of the best bits (besides the beer) of a festival like this is the opportunity to discuss beer with people who have a true passion for it: Moritz from Drayman's Brewery filled me in on the process behind his Ethiopian honey beer, while the Boston Brewery
representative shared a little-known fact: they do home deliveries in Gauteng (craft beer to my doorstep? Excuse me while I do a little happy dance).
Where to start? With 58 glorious beers spread out before me, my liver made a last minute plea for clemency. Which my taste buds denied. I stood for a second, overwhelmed at the number of choices, until my internal coffee GPS kicked in and I made a beeline for Boston Breweries' 'Blackriver Coffee Stout'; yes, you read correctly, a beer and coffee infusion, and not just any coffee. Ethiopian Yerga Cheffe. Bliss.
Each beer provided something different to tempt my tastebuds: raspberry wheat beer, pineapple cider, chocolate stout, ales, lagers, you name it! And all including the panorama of our nation's capital spread out before me and a soundtrack supplied by Tidal Waves, Michael Lesar and a host of others.
Festivals like this are proving that craft beer and the artisan lifestyle has truly sunk its teeth into Gauteng. Here's to the next one!
by Dominique Baxewanos